Formula One is generally regarded as the pinnacle of open-wheeled racing but is, always has been, prohibitively expensive. Formula Two has acted as a feeder series and represents the penultimate step on the motorsport ladder.
Formula Two (originally known as Formula B) was first set up in 1948 by FIA as a complement to Grand Prix. The engines were smaller and less powerful than those used in Formula One, and the cars were also smaller, lighter and cheaper. This encouraged new marques such as Cooper to set up in F2, rather than compete against teams like Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
By 1967 Formula Two was dominated by F1 stars on their "off-days". Engines were mostly by Cosworth (based on Ford blocks) and Honda, BMC, Fiat and BRM featured as well. With the "return to power" of F1, the gap between the series had grown too great and a change was needed.
The 1.6 litre era, and driver grading (1967-1971)
For 1967, the FIA increased the maximum engine capacity to 1600cc and introduced the European F2 Championship. Jacky Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the first championship by 11 points from the Australian, Frank Gardner.
The most popular engine was the Cosworth FVA which was effectively the "proof of concept" for the legendary DFV. The 1967 FVA gave 220 bhp @ 9,000 rpm. Other units included a four-cylinder BMW and a V6 Dino Ferrari.
Many Formula One drivers continued to drive the smaller and lighter cars on non-championship weekends. F1 drivers could drive in F2 because of a grading system. Any driver with an "A" grading was not permitted to score championship points which permitted less experienced drivers to work towards the championship and forward their careers, while allowing senior drivers to keep their hand during breaks between Grands Prix. Some Grand Prix grids (notably at the Nürburgring) would be a mix of F1 and F2 cars. Ickx made his Grand Prix debut there in a Formula Two car, qualifying with the fifth fastest time overall.
Brabham and Lotus were the most common cars, although Ferrari entered a works team, as did BMW (with a Lola built chassis). A number of smaller construtors such as Matra and Tecno where also successful. The French firm Matra won the three first editions of the European championship.
If you want to know more about the teams modelled in this release and the cars they used, click on any of the team names on the left.
||The 1967 Formula 2 Mod for Grand Prix Legends