Formula 2’s new-for-2018 cars - complete with Halo - have hit the track for the first time at a snowy opening shakedown session for teams at Magny-Cours. 

The session marked the first occasion teams could run their new 3.4-litre turbocharged V6-powered cars on-track, after taking delivery of the machines at the end of January. 

Having been revealed to the public during the 2017 Italian Grand Prix weekend, the F2 2018 is Formula 1’s direct feeder category’s first new car since the 2011 season - back when it was known as GP2.

The controversial cockpit protection system Halo, which will also be introduced in F1 for this season, made its first on-track appearance on the F2 car, providing a glimpse at how teams will go about incorporating the device onto their car designs. 

DAMS was the first team to hit the track as the session went green at 9am local time, with reigning European Formula 3 champion and McLaren F1 reserve driver Lando Norris out early for the returning Carlin outfit. 

Renault academy driver Jack Aitken and Mercedes-backed 2017 GP3 champion George Russell split driving duties for ART Grand Prix, with the latter set to drive this afternoon. 

Santino Ferrucci was on hand to complete morning installation runs for Trident, which along with DAMS and MP Motorsport, has yet to announce its driver line-up for 2018. Luca Ghiotto, who has switched from Russian Time to Campos this year, also headed out for some early installation work.

McLaren junior Nyck de Vries ventured out onto the former French Grand Prix circuit for Prema Powerteam, the outfit which guided new Sauber F1 driver Charles Leclerc and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly to the last two drivers’ titles.

Reigning teams’ champions Russian Time were also in action following the squad’s confirmation it would return to defend its title this year, with 2017 runner-up Artem Markelov first behind the wheel.

New entrant Charouz Racing’s car was piloted by Louis Deletraz, while Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi - who finished third in GP3 last season - completed the first runs for Arden, which will also field Mercedes junior Maximilian Gunther for the upcoming campaign.



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