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2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship - Season Thread


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#1 Anja

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 15:04

With all the seats filled and the first race only a week away, I guess it's time to move to a proper season thread from the silly season one. 

 

Here are this year's contenders:

 

Carlin: #1 Louis Delétraz / #2 Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix: #3 Nikita Mazepin / #4 Nyck de Vries

DAMS: #5 Nicholas Latifi / #6 Sérgio Sette Câmara

UNI-Virtuosi Racing: #7 Guanyu Zhou / #8 Luca Ghiotto

Prema Racing: #9 Mick Schumacher / #10 Sean Gelael

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz: #11 Callum Ilott / #12 Juan Manuel Correa

Campos Racing: #14 Dorian Boccolacci / #15 Jack Aitken

MP Motorsport: #16 Jordan King / #17 Mahaveer Raghunathan

BWT Arden: #18 Tatiana Calderón / #19 Anthoine Hubert

Trident: #20 Giuliano Alesi / #21 Ralph Boschung

 

 

The calendar remains the same as last year, twelve rounds on selected F1 weekends. 

 

Sakhir - 30-31 March

Baku - 27-28 April

Barcelona - 11-12 May

Monte Carlo - 24-25 May

Paul Ricard - 22-23 June

Red Bull Ring - 29-30 June

Silverstone - 13-14 July

Hungaroring - 3-4 August

Spa - 31 August - 1 September

Monza - 7-8 September

Sochi - 28-29 September

Yas Marina - 30 November - 1 December


Edited by Anja, 23 March 2019 - 15:17.


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#2 messy

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 15:59

I don't think the standard of this field is as bad as people are saying. Whatever people say about the nature of his sudden upturn, Mick Schumacher is a talent on a fast track to F1 so it'll be interesting to see how he does. Mazepin is another really promising natural talent, Deletraz has a lot of potential and you then have De Vries, Sette Camara and Ghiotto who have the experience to really go well.

My tip would be Sette Camara, I think. Real talent.

#3 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 16:29

I think it is a relatively weak field, I think Schumacher will do very well - I hope the forum can stop the insinuation about his F3 title - Think the Champion ship will be between de Vries, Illot and Hubert. I do think that Schumacher is talented enough to win races, but winning F2 as a rookie is a tall order.

 

But those would be my top 4.

 

:cool:



#4 Anja

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 16:37

My tip would be Sette Camara, I think. Real talent.

 

I think he's definitely the most underrated one. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see him in the championship fight. 



#5 thegamer23

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 17:20

Schumacher vs Camara vs De Vries for the title imho

And it's going to be close

#6 Jackman

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 17:32

Every time there is a lot of change in the line up in F2 people moan that it's the weakest collection of drivers in years, and every time there are loads of brilliant races and a great scrap for the title. It'll be the same this year.



#7 ANF

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 17:37

Any news on whether Pirelli have constructed a tyre that can be raced hard this year?

#8 Kev00

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 18:58

I don't think the standard of this field is as bad as people are saying. Whatever people say about the nature of his sudden upturn, Mick Schumacher is a talent on a fast track to F1 so it'll be interesting to see how he does. Mazepin is another really promising natural talent, Deletraz has a lot of potential and you then have De Vries, Sette Camara and Ghiotto who have the experience to really go well.

My tip would be Sette Camara, I think. Real talent.


There’s a lot of guys that have had one very good season along the way. But I can’t really think of any that have had 2-3 years of winning races and consistently fighting at the front, which is what you expect from top prospects.

#9 noikeee

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 19:14

Every time there is a lot of change in the line up in F2 people moan that it's the weakest collection of drivers in years, and every time there are loads of brilliant races and a great scrap for the title. It'll be the same this year.


You can have a bad field and good races, it's not mutually exclusive. There's definitely been lean years, the Leimer/Valsecchi years were definitely not the highlight of the series talent-wise...

I think its not as good a field as recent years but not totally terrible.

#10 Jackman

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 19:19

Why? Just because they didn't make it to F1 didn't make them had drivers: most years there's simply not enough spaces for many promotions. And Leimer had a deal which fell through at a late stage, while Valsecchi was Lotus 3rd driver when Kimi threw his toys out of the pram but the team called in Heiki instead: I can't see that he would have done a while job than that...

#11 Bleu

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 19:48

The older fields sometimes sound better that current ones because now we know pretty much what older drivers achieved in their career.



