The 2018 Formula 2 entry list has been confirmed, with reigning teams’ champion Russian Time returning while Racing Engineering and Fortec will not compete this season.

Russian Time had been heavily linked with a departure from the series, having not been listed on the provisional entry list published in November. However, the team will instead return and attempt to defend the title.

The champions join a 10-team entry list, as the F2 grid will once again be comprised of 20 cars.

Elsewhere, both Racing Engineering and Fortec were featured as provisional entrants but have been omitted from the final line-up.

Racing Engineering had competed at GP2/F2 level ever since the series’ inception in 2005. Giorgio Pantano and Fabio Leimer both claimed title honours while driving for Racing Engineering in 2008 and 2013 respectively.

The team is now set to instead compete in the European Le Mans Series this year, fielding their former GP2 driver Norman Nato.

“I’m very pleased to confirm that our reigning champions Russian Time will join the 2018 grid,” F2 CEO Bruno Michel stated.

“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.”

Fortec was provisionally announced as the third new entrant to the series in 2018. In dropping off of the entry list, Carlin and Charouz will now be the only new teams participating this season.

“I’m also sorry to see Fortec Motorsports step back this season, but this was a joint decision,” Michel added. “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 10. I know they will provide yet again an incredible show.”