The third and final flyaway to kick off the 2024 campaign is in the books and the bigger picture is beginning to take shape. Rodin Motorsport and Zane Maloney head back to Europe with the lead in both Championships intact, while the identity of their closest challengers continues to evolve race by race.

Here is how the 2024 Formula 2 season is looking after Melbourne and how each team faired Down Under.


After three Rounds, Rodin Motorsport head up both Championship tables after another weekend in which they looked competitive, even if they weren’t outright quickest. Zane Maloney added a third podium in six races with P3 in the Feature Race, while rookie teammate Ritomo Miyata went back-to-back with two fifth place finishes in Melbourne to rise into the top 10.

The Japanese driver is making great progress at the start of his Formula 2 career and has gone from strength to strength with each appearance in the car. Maloney continues to prove his credentials as a true title contender, displaying the familiar wheel-to-wheel prowess he’s shown on his journey up the single seater pyramid. What will please Rodin most is that they are picking up points even when victory is out of reach, the kind of form that makes Champions. If they’re quick again around Imola, rivals are likely to have a tough time dislodging them from atop the Teams’ Standings.

READ MORE: Miyata praises ‘supportive’ Rodin after scoring P5 finish in Melbourne Feature Race


Hadjar is riding high after his weekend in Australia winner on the road twice even if he lost his Sprint win to a post-race penalty
Hadjar is riding high after his weekend in Australia, winner on the road twice even if he lost his Sprint win to a post-race penalty

Isack Hadjar crossed the line first in both races last weekend but despite losing the Sprint win to a post-race penalty, the Frenchman was feeling great about his weekend, and rightly so. A tough 2023 campaign followed a year in which Hadjar had been a front-runner in F3, fighting for the title in 2022. It was a return to form for the Red Bull Junior Team driver, and that kind of result can drive even greater performances going forward.

Teammate Josep María Martí remains inside the top 10 in the Championship but didn’t enjoy quite the same experience in Australia. Both have been quick though and have helped Campos Racing show their potential at the start of this season. The team has clearly adapted very well to the new 2024 car, with both drivers happy with their pace at this stage in the year. The goal will now be to maintain their high level as the Championship goes into its next phase and the run of European races beginning with Imola.

RACE ANALYSIS: The moves that made Isack Hadjar’s Melbourne Feature victory


Paul Aron leads the way in the race for top rookie, second in the Drivers’ Championship but on top of the highly-rated rookie class of 2024. The Estonian has taken three podiums from a possible six races and displayed a great understanding of how to be quick in Formula 2 despite his relative inexperience. Another great display in the Feature Race in Melbourne was rewarded with P2 on Sunday, with a double overtake on Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Taylor Barnard at Turn 11 the highlight. Had Aron cleared traffic a little bit sooner, he may well have been able to take the fight to Hadjar for victory.

Teammate Amaury Cordeel has certainly made improvements from last year. The Belgian driver had a great weekend in Jeddah, and clearly took confidence from Round 2 with him to Australia. While he couldn’t add points to his tally, missing out on P10 in the Feature by one spot, his start to 2024 has been much more promising, and he will be looking to continue making steps forward. Hitech Pulse-Eight look to be back on form in F2 and have every reason to believe they can catch Rodin in the upcoming rounds.

READ MORE: Paul Aron’s Melbourne Weekend in His Words


His Australian weekend ended on a low point, but Dennis Hauger has been hugely impressive so far in 2024. The Norwegian looks a lot more comfortable this season and his performances have reflected a driver who is operating at a higher level than previously in F2. He made it three consecutive podiums after taking second in the Sprint Race and had been contending for race victory at the moment he went off the track at Turn 6 in the Feature. He won’t want to make a habit of that error, but he is finally showing the levels of performance that took him to the F3 crown back in 2021.

MP Motorsport teammate Franco Colapinto is still learning in comparison, as his rookie campaign has been up and down since Round 1. He did well to finish the Feature Race in the points after taking an impressive fourth in the Sprint before post-race disqualification befell him and wiped away a P10 finish. He will be aiming to soak up as much information as possible at the in-season test at Barcelona before the next race weekend at Imola, a venue he secured a Feature Race win around back in Formula 3.


Mainis race pace looked very impressive before Safety Car intervention took the race in a different direction
Maini's race pace looked very impressive before Safety Car intervention took the race in a different direction

Invicta Racing once again looked to be very quick, with one lap pace especially impressive as shown by Kush Maini earning P4 and Gabriel Bortoleto ninth feeling like he had more in the tank with his lap. The Brazilian’s start to 2024 has been somewhat blighted by misfortune, his start line contact in the Sprint with Martí the latest example of that. The reigning Formula 3 Champion is better than his P12 in the Drivers’ Championship suggests, and three consecutive retirements will need to be compensated for in the upcoming races. The McLaren Development Driver talent is more than capable of doing so.

Maini had just taken the lead after an impressive first stint in the Feature Race as he overhauled Hauger prior to the pitstop phase kicking off and subsequent Safety Car. It was the inverse of Jeddah, where as the stint wore on, so too did his tyres. The team arguably had the best race pace in that first portion of Sunday’s race, and it would have been intriguing to see what the Alpine Academy driver would have done on the Medium tyres without the Safety Car intervention. If the Norfolk-based squad combines impressive one-lap speed with even better race pace, they’re looking strong heading to Round 4 at Imola.

