CEO Bruno Michel looks back at an eventful second round of the season and picks out his key topics from Jeddah.
Michel discussed Felipe Drugovich’s starring role in Round 2, Trident’s brilliant start to the season and the things you may have missed from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
AN ALMOST PERFECT WEEKEND
MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich starred in the second round of the 2022 season: the Brazilian was fastest in Free Practice and then went on to clinch pole position on Friday. On Saturday, he moved up from 10th on the reverse grid to third at the flag in the Sprint Race. The following day, he took a lights-to-flag victory in the Feature Race.
He scored an impressive 33 points in Jeddah and now heads the Drivers’ Standings, 11 points ahead of Liam Lawson. The Kiwi from Carlin claimed the Sprint Race win and looked to match Drugovich’s pace on Sunday, but a pit stop mishap meant that Lawson had to retire, thus missing a chance to challenge the Brazilian for the victory and the championship lead.
ON A ROLL
Richard Verschoor had another great weekend with his new team Trident at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Struggling for pace in an incident-filled Free Practice session, his team found the right set-up to go second quickest in Qualifying. Verschoor scored some precious points on Saturday and grabbed another podium finish in the Feature Race, keeping P2 ahead of PREMA Racing’s Jehan Daruvala.
With 22 points added to his tally, the Dutchman moves up to third in the Standings. He said he was surprised and utterly delighted to be on the podium again on Sunday. It is still very early in the season, but if he and Trident can keep this up, their presence on the podium could become a regular feature in 2022.
CONSISTENCY TRULY IS KEY
When you look at the Teams Standings, you will see that Hitech Grand Prix are top. And that’s without any poles or wins so far. The British squad have managed to score points with both cars on three occasions, with Jüri Vips finishing in points scoring positions in every single race.
The Estonian added a second podium to his 2022 tally in the Sprint Race in Jeddah, pipping Jake Hughes on the line for P2. Marcus Armstrong is yet to clinch silverware this season, but fifth place in both of the Feature Races has allowed him to help Hitech take the lead in the Teams Championship. Thanks to their consistency, Hitech are now three points ahead of MP Motorsport and five points ahead of Carlin.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF JACK DOOHAN AND VIRTUOSI RACING
It’s quite unusual to see Virtuosi Racing not featuring towards the top of the Standings. But after two rounds, they lie in 10th place, and that’s not due to a lack of pace, far from it!
Rookie Jack Doohan grabbed a maiden pole position in Bahrain and gave his all for P3 in Qualifying in Jeddah. But he is yet to clinch a first F2 podium. Last weekend, he was unfortunately disqualified from the Qualifying results for a technical infringement, and he had to start both races from last on the grid.
He collided with Logan Sargeant in the Sprint Race, but on Sunday, he charged to P9 at the flag, setting the quickest laptime along the way. That’s only three points added to his tally of a total of six. Given his pace and his racecraft, that’s nowhere near what he and Virtuosi deserve. They’ll be hoping that the tables turn for the European season, starting from Imola next month.
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED…
In the opening four races, we have had four different race winners from four different teams, with Trident’s Richard Verschoor, ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire, Carlin’s Liam Lawson and MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich claiming the top honours In Bahrain and Jeddah.
But only two other names and teams have stepped on the podiums as Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips and PREMA Racing’s Jehan Daruvala took silverware in both opening rounds of the 2022 season.
It will be interesting to see who will be adding their names to this list come the European races…