Trident had to wait a long time for their first Formula 2 win but clinched it emphatically in the season opener at Sakhir thanks to a dominant performance by second-year veteran Richard Verschoor and Team Manager Giacomo Ricci praised the Dutchman’s experience, adding that the win had given the team a “super boost and extra motivation.”
Up until last season, Trident had never taken an F2 podium, but the Italian squad have made great strides in the past 12 months, taking their first podium in Round 5 and their second in Round 7 – both courtesy of Bent Viscaal.
Verschoor’s win was the first time a Trident driver has stood on the top step in the second tier since Luca Ghiotto in the 2016 GP2 campaign, and Ricci was delighted that his team’s efforts were finally paying off.
“I have to say that it is a great feeling for us, for the entire team,” he said. “The car was extremely competitive today and we had very strong pace. The start was strong, it was very good, and Richard (Verschoor), I have to say, did a very, very good job.
It is a process, and it takes time, but already last year with (Bent) Viscaal, we showed some really strong pace in the races. We are working extremely hard in our new factory, and I am pleased that we can finally show the results of our work and the effort that the entire team is putting in.”
Starting from second on the reverse grid, Verschoor jumped polesitter Felipe Drugovich off the line, with the Brazilian suffering from a sluggish getaway and dropping down the order.
Verschoor had to see off challenges from Ralph Boschung and Jehan Daruvala during the race, with the Dutchman eventually crossing the line ahead of pre-season title favourites Daruvala and Liam Lawson after Boschung had dropped to P4.
Having only signed for Trident on the eve of pre-season testing after the best part of six seasons with MP Motorsport, Verschoor has swiftly adjusted to his new surroundings and Ricci waxed lyrical about his newest recruit.
“We don't forget that Richard won Macau,” Ricci continued. “For me, a driver who has won at Macau is a very good one. We know on our side that we need to use this opportunity with him, but so far, so good.
“He didn't make one mistake, he was always focused and he looked after the tyres. He was also managing the situation, because when Boschung was getting closer, he was able to pull a little bit away. Also, when Jehan was behind, we were able to keep the gap to him. I am extremely pleased with this result, and I am very happy for the whole team.
“For me, he is a driver with natural talent, whatever the car balance, he is able to adapt quite quickly. He is also always very calm on the radio during the race - so far at least! It is a pleasure for us to work with him”