HIGHLIGHTS: Hadjar takes Melbourne Feature Race victory in style


After Enzo Fittipaldi led the way for Van Amersfoort Racing in Jeddah, teammate Rafael Villagómez was worth every bit of his P7 finish in Melbourne, rebounding from an earlier error to secure valuable points in the Feature Race. A snap of oversteer at Turn 12 left the Mexican rookie down in 12th position on Lap 18, but he recomposed himself to stay trouble free in the remaining laps to earn the second scoring result of his rookie campaign.

Fittipaldi’s weekend was less successful, but the Brazilian has enjoyed higher peaks to start the season than 12 months ago, with two podiums already on his record in 2024. Ensuring both he and Villagómez continue to make early season progress will give the team a strong platform ahead of a busy summer period, which has helped both in the early phase of this year.


Crawford fought back from his Qualifying crash to score in the Feature Race in Melbourne
Crawford fought back from his Qualifying crash to score in the Feature Race in Melbourne

Despite a tough weekend Down Under for Jak Crawford, the American remains just seven points from the top five in the Drivers’ Championship. An error in Qualifying had big consequences as he was left to fight from the rear of the pack following a crash in the latter stages. From 22nd on the grid, the Aston Martin Driver Development talent raced through the pack to ninth on Saturday, missing out on points by one spot and under a second. He then utilised the alternative strategy to fight back for a point and the fastest lap bonus in the Feature, a demonstration of his speed and skills. Having started the year in a strong position, he can build from this going forward.

Teammate Juan Manuel Correa has endured a tougher opening to the 2024 campaign, struggling in Melbourne once again. The team look poised to be a strong package for the remainder of the year, but there will be a lot of work ongoing as they seek to recapture their speed displayed during testing and both Rounds 1 and 2.


Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s P2 in Qualifying was an ominous result given that it was only the Italian’s third F2 Qualifying session in his career. Teammate Oliver Bearman had been poised to improve up the order also, but was denied by yellow flags, forcing him to ease off on his final effort. Still, PREMA’s speed was looking much better than it did in Sakhir, and they appear to have recovered from their stumble at the start of the year pace-wise.

The races didn’t quite unfold in the same manner though, with driver errors from both impacting their results in the Sprint and Feature Races, though fourth position for Antonelli on Sunday means he is just 10 points from P4 in the Drivers' Championship. Bearman is still fighting an uphill battle to recover from the Jeddah races he missed, having looked so strong there. With in-season testing coming up, expect PREMA to dial out any remaining issues and to be back to firing on all cylinders come Imola.

READ MORE: Antonelli taking positives but disappointed to miss out on Melbourne Feature Race podium


Roman Stanek became a winner in Formula 2 following the post-Sprint penalty for Hadjar, but the Trident driver was well worth his victory after some stout defensive driving. Having lost the lead of the race at the start to the Campos driver, Stanek was resolute in keeping P2, managing to keep Maini, Antonelli, Aron and teammate Richard Verschoor at bay following the early Safety Car. In the closing laps, he placed his car perfectly to keep hold of second, putting himself in situ to profit from Hadjar’s time penalty.

Verschoor was perhaps unfortunate to spin out of the Sprint himself after Antonelli’s simultaneous pirouette at Turn 12, but the Dutchman rebounded to add more points to his tally on Sunday. He too looks to be a driver who is in a strong position compared to where he found himself one year ago, and the experienced head kept himself out of trouble when the biggest points of the weekend were on offer. Trident will take that into testing and Imola, a venue Stanek has tasted success around before, winning with the Italian outfit back in Formula 3 in 2022.

READ MORE: Trident trending in the ‘right direction’ after positive Melbourne weekend says Ricci


It has been a tough start to 2024 for ART Grand Prix but the upcoming in-season test is a chance to reset
It has been a tough start to 2024 for ART Grand Prix but the upcoming in-season test is a chance to reset

It certainly hasn’t been the start to 2024 that the reigning Formula 2 Teams’ Champions were expecting. ART Grand Prix find themselves last but one in the Standings and suffered another tough weekend in Melbourne. Victor Martins’ spin in Qualifying left him with a salvage job from the back of the grid, while teammate Zak O’Sullivan fared slightly better, ending up 11th on the grid and just missing out on reverse grid pole. Martins’ electric starts in both the Sprint and Feature Races put him in contention for points, and the team were able to take three from Saturday’s race before the Alpine Academy driver added another four on Sunday.

Seven points in total was not the objective arriving in Melbourne, and there is a lot of work for the French outfit to go through ahead of Imola. Three days of testing in Barcelona will be a welcome relief as they seek to rectify the early season issues that have hampered their 2024 campaign so far. Like PREMA seem to have done, ART will surely unlock speed over season, but it needs to come sooner rather than later.


It was another tough weekend for PHM AIX Racing, but around what was the second street venue out of three rounds so far this season, both rookies were up against it all things considered. Joshua Duerksen and teammate Taylor Barnard have been learning the F2 ropes as quickly as they can, and the wheel-to-wheel fights they have been involved in will have done some good, even if they haven’t found the points just yet.

A return to Europe and circuits that both are far more familiar with will be a boost in confidence, as will the prospect of another three days of testing to further acclimatise to their new car. Barnard’s 2023 campaign took off in Barcelona in Formula 3, and the Briton was also very quick around Imola during the in-season test there with F3 last season. Duerksen also has plenty of experience he can draw upon around the upcoming venues. The only way is up for the PHM AIX outfit.