#12 Silberpfeil

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 20:12

My championship tip would be Sette Camara as well, if I had the confidence to say that DAMS will prove to be consistently competitive this year, which I somewhat doubt (for the record, I think Albon bailed them out big-time last year). Latifi for me is the kind of driver where you can see by his finishing position how good the package actually was, and he struggled a lot. With SSC, he’s up against yet another very strong teammate, so at least it’ll be interesting to see how that duel develops. It’s also probably worth pointing out here that Latifi has yet to win a direct comparison against any of his teammates in GP2/F2. Consequently, I’d like to think that this is his last shot at actually doing something in F2 rather than his fourth season of being an also-ran, but we also have Jordan King on the grid this year so what the hell do I know.

For the reasons laid out above, my actual championship tip is Nyck de Vries. He has absolutely zero excuses this year, considering he’s in the team that had last year’s car very much figured out, with a driver who showed what they were capable of. It really is his title to lose.

My dark horse bet for the championship is (surprise, surprise) Schumacher. I’m not 100% sold on his overall speed being up there with the other generational talents of his age group that made their way to F1 in recent years, I’m not even sure he’s as talented as someone like Albon, who flew under the radar for the longest time. However, just like his father he knows the value of hard work, looked very solid in testing, and has a teammate that, frankly, shouldn’t present much of a challenge. His greatest problem might be that has he has zero prior experience with Pirelli rubber, but if Prema has the car figured out (and learned their lessons from de Vries’ tenure last year) that might not be too much of a stumbling block. He has also traditionally struggled to adapt to new cars, but again, with the combined might of Prema and Ferrari behind him my lowest expectation is somewhat regular podiums, at least in the sprint races.

Sticking with Prema, if Sean Gelael actually manages to finish in the top 10 of the championship, I shall publicly devour a pair of worn sneaker socks. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I will, however, apologise for calling him a waste of a top seat and pointing out that, according to my maths, he has precisely six merit-based superlicense points to show for his efforts, which originate from two wins in the 2015-16 Asian Le Mans Series.

Moving on, my candidate for the biggest positive surprise this year is Alesi. He didn’t set the world on fire in GP3, being very much hit-or-miss, but he’s a decent racer and Trident is at least competent and has a, IMO, much better driver pairing than last year. I’m not ruling out a shock podium or two.

The people who really need to show up are Aitken, Ghiotto and Matsushita. The latter two are veterans by now (with Matsushita even having the experience of a season of “grown-ups” racing in Japan under his belt), and Aitken was so disappointing last year that I’m convinced that this might already be his final shot if things go anywhere close to Nissany-style badly. Should he be able to emulate Ghiotto, he might be able to secure another year at Campos or a sideways move in terms of competitiveness. Should he be better, he might be able to attract interest from the big teams once again, and I’d be very happy for him. Alas, I’m struggling to see that. Either of the two extremes, actually, as he’s too good to be completely left behind.

Lastly, the most interesting team on the grid for me is actually BWT Arden. They were a giant disappointment last year, and only Günther’s flattering win elevated them above the ongoing cavalcade of dark comedy and drama that was Trident in the standings. Hubert has actual expectations on him as the reigning (and final) GP3 champion, but might have a hard time if the team and car aren’t competitive. Calderon, meanwhile, needs to justify her promotion by at least being able to stick with Hubert, because let’s be honest, her GP3 record surely can’t have been the reason she moved up the ladder into F2. If they were, then I can’t help but wonder how Mawson or Verschoor would do in F2 this year. The good thing is that she did show a clear upward trajectory towards the end of last season. She’s also on the record as saying that the F2 cars should suit her driving style considerably better, though, so I’m hoping she can do well.

This got quite a bit longer than I thought it would, so I’d like to conclude by wishing every driver, fan and fellow poster in this thread a good and safe season.

Edited by Silberpfeil, 23 March 2019 - 20:14.


#13 messy

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 20:24

Gelael is as likely to finish in the championship top ten this year as Robert Kubica is to take a pole position in F1.

If either of those things happen, I will run naked through the streets singing Gangnam Style at the top of my voice until I get arrested.

I actually think the Kubica thing is maybe the one more likely, to be honest. Gelael is pathetic.

#14 noikeee

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 20:29

Why? Just because they didn't make it to F1 didn't make them had drivers: most years there's simply not enough spaces for many promotions. And Leimer had a deal which fell through at a late stage, while Valsecchi was Lotus 3rd driver when Kimi threw his toys out of the pram but the team called in Heiki instead: I can't see that he would have done a while job than that...


I don't believe they were outstanding lost talents for F1 level, absolutely nothing else in their careers indicate it other than their GP2 titles aided by experience.

