The grid heads to Monza this weekend for the final leg of a dramatic triple-header that has shaped the season for many drivers.
CEO Bruno Michel dives into the main talking points from Zandvoort and looks ahead to Monza, the penultimate round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season.
ONE HAND ON THE TROPHY
It’s not over until it’s over, but we can’t ignore the fact that Felipe Drugovich could claim the F2 crown by Saturday this weekend. His 2022 season has been quite exceptional so far, with four pole positions, five wins and nine podium places, adding four fastest laps for good measure. His level of performance and consistency has been remarkable so far. I believe he’s shown that he is ready for Formula 1, and should there be an opportunity, I really hope that he will be called to make the step-up. Until then, let’s see what happens in Monza and if the Brazilian can seal the title with one round to spare.
THE ROOKIES STAR IN ZANDVOORT
Although they did not claim the top stop in Qualifying or either race, the rookies still featured quite high at Zandvoort, starting from Friday. Championship leader Felipe Drugovich snatched pole position, but Jack Doohan and Logan Sargeant went second and third quickest, respectively. In the Sprint race, while Marcus Armstrong took the win, two rookies completed the podium, starting with Clément Novalak in P2, who finally claimed some silverware amidst a challenging first F2 season. In third, Dennis Hauger was back on the podium after three scoreless rounds. The reigning F3 Champion was one place short for a double podium in the Netherlands, with P4 in the Feature Race. It was Ayumu Iwasa who enjoyed some champagne on Sunday, with third, and claimed a fifth podium in his rookie season.
Unfortunately, Doohan and Sargeant failed to score in the Feature Race, but should they carry their speed to Monza this week, I expect them to achieve strong results. They are both still third and fourth in the Standings, the American 11 points ahead of the Australian.
HIGHLIGHTS OF ROUND 12
Richard Verschoor was back on the podium in the Feature Race, on home soil, taking second place to the orange army’s delight. The Dutch fans were doubly happy on Sunday as Drugovich claimed the win at the wheel of the MP Motorsport car.
Local team Van Amersfoort Racing was also pleased to see its driver Amaury Cordeel take his first Championship points. The learning curve has been steep for the rookie, but for the past few rounds, he seems to have adapted better to the category.
THE TEAMS’ TITLE CHASE IS WIDE OPEN
MP Motorsport are back on top, overtaking ART Grand Prix and Carlin in the Standings, following a strong performance in front of their home crowd: pole position, P2 with Novalak on Saturday and a win for Drugovich on Sunday. The Dutch team has been in the running for the F2 title since the early stages of the season. Meanwhile, closest rivals in ART and Carlin will be licking their wounds ahead of Monza after a difficult round in Holland, where they pocketed two and six points respectively. Only 20 points separate MP from Carlin, in third.
Hitech Grand Prix and PREMA Racing are in tow, still aiming at a top three finish, with a total of 178 points still on offer until the season finale at Abu Dhabi. But first, the paddock sets up camp at Monza this week, a track where anything can happen…