Two podiums from a possible two is hardly a bad way to start your rookie Formula 2 campaign and Josep María Martí was very enthusiastic about his and Campos Racing’s start to 2024.

The Spaniard recaps his race weekend session by session, starting with a promising Free Practice for the outfit with teammate Isack Hadjar going quickest of all, to a tricky Qualifying and racing rebound in the Sprint and Feature events.

Rookies make their mark: Sakhir, What We Learned


“It was pretty straight forward. We ran different strategies, Isack Hadjar and I had a split strategy. It was all about trying to get confidence back in the car after the test. I think I ended up P7, Isack was P1, so I had really good data to look at and it was a good Practice ahead of Qualifying. Honestly, I was pretty confident going into Quali. I had a good feeling in the car and the car behaved quite well. So, I was ready for Qualifying.”

Martí finished seventh in Free Practice ahead of Qualifying
Martí finished seventh in Free Practice ahead of Qualifying


“Quali arrived and on the first run we went out quite late, with Hadjar and myself. Obviously, we were P1 and P2 at the time. I was two-hundredths behind Isack. To be honest I was pretty pleased with that lap at the time and then going into the second Quali run, I made a couple of mistakes, didn't really put the lap together. I struggled to find a bit of lap time in the car which there was, and unfortunately came just outside the top-10 on the reverse grid, but anyway it was a decent first Quali.

“To be honest I expected better. I was pretty disappointed in myself. I felt like I let the team down, I let my people down because I felt like the car was pretty strong and we could actually perform really well and obviously the sister car was in the top three. So that shows that the car was there, and it was just me lacking a bit of performance in Qualifying. Obviously, that motivated me going into Friday.”

Hitech Pulse-Eight: Hard work paid off after promising opening weekend in Sakhir


Martí came through the field from 11th to finish third in the Sprint Race
Martí came through the field from 11th to finish third in the Sprint Race

“Friday was a massive turnaround in the weekend. I didn't really expect too much but going into the race I knew we had really good pace in races from the test, but you never really expect to come through the field, especially in my first race like we did, from 11th to the podium. It was a really good race, we had a pretty decent start, to be honest I was quite surprised, I was not really sure about the start procedure going into the Sprint Race and the team made it really easy for me, and I had a really good start.

“I had a really good car underneath throughout the whole race, it also helped me manage the tyres really really well. Towards the end it gave me a big advantage on my rivals which, to be fair, I think was the biggest difference compared to the rest in that I could keep my tyres alive.

READ MORE: O’Sullivan happy with Feature Race points in early stages of 2024 season

"The car was always really driveable, really really easy to drive. That also gave me an extra two or three percent of knowing where I wanted to place the car, how I wanted to use my tyres. Then throughout the race when the deg started to kick in, I was able to keep my tyres under a bit longer and then obviously it turned out to be a good strategy as well throughout the race.

“I was really happy with the debut P3. It was a really nice moment; the team were really proud everyone was really happy. Obviously, the car showed pace so for them coming off a rough last year, it was a really good start of the year. I was really pleased with the result.”


Martí put a move on OSullivan twice to take second place in the Feature Race
Martí put a move on O'Sullivan twice to take second place in the Feature Race

“Going into Saturday I was very confident. I was not expecting a podium again, I knew that the circumstances were rather against me during the Sprint Race, so I wasn't really sure how the Feature was going to pan out. At the start, there was contact ahead of me, so I was able to sneak around and get up to fifth.

“Like on Friday, the car was really really nice. I was on the option tyre compared to the top four apart from Zane Maloney who was on the prime. We could more or less go through the field and then settled down in P2 before the first round of pitstops. It was a really solid first stint, I was really happy with the car and the balance and to be honest I was more thinking about trying to catch Zane rather than looking back.

HIGHLIGHTS: Maloney sweeps Sakhir weekend with Feature Race win

“I knew that the guys on the softs were going to be coming for us, but I wasn't that worried until the Safety Car came out again and that obviously bunched us all up. We knew that we were more or less at a disadvantage being on the prime tyre compared to the guys on the option. When the team asked me to drive past Zak O’Sullivan, I tried to do it instantaneously. I dive bombed him quite a bit into Turn 1 to obviously try to put a car in between myself and Paul Aron who was coming quite a bit.

“Towards the end of the race when it all settled down, I was pushing as hard as I could, but Zane was just a step ahead to be honest throughout the whole weekend. Rodin also had a really good car, and like myself, Zane had a bit of a step forward in tyre degradation as he was also alone for most of the race and having that clean air does benefit tyre management quite a lot and he did a faultless job. So, it was hard to catch him and obviously he came out with the win, and we came away with a really solid P2. So, it was a very positive rookie weekend.

“It was unexpected, it was a really solid start to the season, and I was really proud of the team for giving me such a good car and to work through the field like we did in both races, making up in total 17 places. It was also really rewarding to see the team really happy because they've worked really hard, and they deserve that. I felt like I was in charge a little bit of doing the job on Saturday after Isack had his unfortunate incident and I was really proud and happy to be able to bring home a good result.”

Martí praised the work done by his Campos team in Sakhir
Martí praised the work done by his Campos team in Sakhir

UP NEXT – Round two heads to Jeddah

“For me personally Jeddah is where the season really starts, Bahrain is a bit of an outstanding event in the year, in the year we have three days of test which we do not have elsewhere in the year and obviously it does give you a bit of a head start, especially for the rookies, to have that track time, have that knowledge in the car and that understanding of the car a little bit ahead of the weekend.

READ MORE: Maini aiming for Jeddah rebound after bittersweet Sakhir experience

“Going into Jeddah and Melbourne, which are the next two rounds, we more or less go in with a blindfold. It will definitely be a moment of trying to quickly understand the track, the car, how it behaves, how a really high-grip track actually is in reality and I’m looking forward to the weekend.

“I think that Jeddah can be really tough for us, especially for me, I've never been here compared to all the F2 guys from last year, all the repeaters. So, they are obviously going to have a little bit of a head start going into Free Practice. For me it's a matter of trying to maximise the track time in Free Practice and trying to be prepared for Qualifying which is especially very important here in Jeddah.”