The F2 2018 is an open-wheel racing car developed by Dallara, an Italian manufacturer, for use in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. This is a feeder-series for Formula One. For safety, it is fitted with a carbon fibre monocoque that has a honeycomb structure, along with dampers and springs in the suspension to make the ride less rigid. The engine is a Mecachrome V634T 3.4-litre engine with a ninety-five-degree cylinder bank, and it’s rear-mounted as the car is rear-wheel drive. Additionally, the car incorporated the Halo cockpit protection device for the 2018 season and onwards, for increased driver safety.
Dallara began developing the chassis for the F2 all the way back in 2015. The first ever F2/18 chassis was completed in May 2017, but the entire vehicle as an entirety wouldn’t be completed until that July. It was given a private shakedown in the July of 2017, at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.
The F2 was intended to race in the 2018 season, and was lined up to replace Dallara’s GP2/11. That particular car had been raced since the 2011 season, and so it was well-established and well-received. Off the bat, the F2 had some incredibly large shoes to fill.
It immediately faced criticism as it was much harder to drive than its predecessor. The F2’s turbocharged engine was unruly compared to the composed GP2/11’s one. A number of drivers ended up stalling the F2 on the starting grid, as the throttle needed such a delicate touch. Racers also questioned the reliability of the F2, and because no immediate fix could be presented for the stalling problem, rolling starts had to be temporarily introduced. Drivers were deeply disappointed by this, but recognised its necessity. A start-line accident occurred in a Formula 3 race, where driver Ameya Vaidyanathan, who started from the eleventh row of the grid, crashed into the stationary car of Dan Ticktum, after Ticktum stalled. This prompted concerns of a similar accident happening in Formula 2, and the infamous F2 was faced with further scrutiny.