All the action you see on track in Formula 2 is just a small part of the hard work, dedication and effort teams put in race in race out. From managers to mechanics and engineers and all in-between, teamwork is essential in motorsport.
As part of our new series, we’re going to be shining a light on one longstanding figure who works across both the F2 and F3 paddock, whose multi-tasking work behind the scenes has been crucial to the Campos Racing family for over two decades. It’s time to meet their team coordinator, Javier Bono.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT’S YOUR POSITION WITH THE TEAM?
“I’m Javier Bono and my job at Campos Racing is the team coordinator. I also drive their F2 truck, and I organise the logistics of both teams across F2 and F3. My job means I book all the flights, hotels and rental cars. I also take care of the catering carts, what the guys need, where we have lunch, travelling to and from the race weekends and getting our passes - I help everyone a little bit.
“I’ve also been part of the pit stop crew for many, many years on the rear jack.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THAT ROLE?
“I’ve worked in motorsport all my life, and I’ve been working with Adrian Campos and Adrian Campos Jr for almost 22 years. I’m the second most veteran member of the team. Before this, I worked in the Motorbike World Championship (MotoGP), also in logistics with a Spanish team called Aspar. I started with a friend in the motorbike world, where I was also a truck driver and a cook when we had catering. Adrian asked me to work with him 21 years ago and I’ve stuck with him until now.
“When Campos did their Formula 1 project, I was with them and HRT for the season. It was hard, but it was a good experience. I can say that I was in an F1 team for one season, but I prefer F2. In Formula 2, you are more part of the team, it’s like a family. More or less, all my life has been in motorsport and travelling around. I travel a lot, too much!”
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT FACTORS YOU NEED IN YOUR ROLE?
“Organising everything! Making sure that the guys are happy with the hotel and the flights. Also, not making any mistakes like for example, one guy arriving at the hotel, and they don’t have a room booked. Ensuring that the running of all things is going well.”
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE RACE WEEKEND LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
“For me, the pit stop is the most important. I like it because you are part of the race when you’re in the pit stop crew. I think I’m the heaviest in the crew! I’m the rear jack, so I wait for the car to pass in front of me and then I use the rear jack to lift the car up. Then, when the two rear tyre gunners raise their hands, I release the car.
“It’s difficult to get a pit stop right. It’s also not the same when we test it to how it is during the race because in the race you are nervous and when the car is in front of you, you’re even more nervous. Or when there are a lot of cars coming together, the position in the middle lane starts to get a bit tricky. The most important thing is to not make a big mistake. Nothing changes if the pit stop is four, five or six seconds, but you don’t want to make a big mistake.”
IS THERE ANY PREPARATION YOU HAVE TO DO AHEAD OF A WEEKEND?
“It’s difficult to organise everyone, even more so after the pandemic. It’s more difficult to find good flights, good hotels, sometimes we are travelling with 45 people.
“This isn’t easy. Sometimes, I receive a call at the last moment asking ‘Javi, at what time is my flight?’ I can’t remember but let me check it.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE TOUGHEST ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
“Dealing with bad results. When the team are in front and there’s an accident or they break the car, it’s hard. Now I think after having a lot of experiences I understand this, but many years ago when I started, it was very difficult to understand. Sometimes you are in front and in a split second, there’s an accident and your life changes because you have a lot of work ahead of you, and the result is bad. It’s hard to understand and the races are not easy like people see on TV, it’s hard work.
“Also, we finish late on Saturday and start early on Sunday, so the weekend is always hard and I’m getting older (laughs)!”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
“I love the competition, the feeling. I don’t understand the people who are working in this world without loving the competition. I love the pit stops, the strategy, being in the race from inside the pit lane. I don’t like the days before and the days after, I like to stay in the race.
“All the team feel like it’s a family, for me even more so. I knew our Team Principal and owner Adrian Campos Jr when he was a child and I’ve been by his side all his life. My son is 20 years old and is studying mechanical engineering – when he was born, I was already at Campos...”
ANY FUNNY STORIES FROM YOUR TIME WITH THE TEAM SO FAR?
"I have a lot! A lot of them happened after the season is finished and when we have some time to stay together without the pressure of racing, and we can make stories. For example, after the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, we stayed in Amsterdam for a few days ahead of Zandvoort. We had a great time.”