The last time Formula 2 was in Monaco was 2019, and now it’s being joined by the new-look Formula Regional European Championship this weekend. What can we expect from the return to street circuit racing?
It’s been two whole years since the Formula 1 circus last visited its most famous venue, the streets of Monte Carlo, and there’s a lot to discuss as F1 and its support series return there for four days this weekend.
The action begins on Thursday, with Formula Regional European Championship kicking off proceedings, and following a single free practice session Formula 2 holds its qualifying too later in the day.
On Friday the circuit is only used in the morning, allowing FREC to squeeze in its qualifying and for F2 to hold its first sprint race of the weekend, while on Saturday there is the follow-up F2 sprint, the feature race and FREC’s first ever street race.
Sunday is the day of the grand prix, and the VIPs on their yachts will be warmed up by Regional Formula 3 racers in the morning. It’s going to be a packed weekend of action, and there’s some different names to watch out for too including Williams F1 reserve driver (and one-time F1 racer) Jack Aitken standing in for Matteo Nannini at HWA Racelab in F2.
F2’s CEO Bruno Michel has spoken candidly about the state of F2 right now, and the changes it’s made for this year based on its experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and the Formula Scout team discuss that in our latest podcast as well as what to expect from the drivers who will be in action this weekend.
Because of the shortness of the Monaco circuit, qualifying will be split into two groups for both series. The fastest driver from either group will earn pole, and all the other drivers in their session will line up from the odd-numbered grid slots, while the fastest driver from the other group will start second, and everyone else from their group start from an even-numbered grid slot. This isn’t the only effort to reduce traffic, as potentially some of the 33 FREC drivers scheduled to enter the event may not even get to race due to circuit capacity limitations.
Weekend timetable (local times)
Thursday, May 20
FREC free practice: 08:30 – 09:20
F2 free practice: 09:45 – 10:30
F2 qualifying group A: 13:20 – 13:36
F2 qualifying group B: 13:44 – 14:00
Friday, May 21
FREC qualifying group A: 07:55 – 08:25
FREC qualifying group B: 08:33 – 09:03
F2 sprint race 1: 11:45 – 12:35
Saturday, May 22
F2 sprint race 2: 08:20 – 09:10
FREC race 1: 10:15 – 10:30
F2 feature race: 17:15 – 18:20
Sunday, May 23
FREC race 2: 11:50 – 12:25