Ralph Boschung is already a step ahead in his preparations for the new campaign, having made his racing return earlier than expected in the Formula 2 season finale at Sakhir last December.

The Swiss driver has spent a year away from full-time racing and was set to debut on the 18-inch tyres in post-season testing ahead of his racing return to the Championship with Campos Racing in 2021.

Instead, Jack Aitken’s Formula 1 call-up with Williams handed Boschung the chance to clamber into the car earlier than expected, and he believes this experience will be invaluable when he eventually does turn full-time.

“A race weekend is worth more than three days of testing and it was very, very important for me for sure,” he explained. “I think that it can make quite a big difference because I got to start working earlier than expected with the team, especially with the 18-inch tyres which I have never driven before. Any sort of mileage that I can get, the better.”

Boschung, who previously drove for Campos in 2017, returns with plenty of experience in F2, but with little knowledge of those 18-inch tyres which were first introduced ahead of the 2020 season. With the experience of an additional round under his belt, it’s a task that Boschung is relishing.

“The new tyres were a challenge,” he continued. “I think that as a driver, you need to be more cautious and you’ve got more management to do.

“For the team, it is be a bit of a headache, but a good headache, because that is what racing is about: finding solutions to these challenges.

“I know them from 2017, although it is a different structure with different people. But they are really amazing and they work really hard. I am looking forward to racing with them.”

The Swiss did admit that a return to F2 was not previously on the cards, but he welcomed the change of plans and was itching to get back into the paddock.