British racer Jake Hughes will make a full-time step up to Formula 2 in 2022, with Van Amersfoort Racing announcing that they have signed the 27-year-old.

The Dutch team are new for 2022 and ran Hughes on two out of three days at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, with the Briton finishing three out of four sessions in the top 10.

Hughes initially made his F2 debut with HWA RACELAB at Sochi in the 2020 season, finishing his maiden race in 12th. He returned for a second outing with the team at Monza in 2021, where he equalled this result.

Hughes remained with the German team at the following round in Sochi where he scored their best F2 finish, taking fourth in the opening Sprint Race. Logan Sargeant took his place for the penultimate round of the season at Jeddah, before Hughes returned for the season finale.

“I’m overly excited to be racing with VAR in 2022,” said Hughes. “During the post-season test at Abu-Dhabi it became clear to me that VAR takes this new challenge extremely serious. We are very much on the same level when it comes to vision and drive for success, making it a very pleasant environment to work in.

“I’m just very thankful to the team for putting their trust in me and providing the opportunity to work together. The F2 car is incredible to drive, and I look very much forward to compete in it for the full season. It will be a long and tough stretch, but I am eager to kick off the season soon in Bahrain!”

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Hughes drove for VAR at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi
Hughes drove for VAR at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi

Between appearances for HWA, Hughes spent his time dovetailing roles as a reverse driver for ROKiT Venturi Racing in Formula E and as a simulator driver for Mercedes’ Formula 1 and FE outfits.

Hughes enjoyed two years with HWA’s Formula 3 outfit, scoring three wins and eight podiums across 2019 and 2020.

“It is exciting to be able to make this first FIA F2 driver announcement!” said VAR CEO Rob Niessink. “We are extremely happy with Jake joining us for the FIA F2 Championship. We are standing on the brink of a great adventure for which we very much welcome the experience and maturity that Jake brings along.

“During the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Jake showed to be a highly motivated and professional team player. Jake’s accurate input and feedback already made an impact during testing, which helped the team to progress already in a very short time. His drive and dedication match ours, giving us great confidence for the season ahead!”