Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung and Kush Maini were the drivers to beat on the third and final day of Formula 2’s pre-season testing in Sakhir. In the opening session Boschung was well clear of the pack. He laid down a time of 1:45.063 eight minutes into running, finishing two seconds ahead of Trident’s Clément Novalak.
The mantle then switched over to his teammate in the second session, with Kush Maini keeping the Spanish team at the top of the order. A late series of one-lap sprints saw the Indian driver post the best lap of the day, with a 1:42.623 putting him in front of Roy Nissany and Théo Pourchaire.
Ralph Boschung broke the 1:45 barrier within the first eight minutes of track time and remained the only driver to do so, as first of the day’s two sessions focused on race simulations. He later lowered his personal best by 0.036s eight minutes later.
Clément Novalak and Dennis Hauger traded turns in P2 early on, slowly reducing Boschung’s advantage from 4.9s to 2s. However, it was the Frenchman who eventually won out at the chequered flag, finishing ahead of Victor Martins. Roy Nissany was the busiest man out on track in fourth, with 46 laps to his name.
Meanwhile, it was all about the mileage and team preparations for the first race weekend of the ’23 campaign in a fortnight’s time. Racking up 759 laps of the Bahrain International Circuit, all drivers completed at least 20 laps.
After an hour and a half break, the track sprung back into life. Thriving in his familiar ART machinery, Pourchaire shot up into the top spot, posting a 1:42.913 within the opening nine minutes. Novalak moved Trident into second, 0.257s down on his compatriot’s time, whilst Verschoor slotted behind them in third.
With an hour and 20 minutes of track time remaining, Brad Benavides in the #17 PHM Racing by Charouz car leaped up into P3. It wasn’t a moment too soon, as DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc stopped on track and triggered the first Red Flag of the day shortly after.
Then it was Nissany’s turn to takeover P1, demoting Pourchaire to second by only 0.008s, whilst Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney slotted both Rodin Carlin cars into the top four. Running once again ground to a halt with 20 minutes remaining, as Trident’s Roman Stanek brought out the Red Flag.
When the session resumed, Kush Maini put his stamp on things, going fastest with a 1:42.623. He remained untouchable to the chequered, finishing over two-tenths clear of Nissany and Pourchaire.
Fittipaldi ended his day in fourth, whilst a last-second effort from MP Motorsport’s Hauger promoted him to fifth. Meanwhile, the Hitech Pulse-Eight duo notched up 98 laps, with Isack Hadjar heading the lap count with 51 to his name.
The 2023 Formula 3 season kicks off with the opening round in Sakhir from March 3-5.
2023 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 3, SESSION 1
|1||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1:45.027||28|
|3||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1:47.054||39|
|4||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:47.223||46|
|5||Frederik Vesti||PREMA Racing||1:47.264||34|
|6||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:47.335||39|
|7||Théo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1:47.426||40|
|8||Jak Crawford||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:47.512||44|
|9||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1:47.900||35|
|10||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:47.912||30|
|12||Oliver Bearman||PREMA Racing||1:48.145||34|
|13||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:48.239||31|
|15||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1:48.747||45|
|17||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1:48.988||42|
|18||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1:49.149||27|
|19||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1:49.245||36|
|20||Enzo Fittipaldi||Rodin Carlin||1:49.295||33|
|21||Isack Hadjar||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:49.557||23|
|22||Zane Maloney||Rodin Carlin||1:49.730||38|
2023 FIA FORMULA 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – SAKHIR PRE-SEASON TEST, DAY 3, SESSION 2
|1||Kush Maini||Campos Racing||1:42.623||34|
|2||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:42.905||20|
|3||Théo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||1:42.905||45|
|4||Enzo Fittipaldi||Rodin Carlin||1:42.971||15|
|5||Dennis Hauger||MP Motorsport||1:43.020||19|
|6||Zane Maloney||Rodin Carlin||1:43.094||19|
|8||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz||1:43.226||23|
|9||Jehan Daruvala||MP Motorsport||1:43.300||19|
|10||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort Racing||1:45.545||41|
|11||Amaury Cordeel||Virtuosi Racing||1:45.587||30|
|14||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||1:46.718||43|
|16||Frederik Vesti||PREMA Racing||1:47.171||43|
|17||Victor Martins||ART Grand Prix||1:47.308||45|
|18||Jak Crawford||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:47.436||47|
|19||Jack Doohan||Virtuosi Racing||1:47.572||40|
|20||Oliver Bearman||PREMA Racing||1:47.668||42|
|21||Isack Hadjar||Hitech Pulse-Eight||1:47.945||51|
|22||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort Racing||-||-|