The summer break has finally arrived and it will suit some more than others. Théo Pourchaire made a huge statement with victory in the Feature Race to close down the gap to Felipe Drugovich in the Drivers' Championship.
CEO Bruno Michel reflects on a pivotal weekend in the Formula 2 season as some rookies stood out and other familiar names delivered in Budapest.
A RACE WEEKEND TO REMEMBER
Enzo Fittipaldi’s 2022 F2 campaign really kicked off in the Imola Feature Race, with P2, his first podium and first points in the Championship. Since then, the season has largely gone swimmingly for the “little shark”, as his fans call him. The loveable Brazilian, who worked very hard to come back from an injury sustained in Jeddah in 2021, had three podiums to his name ahead of Budapest. At the Hungaroring, Fittipaldi added two more, including P2 in the Feature Race.
Although he was happy to reward his hard-working Charouz Racing System team with some silverware, he was still a bit frustrated about not claiming a maiden win, one of his goals for the season. Still, he added a strong 24 points to his tally, jumping from seventh to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Saturday went quite badly for Théo Pourchaire, at Budapest. The Frenchman was a collateral victim of a racing incident at the start of the Sprint Race: in order to avoid a collision, Pourchaire lost a lot of places in the process. He drove his heart out to recover to ninth, but he had no points to show for his efforts. Starting from fourth in the Feature Race, he made a strong getaway to slot in behind leader Marcus Armstrong. A perfectly timed and executed mandatory pitstop allowed the Frenchman to claim the net lead. At the flag, he took the win – his third this season – and 25 points.
Looking at the standings, Pourchaire has reduced the gap to leader Felipe Drugovich to 21 points. That’s the smallest gap between the two men since Round 3. After the race, Pourchaire revealed that 21 is his favourite and lucky number.
STRUGGLES FOR SOME
It was a weekend to forget for Logan Sargeant and Jehan Daruvala, with the American scoring a solitary point while the Indian driver left Budapest pointless. As a result, both men have lost ground in the Drivers’ Championship, and dropped to third and fifth respectively. Le Castellet and Budapest were challenging for the title contenders, and both will be looking for pace and a bit more luck after the summer break.
Meanwhile, Felipe Drugovich left Hungary a bit frustrated as P3 in Qualifying did not amount to more than 7 points across the two races. His comfortable lead in the Drivers’ Championship was cut by 18 points. He will be looking for more silverware and more solid points come the triple header.
ART GRAND PRIX EXTEND ITS LEAD
ART Grand Prix enjoyed another strong weekend last time out, thanks in part to rookie Frederik Vesti taking solid points in both races. This allowed the French squad to extend its lead over the closest rival in the Teams’ Championship. ART heads the Standings by 43 points, as Carlin overtook MP Motorsport. The British squad has one more point than the Dutch outfit.
Further down, Hitech Grand Prix passed PREMA Racing, who failed to score at Budapest whilst the British team claimed 28 points. Another close battle follows, with four points separating DAMS and Charouz System Racing. Both teams have displayed great speed in the past couple of rounds, especially DAMS’ Ayumu Iwasa. The Japanese driver claimed a maiden pole position at the Hungaroring and pocketed a fourth podium.