F2 teams set to test engine and clutch fixes

Formula 2 teams will be given 100 kilometres worth of testing to iron out standing start problems when they receive a new engine and clutch next week.

For the last two rounds at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, F2 races have started behind the safety car due to issues with the clutch that marred earlier races and left many drivers stalling on the grid.

The FIA has targeted the Budapest round later this month for a return to standing starts.

Although F2 has brought updates to the clutch, a specific issue has been diagnosed where the engine is not producing enough torque at the clutch bite point, increasing the likelihood of a stall. 

There have also been engine reliability issues with straight-line speed and the throttle motor, both of which supplier Mecachrome is working on. 

All 20 engines were recalled after the Silverstone event, with each team set to receive an updated engine, clutch and a set of supersoft tyres next week for 100km worth of practice starts at a venue of its choice.

“The idea is to come back to a normal start for Budapest,” said F2 boss Bruno Michel. 

“The main thing we noticed is we have to do something on the engine because we didn’t have enough torque at the start of the biting point, which is complicated. 

"Probably the worst place we had that was Le Castellet [Paul Ricard] because the grip was massive, we had supersoft tyres and it had been resurfaced.”

He added: “Mecachrome is going to put all the engines on the dyno and check them, do a couple of things on them. We’ll work on the software to help with the torque at the time of the biting point.

“We are doing a modification on the clutch. We have been working with the supplier of the clutch, to have less friction on the clutch at the start.”

F2 will run its test car at Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard before Hungary, and has confirmed that it will hold ballots for which driver gets which engine.

There will be a ballot for the 10 test engines sent out and a ballot of the engines again in Budapest.

“I have a high level of confidence in the changes that have been made,” added the FIA’s Charlie Whiting. 

“We’ll limit the amount of mileage they can do to 100km and we’ll have full recordings of exactly what they do so they can’t do any laps. We just want them to do practice starts. 

“So that’s what every team is going to be allowed to do before they get to Hungary to make sure that everything’s working as expected and that they get plenty of time to practice it.”

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Series FIA F2
Article type Breaking news