Despite being omitted from the original entry list, Russian Time will indeed return to the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2018, and will run with the #1 and #2 on their cars.
However, Racing Engineering will not be a part of the championship, while Fortec Motorsports’ planned entrance to Formula 2 has been postponed for the time being, meaning only ten teams will compete in 2018, with officials having been hoping to expand that to twelve.
Racing Engineering had been an ever present in the GP2 Series between 2005 and 2016, and took both Giorgio Pantano and Fabio Leimer to the championship, and competed in the inaugural Formula 2 season but could only finish eighth in 2017, with only two podiums across the year.
“It is with great sadness that Racing Engineering is saying goodbye to the FIA Formula Two Championship, we have competed in this Championship and the GP2 Series for thirteen years and, in that time, we have had some wonderful memories of numerous race wins and Championship success,” said Racing Engineering Team Principal Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón.
“Every year has been hard-fought in this most competitive of Championships and we have always strived to improve every year. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our Sponsors over the years as well as the Championship organisers, our drivers, team members, fellow competitors and the fans that have supported us.”
Defending Teams’ Champions Russian Time will be joined on the grid by seven of the 2017 teams, with Rapax having already decided to leave the series, with Prema Racing, DAMS, ART Grand Prix, MP Motorsport, Arden International, Campos Racing and Trident also staying in the championship.
Also on the entry list are Carlin and Charouz Racing System, who have joined the championship in 2018, with both having already confirmed their driver line-ups.
“I’m very pleased to confirm that our reigning champions RUSSIAN TIME will join the 2018 grid,” said FIA Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel.
“I would like to thank Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón and the whole Racing Engineering team for their dedication and hard work over the years. I’m looking forward to renewing our fruitful collaboration in the near future.
“I’m also sorry to see Fortec Motorsports step back this season, but this was a joint decision. We will reconsider their entry when the conditions are more favourable.
“I feel it best for our championship to limit the number of teams in 2018 to ten. I know they will provide yet again an incredible show.”