The FIA Formula 2 teams got their first taste of the series’ brand-new for 2018 car today at a shakedown on the Magny-Cours circuit in France. Only one car per team was used, with the main focuses on reliability and on the teams learning how to operate their new machines. New entrants Carlin and Charouz Racing System also made their first appearance.
The conditions were quite tricky, with cold temperatures and snow coating the limits of the circuit, but after a morning session on wet weather Pirelli tires, teams were able to get out on slicks in the afternoon.
Today’s office ? Great feeling behind the wheel of new F2 car!! ? pic.twitter.com/0Lx9CQByBX
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) February 14, 2018
At the end of the session, Luca Ghiotto (Campos Racing) headed the times, the Italian also completing the most laps (29) and coming away very pleased with the new car. The teams completed 240 laps in the afternoon, resulting in 325 laps overall.
“The conditions were not ideal when we started today; it snowed yesterday, and this morning the track was slippery and the temperatures were cold. But very quickly, it turned around,” said Ghiotto. “This car is a clear step from the previous one; the grip is amazing! Generally, it’s an improvement on all areas. In a cold day like today, it performed really well. I couldn’t be happier with how things went for me.
“I was very surprised with the reliability,” he added. “I saw all the other cars running all day long. The teams, Dallara, Mecachrome and everyone should be happy with what has been achieved today – and it’s only day one!
“The turbo engine is getting us a step closer to F1. I drove the Williams F1 car last year and I can already say that the F2 2018 car is much closer to an F1 car than last year’s machine. If any of us had a chance to drive in F1, we would be able to adapt even faster.
“Now I’m fully focused on Paul Ricard and hopefully the start of the season will come quickly because I am so bored! I feel like it’s going to be a great season with great battles again.”