The gap in the Drivers’ Championship fell to just a single point at one stage during the Budapest weekend, but heading to Spa-Francorchamps, Frederik Vesti built himself a cushion once more.

The pursuing pack is beginning to close up though, with familiar faces joined by a resurgent Jack Doohan along with starring rookie, Victor Martins.


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Frederik Vesti continues to show his consistency and class this season, maintaining the top spot after it looked as though he might be overhauled heading towards the summer break. The Dane was scoreless in the Sprint but thanks to a late race overtake by teammate Oliver Bearman on Championship rival Théo Pourchaire, he remained just one point in front going into Sunday. From there, while he wasn’t able to challenge race winner Doohan, he did what he had to and added yet another podium finish to his 2023 record to once again put a gap between him and his pursuers.

Bearman has been struggling to match his form from earlier in the season, but he did capture a third-place finish in the Sprint, his first podium visit since the Barcelona Feature Race. Unrelenting in wheel-to-wheel battle, it makes for exciting viewing, but the Ferrari Academy driver will need to keep things clean and secure high points finishes in order to help PREMA Racing out in the Teams’ Standings.


Podium number seven for Victor Martins in 2023, a figure only matched by Championship contending teammate Théo Pourchaire and current leader, Vesti. It was another impressive weekend by the Frenchman, securing a front row after narrowly being denied three consecutive poles by Doohan. In the races, he secured points and kept himself in contention heading to Spa-Francorchamps. It was also his 10th consecutive points scoring finish, currently the longest such streak in F2. The early season rough patch is a distant memory now.

On the other side of the ART Grand Prix garage, Pourchaire will be disappointed to not have closed the gap further to Vesti. During the Feature Race, he had been battling with his direct rival, but unable to pass the Danish driver. Attempting to pass Martins at Turn 4 was a touch ambitious, and it effectively marked the turning point in Budapest as Isack Hadjar benefitted immediately to pass Pourchaire, and Vesti disappeared up the road. The ART duo’s points have moved the French outfit level with PREMA Racing though and on current form, they’re arguably the stronger of the two teams right now.


It was a strong race by Ayumu Iwasa as the DAMS driver refuses to be counted out in the title stakes. P2 and fastest lap in the Sprint Race meant he scored as many points as race winner Dennis Hauger, crucially out-scoring Vesti who failed to find the points on Saturday. On Sunday, while Vesti made up for his blank in the Sprint, Iwasa was ferocious on the alternate strategy and hit the tyres when it mattered to scythe past Pourchaire in the latter stages. P4 limited the damage from Qualifying, after he ended up behind both his rivals in P6. Fix the Friday speed and the only way is up for Ayumu.

Arthur Leclerc’s Sprint ended early after contact, and he struggled to make up the pace deficit in the Feature Race also. The Monégasque has been in a tough spot for a few rounds, but both drivers and team have work to do in order to close the pace differential between themselves and ART and PREMA ahead.


More points for Enzo Fittipaldi in the Feature Race was as good as it got for Rodin Carlin in Budapest. The British outfit has been struggling to replicate the form of 2022 all season and the weekend at the Hungaroring was no different. Zane Maloney couldn’t carry on his momentum from a Silverstone Feature Race podium, ending up outside the points in both races.

Both drivers couldn’t make it inside the top 10 which, around a circuit that is particularly difficult to overtake at, cost them better results. Winners in 2022 around Spa-Francorchamps in the hands of Liam Lawson, Rodin Carlin will be targeting a repeat this season at a critical point ahead of the summer break.


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It’s been a while but MP Motorsport are race winners again in Formula 2. Dennis Hauger controlled things from the front in the Sprint Race to secure his first rostrum visit since his win in Melbourne earlier in the season. The Norwegian was happy to have taken a race victory, but the performances of 2022 seem a distant memory. The team is fully capable of better results but could the Budapest weekend be the springboard the Dutch outfit needed to return to the top?

