F2 admits number of car issues "too high"

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F2 admits number of car issues
By: Jack Benyon
Jun 6, 2018, 4:06 PM

Formula 2 boss Bruno Michel admits the number of problems with the F2 2018 car has been "too high" but expects the issues to be fixed for the next round at Paul Ricard.

The championship introduced a new car for this year, which swapped a naturally aspirated four-litre V8 engine for a turbocharged 3.4-litre V6 unit, as well as using a new Dallara chassis, a halo and bigger front and rear wings.

But issues with the engine management has caused reliability issues, while a malfunctioning clutch has seen almost every driver on the grid stall at least once across the first eight races.

A software update was introduced at Barcelona, the third round of the season, where only one car stalled, and there were just two stalls last time out in Monaco.

Michel said that fix was a "massive step", but after another update slated for introduction at Paul Ricard later this month, "everything should be sorted".

"We sorted 80 or 90 percent of the issues, and we have another step coming for Paul Ricard, where everything should be sorted on both of these issues," Michel told Motorsport.com in an extensive interview.

"We are making some additional changes to the clutch control. So that’s purely a software development.

"The other thing is, we are already improving the engine management. The engine is very safe, but we still think that we can improve, and that’s our work and the company doing the electronics for us.

"We all work in the same direction and their improvements have already been done for Barcelona and Monaco and will be finalised for Le Castellet [Paul Ricard]."

Some drivers have cited a safety concern because of the starting issues, with the potential for stationary cars to be hit at speed.

"We want to fix problems whether they are safety issues or not,” added Michel. "At the end of the day, we don’t want to see cars stopped, that’s not good for anybody.

"What is true is that the number of cars that had issues in Bahrain and Baku was too high, for sure."

The Barcelona clutch ECU update was tested by WTCR driver Yann Ehrlacher, and Michel confirmed that the championship’s test car would be at work again before the Paul Ricard round on June 22-24.

The championship believes testing the updates is of vital importance before implementing them on race weekends.

"It’s completely key," added Michel. "We would not, except for small things, do a real change [on a race weekend], whether it's set-up or a part on the car, unless it has been tested, or put on the dyno first.

"Before Le Castellet, we have another test session and we are going to make sure it works before we implement it on the car. It’s a professional way of doing things."

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Series FIA F2
Author Jack Benyon