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“F2 stayed on the same level.” Hadjar describes the performance of the 2024 Formula 2 car after testing with Red Bull in Silverstone

Written by Jasmin Low

Since its beginning, Formula 2 has always been known as the premier Feeder Series category, often being the final step for young drivers to prove themselves worthy of a Formula 1 seat. The 2024 British Grand Prix is a prime example, with the announcement of hometown hero Oliver Bearman, who is set to drive in a full-time F1 seat with HAAS, becoming the latest Formula 2 graduate to be promoted to the pinnacle of motorsports. 

The 2024 F2 season has been highly anticipated, with the new-spec car being unveiled at Monza in 2023, and racing for the first time in 2024. The car, which leveled the playing field between teams at the beginning of the year, has proved difficult for some of the teams to get acquainted with, allowing for new championship frontrunners to emerge. Isack Hadjar and Zane Maloney both sit within the championship top three following the Silverstone weekend, after finishing fourteenth and tenth respectively in the 2023 standings.

Silverstone marks the official start to the second half of the season with the redesigned car | Image Credit: Formula 2

Additionally, all F1 teams must have each of their drivers step aside for a Free Practice 1 (FP1) session each season to a rookie driver (one who has started two or less Formula 1 Grands Prix) to give them valuable experience should they be presented a chance to race for an F1 team. 

Silverstone saw four young drivers take to the track in FP1, three of them currently racing in F2; Oliver Bearman, Franco Colapinto, and Isack Hadjar, with the fourth driver being Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan, who had previously raced in F2, deciding not to return to the championship in 2024. 

Hadjar, who had jumped into Sergio Perez’s Red Bull on the Friday for his third FP1 session, experienced a mixed weekend, qualifying on pole for the F2 feature race, before having to retire from a soaking wet sprint race the next day. His fortunes took a positive turn on Sunday, winning the Feature race and snatching the championship lead from Paul Aron. 

Hadjar is a member of the Red Bull Junior Program | Image Credit: Formula 1

Having driven in F2 in 2023, and now having to adapt to the 2024 car, Hadjar reflected on the performance difference between the two cars:

“It’s pretty similar to be honest, you can just look at the lap times from last year to this year; it’s always within a second so there’s not a jump of performance, so we didn’t have to make such a big effort or adaptation, the way you drive the car is pretty similar as well.” 

With the limited testing allowed for drivers and Formula 1 teams, it is imperative that F2 acts as an adequate training ground for drivers to build the skills and experience needed in F1. The new-spec F2 car was promised to give drivers the best possible preparation for Formula 1 and be as similar to the F1 car as possible. However, when asked about whether the new car has better prepared him for his Formula 1 tests, Hadjar’s response suggests that the performance of the car is not much more similar to the F1 car than the 2023 model:

“I don’t feel less or more prepared for F1, I just think F2 stayed on the same level.”

Hadjar, who is a member of the prestigious Red Bull Junior Program is undoubtedly a frontrunner in the Formula 2 championship and will be looking to continue a run of excellent results, proving that he is worthy of a full-time drive in F1. 


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