That's not to say they're rubbish, they're talented in their own right and am sure would embarrass a lot of racing drivers, it's just that the level and standards are so high in F1.

Motorsport gained a great commentator in Valsecchi though!

#15 messy

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 20:35

The Leimer, Valsecchi, Palmer, Nasr, Colletti years of GP2 were the 'dark years' when Formula Renault 3.5 had all the talent from what I remember. They weren't bad drivers, they just weren't anything more than F1 backmarker seat-fillers at best. None of them.

All the while you had Ricciardo, Vergne, Sainz, Magnussen, Frijns and co in FR3.5.

Edited by messy, 23 March 2019 - 20:36.


#16 balage06

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 21:29

The Leimer, Valsecchi, Palmer, Nasr, Colletti years of GP2 were the 'dark years' when Formula Renault 3.5 had all the talent from what I remember. They weren't bad drivers, they just weren't anything more than F1 backmarker seat-fillers at best. None of them.

All the while you had Ricciardo, Vergne, Sainz, Magnussen, Frijns and co in FR3.5.

 

I agree, but I think the darkest part is that just a few years ago, there were two rival series on a similar level with competitive 26 car grids and nowadays F2 barely manages to attract 20 drivers for a season!



#17 noikeee

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 21:29

The Leimer, Valsecchi, Palmer, Nasr, Colletti years of GP2 were the 'dark years' when Formula Renault 3.5 had all the talent from what I remember. They weren't bad drivers, they just weren't anything more than F1 backmarker seat-fillers at best. None of them.

All the while you had Ricciardo, Vergne, Sainz, Magnussen, Frijns and co in FR3.5.


This, the odd one out was Nasr (and Gutierrez also) who had looked like the next Senna at lower levels. On hindsight they were just drivers that peaked early at lower formula, and got found out as good-but-nothing-special drivers when competition got tougher.

#18 AlexPrime

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 10:52

I hope that Mick wins...



#19 KevR

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:04

Gelael is as likely to finish in the championship top ten this year as Robert Kubica is to take a pole position in F1.

If either of those things happen, I will run naked through the streets singing Gangnam Style at the top of my voice until I get arrested.


The words have been spoken 😄 now let's wait for Gelael finish in top 10 int the championship and we'll have some good laughs 🤣

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#20 noikeee

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 14:33

After I've seen Max Chilton build his way up to a top 5 AND a F1 seat, it seems a bit dangerous to make such promises... 😬

#21 djparky

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 15:30

Upside is that the Sky coverage this year wont be the Lando Norris show..

#22 BRG

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 18:04

Upside is that the Sky coverage this year wont be the Lando Norris show..

But it will probably be the Mick Schumacher Show.



#23 TheJammin

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 15:49

Camara for the title, I like that guy.
Absolute inconsistency from Latifi, with likely 2 good races and otherwise anonymity.



#24 ensign14

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 15:55

Gelael is as likely to finish in the championship top ten this year as Robert Kubica is to take a pole position in F1.

 

He is the Pole positioned in F1.
 



#25 balage06

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:55

ICYMI: The drivers introduce themselves:

https://www.youtube....h?v=OKdgTNSPqSA



#26 sladealonso

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:58

My money is on Camara, I think Ghiotto and De Vries will push him; as well as the likes of Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin and the Carlins as the outsiders.

Edited by sladealonso, 27 March 2019 - 08:00.


#27 Alex79

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 09:21

Dividing the field, you get a few distinct categories

 

the Old hands with one year or more experience in Gp2/F2:

#4 Nyck de Vries #6 Sérgio Sette Câmara #8 Luca Ghiotto #15 Jack Aitken, #5 Nicholas Latifi*

 

I think from this lot, Aitken, De Vries and Sette Camara have shown the most promise. Camara is one of those RBR-cases who was quickly snapped up and thrown out of the talent program after things did not go so well. At Carlin last year he showed good progress. De Vries has shown to be quick over one lap, qualifyings and sprint races, but he almost always get problems with managing the tyres. So if the tyre compound is the same this year, he will have the same kind of problems. Ghiotto and Latifi might do well on experience (just like Albon last year), but they'll need luck and inconsistency from the rest to be in the title fight.

