It was a stellar weekend to kick the 2023 season off for Campos Racing across the board. Victory in the Formula 2 and 3 Sprint Races was followed by a double-points finish courtesy of F2’s newest race winner, Ralph Boschung.
For both team and driver, it was a long overdue achievement according to Team Principal Adrian Campos Jr. Boschung, who after 96 races in the Championship finally stood atop the podium, has stuck with the team through plenty of challenges over the years.
Campos Jr pointed to his loyalty and positive attitude throughout as key reasons behind his and the team’s success in Bahrain. The Swiss driver’s win was the team’s first since 2019, a spell during which the team experienced loss, ill fortune and transformation.
“This weekend is the dream that all the team has been working for over the years,” Campos Jr began. “We’ve been through really difficult times, with a lot of bad luck, but we really deserved a weekend like this. To have it on the first race weekend of our 25th anniversary season - with Ralph, his first ever race win in F2, he did it driving with the helmet design of my father which is something very special. I’m sure he was driving with Ralph.
“I cannot be any more happy. We are leading the Teams’ Standings. OK, it’s only the first round but it’s always better to start like this. I want to congratulate Kush as well. He did an amazing job, finished both races in the points. He lost the podium in the last two laps but still, he had a great Qualifying and a great weekend, we cannot ask for anymore. Very proud of everyone in the team.”
The timing of the win was poignant as Campos Jr points out, and no one more than Boschung understands just what it meant to capture the first win under the leadership of the eponymous team owner’s son-turned-leader.
“It’s everything to get that win with him. Last year, everyone saw our potential. We were top five in the Teams’ Standings until Ralph had the injury, and then we dropped. Having a rookie next to him with no reference for the rest of the tracks, it was extremely difficult. It was difficult for Ralph too to sit at home watching everyone racing and improving. The last year made this weekend even more special.
“It was amazing, I couldn’t hold back my tears yesterday, it was such a special day. I’m really proud of Ralph, he’s part of the family. When my father passed away, he kept the trust in the team. That was special. To have his best race weekend with my father’s race helmet design, it’s something really special.”
It wasn’t only Boschung’s victory that was the bright spot. The team took the lead of the Teams’ Standings ahead of Round 2 and Jeddah as the only team to score points in both Sakhir races.
Rookie Kush Maini claimed P7 in the Sprint and fourth in the Feature Race, a solid opening gambit in his maiden F2 campaign. For Campos Jr, his strong results don’t come as a surprise. Since Maini stepped into the Campos car, his potential has been clear to see within the team. It was unlocking that pace that was the target in 2023, and one the Spanish outfit appears to have met in this very early phase of the year.
“I am extremely happy for Kush. He was one of those drivers that was quite underrated. We knew that from the first time he was in the car. We saw the data, we saw his driving skills and we said ‘OK, this is going to be very interesting.’ He showed everyone in this paddock and watching the races his potential. He showed how quick he is, how quickly he can adapt to this Championship and he’s going to give a hard time to a lot of experienced drivers this year. I’m very happy for him and proud of what he’s done.”
Of course, a win in Round 1 does not make Campos Racing Champions-elect, and the team’s boss has his feet firmly planted on the ground. Capitalising on this strong form though will go a long way to helping Campos later in the year.
Taking every opportunity as it arises will continue to be the objective for the team. There will not be any unrealistic targets set solely on the results of the Sakhir race weekend either says Campos Jr.
“We are not thinking about the Championship yet, it’s the first Round of 14. All the race weekends aren’t going to be like this, it would be nice but it’s not going to happen. We will just do our best each weekend, try and bring home as many points as possible and, when we get the chance, take advantage of it. If we can win a race then we will try to win, if we can only be in the top five then we will understand it and bring the points home.”