Jehan Daruvala was solid in the Sprint Race on the way to a P5 finish on Saturday. The Indian driver hasn’t had much to shout about since P2 in the Monte Carlo Sprint Race but like Hauger, he looked to be a little more comfortable with things, but both agree that Qualifying performances are where the focus needs to be for the remaining rounds. Fix that and both should be back fighting around the top of the points for podiums.


Jack Doohan returned to winning ways, only the second driver to achieve a grand chelem victory in a Formula 2 Feature Race. It was a dominant drive on Sunday and what everyone was expecting from him in 2023. Finally in a place where he feels he can extract the maximum, he left rivals well adrift after setting a perfectly-timed pole lap and driving off into the distance on Sunday. The Australian took a huge leap up the standings and he could be a major force in the remaining rounds if he keeps that kind of performance up.

Invicta Virtuosi Racing teammate Amaury Cordeel has a stronger benchmark at which to aim for, as the Belgian driver heads to his home event around Spa-Francorchamps. Last year, it was the first race in a late-season surge of elevated form. He will be targeting the same in 2023 to lift himself up the standings.


Juan Manuel Correa put in a standout performance to achieve a points finish from P15 on the grid. Not an easy task around somewhere like the Hungaroring, and the Van Amersfoort Racing driver got his work done early and efficiently. Heading into Turn 1, Correa opted for the outside line and made up five positions with one move. Holding on to P9 ahead of teammate Richard Verschoor, it was a solid Sunday effort from the pair after finishing outside the top 10 in Qualifying.

There is more to come from VAR if they can fix up Qualifying speed, a problem for them all year long. The team has been up and down so far in 2023, but the race pace has been something that both drivers are satisfied with. Starting further forward would give both Verschoor and Correa a shot at better points finishes.


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Campos Racing have something of a Jekyll and Hyde car. On Friday, the car is flying, particularly in the hands of Kush Maini who has extracted plenty of potential in it for lofty starting positions on the grid. Come Sunday though, it falls apart a bit. Race pace and tyre management in particular around the Hungaroring destroyed Maini and Campos’ hopes of a better finish. The Indian driver put in a great performance on Saturday to hold onto a points’ finish with the level of wear he did, but it’ll still sting to have missed out on more on Sunday following an elbows-out fight with Jak Crawford and spin on the final lap.

Ralph Boschung will be hoping his experience begins to pay dividends in the final rounds of the season. The Swiss made his return from injury in 2022 at Spa-Francorchamps and finished third on his first race back. Any form of repeat would be a welcome result.


Isack Hadjar was much more like himself at the weekend, on it from the word go in Budapest. He secured a solid fifth position in Qualifying and was up there fighting with the Championship contenders in the Feature Race too. It was also the first round in which the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver has scored points in both races across a single weekend. Heading to familiar circuits in Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, there’s a lot to be positive about in the Hadjar camp.

Teammate Jak Crawford struggled a little bit more. Unable to reach the top 10 in Qualifying, he was unable to make progress in the Sprint and Feature Races. It was unfortunate too as it was just the second time in the past seven rounds in which he has failed to score a single point.


A crash early on in the weekend for Roman Stanek all but set the tone for Trident’s weekend in Budapest. The Czech driver was able to mount a fightback from P22 on the grid in both races, finishing 16th and 14th in the Sprint and Feature Races respectively. On Sunday in particular, it was a drive that went a little under the radar, finishing three seconds off P10, making him the biggest mover of the race. Next up, a track at which he was a podium finisher in Formula 3.

It's been a messy few rounds for Clément Novalak. A double DNF across the Budapest weekend was not what the Frenchman needed as he aims to secure more points in 2023. Eager to move on, Spa was one of the races that he scored at last year. Any form of repeat would be welcome to arrest the dip in form.


What PHM Racing by Charouz needs is a positive Qualifying session. Roy Nissany has been able to go forward in the races but if he can start further up the order, points are not impossible for Formula 2’s newest team. Teammate Brad Benavides knows all bar one of the remaining ciruits on the calendar, so he will be aiming for some personal progression too ahead of the season break for the summer.