 

the aspiring debutants in this cathegory,

#9 Mick Schumacher, #11 Callum Ilott, #7 Guanyu Zhou #19 Anthoine Hubert

 

Three Ferrari Pool drivers, one of whom has also been an RBR junior, and one Renault Pool driver. Most attention will obviously go to Mick. Good news about that is that I can now watch F2 on RTL Deutschland, instead of hoping for crappy Ziggo coverage haha. It remains to be seen if Mick can keep up with the expectations. He always takes a bit of time to 'gel' with the car he's driving. But Illot and Zhou are no slouches either, and UNI and Charouz are veteran teams in handling these cars. Jury still out on Hubert, he did real good in GP3, but now he's in an Arden I don't know how that will affect his performance

 

The Returnees, back after one or more years absence

#2 Nobuharu Matsushita, #16 Jordan King*

 

Never expected these two back to be honest. I thought Nobu san blew his chance after that horrible performance in Baku where he messed up two safety car restarts. But as Honda is desperate to have a Japanese driver with enough SL points in the feeder classes, he's back again. Hopefully he learned something extra on his hometurf. King is a driver who can fit multiple categories here. He is experienced, he is a returnee and thanks to father Justin King he's also the paydriver that helps pay the bills at MP motorsport. Just like old times when Daniel de Jong was driving here.

 

the paydrivers whose cash outweigh their talent

  #3 Nikita Mazepin / #10 Sean Gelael #12 Juan Manuel Correa, #17 Mahaveer Raghunathan #21 Ralph Boschung

 

Ok, I might be a bit unfair to Mazepin, as he was second last year in the GP3, but he surely fits the paydriver mold. Mazepin family made multiple attempts to buy themselves into Force India, even tried to buy the team when it went bellyup. They lost out to Stroll and fought them in the courts, which was settled and with that money, they bought the ART seat for Nikita. Probably the same arrangement as with the Gelael setup, Nyck to share his setup, Nikita to see if he can do something with it. Gelael does not have enough talent to be a contender but lets be honest, he DOES have a podium finish in GP2 on his record (Austria 2016, feature race) and that's something the rest of the rich kids still have to achieve. Mazepin has the best chance of doing, maybe Correa will surprise us.

 

And finally "The Undefinables", a category for the drivers who are falling through the crags

 #1 Louis Delétraz / #14 Dorian Boccolacci / #18 Tatiana Calderón / #20 Giuliano Alesi

 

Of these guys and one lady, I don't know what to think. Louis Deletraz did way better in racing than his infamous father Jean Denis, but despite two podiums last year it did not click yet. Alesi is debuting in this class, but I do not rate him as high as his Ferrari Academy collegues yet. Bocolacci did well in the Renault Cups, but I think he promoted too quick by MP Motorsport from GP3 to F2. And finally Tatiana Calderon, who was adamant about not racing in W Series, gets her chance to prove herself as she wanted. But although results in the past do not guarantee the same outcome in future, the stats don't look too good with only three podium finishes in 9 years of racing (two in Star Mazda 2011, one in F3.5V8 in 2017)



#28 Cliff

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 09:34

^^^^^^ Have fun watching an ad every 2 minutes on RTL Deutschland... I mean Ziggo ain’t perfect, but RTL’s coverage is absolutely horrendous.

#29 Alex79

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 09:45

^^^^^^ Have fun watching an ad every 2 minutes on RTL Deutschland... I mean Ziggo ain’t perfect, but RTL’s coverage is absolutely horrendous.

 

You could say I'm used to it. In the bad old days of my youth i could not watch Formula 1 on Dutch television (we had no Cable TV aaaargh), so I had to make do with whatever was available. Which was mostly RTL D or RTBF La Deux. It's the same now with F2, cannot get Sky, so I have to wait until later when races appear online for a short time (hinthint) or hope that Ziggo Sport Select choose to grace us in broadcasting. To be honest, I love to watch some Krombacher adds when I don't have to hear the Repeating Automaton called Ronald van Dam, the only commentator worse than him was Peter "Robo-Belgian" Baert



#30 OvDrone

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 21:51

Like Gamer23 said in the Grand Prix thread, I am more hyped for F2 than the main event.



#31 balage06

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 07:12

Like Gamer23 said in the Grand Prix thread, I am more hyped for F2 than the main event.

 

I guess you are Mick fans then, otherwise this field doesn't promise too much. :p But I hope I'm wrong!



#32 Kev00

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 08:21

Although I don’t rate this field very highly, I don’t think the quality of drivers has ever affected my enjoyment of the racing in previous years. So I’m still looking forward to it as usual.

