The F1 feeder sequence has made vital adjustments to its format for 2021 highlighted by a transfer to 3 races – two dash occasions on Saturday, adopted by an extended characteristic race on Sunday previous to the Formulation 1 race.
Forming the grids for the races includes an unconventional system, as Friday’s qualifying session units the grid for Sunday’s characteristic race, whereas the quickest 10 drivers from qualifying are inverted to kind the beginning order for race one. The outcomes from race one kind the grid for race two, albeit with the highest 10 inverted.
Labelled the largest format shift in each F2 and Formulation three historical past, the adjustments have been administered as a value saving measure, with the championship sustaining its 24 race schedule, whereas lowering the variety of occasions from 12 to eight.
Whereas the adjustments raised eyebrows within the low season, Michel believes a trio of thrilling races on the Sakhir circuit proved the format was successful.
Felipe Drugovich, Uni-Virtuosi, Marcus Armstrong, Dams and Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“One of many largest speaking factors from the opening spherical of the 2021 season has been our new weekend format,” mentioned Michel in his occasion debrief.
“It’s secure to say that it was successful: we noticed two wonderful races, Dash Race 2 and the Function Race.
“To be trustworthy, there was much less present within the first Dash Race, however having talked to some drivers, all of them mentioned that the excessive temperatures made it troublesome for them.
“The next two occasions, which happened in cooler circumstances, delivered some unimaginable fights all through the sector. Fifteen drivers have already scored factors.
“Individuals have been frightened that the grid system could also be too difficult, however now that we’ve got gone by means of one race weekend, they’ll see that it’s fairly easy and brings a number of enjoyable on the observe.”
On the entire drivers agreed the format produced thrilling races, however it has elevated the significance of scoring factors constantly by means of the 12 months.
“It’s making thrilling races for positive,” mentioned pole place and race three winner Guanyu Zhou.
“I believe pole place is kind of necessary however alternatively P9 to P10 is somewhat bit much less of a difficulty. When you had a wrestle in qualifying you’ll be able to undoubtedly make up for it.
“Clearly, you need the 4 factors for pole, but when you find yourself beginning P9 or P8 on the reverse grid it is fairly simple to get right into a collision in Flip 1 which may injury your race rather a lot too.
“On the finish of day, it is the identical for everybody, so I am not complaining we simply have to deal with it.
“I believe the fellows who may be essentially the most constant over the entire weekend can win the championship on the finish of the day.”
Function race podium finisher Dan Ticktum added: “I believe on Saturday consistency is vital, in case you have an incident within the first race, you are then on the again for the following one.
“I believe constant and measured aggression on Saturday, after which on Sunday on you’ll be able to assault a bit extra. It is undoubtedly thrilling.
“I fairly prefer it up to now, however I am going to offer you my verdict on the finish of the season.”
Theo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix, Dan Ticktum, Carlin and Jehan Daruvala, Carlin
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
In the meantime, F2 rookie and winner of the opening race Liam Lawson believes the additional observe time is extremely useful for the brand new faces on the grid.
“For me, it is extra races and extra time within the automotive on a race weekend so I prefer it,” mentioned Lawson.
“One of many issues about racing on a Formulation 1 weekend is that the there’s restricted observe time, so it is superior to get extra time racing. The way in which we have performed the format makes it fairly fascinating.
“Clearly for me it is labored out nice this weekend after a nasty qualifying. Individuals have been speaking about making an attempt to be strategic, and I suppose we really did it by qualifying towards the again of the highest ten and beginning on the entrance on Race 1.
“This weekend it served us effectively, however I believe it will likely be fairly fascinating to see over the 12 months as folks attempt to get actually good with it.”
The format will face an important check when the championship heads to slender streets of Monaco on 20-22 Could.