Formula 2 has announced it will introduce rolling starts following two formation laps behind the Safety Car from this weekend's feature race in Austria onwards to get around the clutch problems and resulting stalls a number of drivers have faced so far this season.

Following the introduction of the new-for-2018 F2 car at the start of the season, various issues have arisen with engines and clutches that have harmed a number of drivers' races, with points leader Lando Norris saying last month that those competing in the series were being "let down" by recurring problems with the car.

The stalling problem hit a new peak at Paul Ricard last weekend as many drivers were caught out by the car's unpredictable clutch system, prompting the series to conduct a practice start session during practice at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.

After looking at the data from the practice start session, Formula 2 issued a statement on Friday night confirming the switch to rolling starts in races with immediate effect.

"Following issues experienced on the starting grid at Le Castellet where some cars stalled at the start, modifications were implemented to the starting procedure for this weekend at Spielberg," the statement reads.

"A practice start session was added at the end of today’s Free Practice from which data was analysed. The Formula 2 organisers then provided the FIA with these data and conclusions to assess the appropriate way forward.

"As the 2018 F2 season is currently in the middle of a triple header where making validated changes is difficult, the FIA has decided that for safety reasons the Formula 2 formation laps of Rounds 6 and 7 at Spielberg and Silverstone will start behind the Safety Car and follow procedures set out in Article 39.16 of the F2 sporting regulations.

"The Safety car will lead the grid at the start of the formation lap, complete one lap and return to the pit lane. During the lap the teams will be informed that there will be a rolling start and “RS” will be displayed on the track light panels. At this point, the lights on the Safety Car will be extinguished and the leader may dictate the pace. The race will start when the first car crosses the line."

FIA Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel said: “This is not an ideal situation, but the drivers’ safety is a top priority. As we do not have the time to test and properly validate a permanent fix to the starting issues what the FIA has decided is definitely the safest decision.

“This will also give us enough time to work on a solution to the problem and return to a safe and normal situation for Budapest and the remaining of the season.”

Charouz Racing System's Louis Deletraz took to social media in response to the news.

"Sorry but this is bad," he posted on Twitter. "[The] F2 clutch isn’t harder to manage than last year.

"Teams/drivers trying silly things or doing mistakes, then stalling and complaining. I understand the safety issue but this is not the answer to it."

Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell will lead the field away on Saturday in the feature race at the Red Bull Ring after securing pole position for ART Grand Prix on Friday.

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