#33 Anja

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 09:22

Exactly, even if the field is relatively weak it doesn't mean the season won't be entertaining. With how hard it is to point any clear favourites it could turn out to be quite an epic battle. Sometimes we might sneer at the "dark times" of GP2 with champions who didn't achieve anything afterwards but I look back at those years with good memories, it was a lot of fun.


Edited by Anja, 28 March 2019 - 09:38.


#34 balage06

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 09:33

But yet this year there are a lot of exciting open questions in F1 for Bahrein: the performance of the Norris/Albon/Russell trio on a track they already know relatively well, can Ferrari bounce back, will Leclerc and Gasly up their game etc... I'm looking forward to the F2 opener too obviously, but in this regard I think the GP looks even more promising for once, I never said the F2 season will be boring. :p



#35 thegamer23

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 10:51

Little media attention on Mick

 

D2vcXv1WsAApyJG.jpg


Edited by thegamer23, 28 March 2019 - 11:14.


#36 balage06

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 15:54

Poor Tatiana  :lol:

 

XPB_979280_1200px.jpg



#37 thegamer23

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 15:58

Poor Tatiana :lol:

XPB_979280_1200px.jpg


What's Tom Coronel doing in F2??

#38 TheJammin

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 16:00

Why does it look like someone's shrunk Mick?



#39 ensign14

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 16:37

Little media attention on Mick

 

 

 

He does seem to have a profitable sideline in selling second-hand mobile phones though.



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#40 TomNokoe

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 17:14

The Mick Schumacher hype seems too good to be true. The whole saga is quite disconcerting. It feels like there is already so much expectation. I feel sorry for him.

Edited by TomNokoe, 28 March 2019 - 17:15.


#41 noikeee

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 17:26

The Mick Schumacher hype seems too good to be true. The whole saga is quite disconcerting. It feels like there is already so much expectation. I feel sorry for him.

Yeah it's always a bit like this with "sons of..." drivers, but on this case, his dad has the all-time record on right about everything. So anything that's short of BEING THE BEST EVER seems negative by default, which is quite an astonishing and unsustainable level of pressure.
 
If it wasn't for the surname, okay maybe so many doors wouldn't have been opened, but with his current record, right now he'd be a mildly promising German driver that seems to be starting to come good - hear how much more positive that sounds? Instead he's been Ralf-d before he's even started.
 
To top it off he's burdened with the pressure of questions on his dad's health, which he has to hide at all times.


#42 Frood

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 17:32

I also notice that Virtuosi have two Luca Ghiottos (check Zhou’s race suit) :lol:

#43 Alex79

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 19:25

Or how Jordan and Mahaveer look like the Goon Squad in the back :rotfl:



#44 DS27

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 19:35

 

Yeah it's always a bit like this with "sons of..." drivers, but on this case, his dad has the all-time record on right about everything. So anything that's short of BEING THE BEST EVER seems negative by default, which is quite an astonishing and unsustainable level of pressure.
 
If it wasn't for the surname, okay maybe so many doors wouldn't have been opened, but with his current record, right now he'd be a mildly promising German driver that seems to be starting to come good - hear how much more positive that sounds? Instead he's been Ralf-d before he's even started.
 
To top it off he's burdened with the pressure of questions on his dad's health, which he has to hide at all times.

 

 

Yeah, I feel sorry for the lad. He can still hide a little from the worst of the media in F2, but a small part of me hopes he doesn't get to F1.

 

Can you imagine the kind of dumb sh*t people like Crofty and Herbert will be asking him.


Edited by DS27, 28 March 2019 - 19:35.


#45 Jellyfishcake

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 20:00

I also notice that Virtuosi have two Luca Ghiottos (check Zhou’s race suit) :lol:

 

Haha i was just about to post that it looks like Zhou put the wrong overalls on...



#46 beachdrifter

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 20:03

I hope F2 races are more interesting than the F3 Euro I watched last season for the first time.

#47 balage06

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:14

Normally these posts doesn't belong here, sorry, but pay attention to the last seconds of the Codemasters F1 2019 announcement trailer  :eek: Proper career mode incoming? :p

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=X5pP8pEOM7A

 

Anyway, if everything goes well, free practice should go live on F1TV in about 75 minutes, I've been waiting for this for a long time! :up:


Edited by balage06, 29 March 2019 - 07:15.


#48 balage06

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 08:37

I see the F2 car got the LMP-style rear lights as well.



#49 thegamer23

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 08:38

FP1 live now!

#50 haryantofan666

haryantofan666
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  • Joined: May 16

Posted 29 March 2019 - 08:45

where to watch this? It's the first time I can't find a stream.