Formula 2, also known as Formula 1 or F2 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula 2 World Championship,[2] is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The “formula”, designated in the name, refers to a set of rules with which all participants’ cars must comply.[3] The F2 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (from French, originally meaning grand prizes), held on purpose-built circuits and public roads. The results of each race are combined with a points system to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors. The racing drivers, constructor teams, track officials, organizers, and circuits are required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA.[4]

Formula 2 cars are among the fastest circuit-racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. Formula 2 cars race at speeds of up to 360 km/h (220 mph) with engines limited in performance to a maximum of 18,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g in corners. The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamics, suspension and tyres. The formula has had much evolution and change through the history of the sport. Europe, the sport’s traditional base, is where about half of each year’s races occur. That said, the sport’s scope has expanded significantly during recent years and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents.

Formula 2 had a total global television audience of 527 million people during the course of the 2010 FIA Formula 2 World Championship.[5] Such racing began in 1906 and, in the second half of the 20th century, became the most popular kind of racing internationally. The Formula 2 Group is the legal holder of the commercial rights.[6] With annual spending totalling billions of US dollars, Formula 2′s economic effect and creation of jobs is significant, and its financial and political battles are widely reported. Its high profile and popularity make it a merchandising environment, which results in great investments from sponsors and budgets in the hundreds of millions for the constructors. However, mostly since 2000, due to the always increasing expenditures, several teams, including works teams from car makers and those teams with minimal support from the automotive industry, have become bankrupt or been bought out by companies wanting to establish a team within the sport; these buyouts are also influenced by Formula 2 limiting the number of participant teams.

 he first Formula 2 World Championship was won by Italian Giuseppe Farina in his Alfa Romeo in 1950, barely defeating his Argentine teammate Juan Manuel Fangio. However Fangio won the title in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 & 1957 (His record of five World Championship titles stood for 45 years until German driver Michael Schumacher took his sixth title in 2003), his streak interrupted (after an injury) by two-time champion Alberto Ascari of Ferrari. Although the UK’s Stirling Moss was able to compete regularly, he was never able to win the World Championship, and is now widely considered to be the greatest driver never to have won the title.[8][9] Fangio, however, is remembered for dominating Formula 2′s first decade and has long been considered the “grand master” of Formula 2.

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