It has been a strong start to the 2024 season for Campos Racing, with the Spanish outfit taking the most recent Feature Race honours, courtesy of Isack Hadjar’s Melbourne victory.

But the team has shown no signs of letting up, finishing the in-season test as the ones to beat. The Frenchman’s 1:23.139 was comfortably the fastest time of the week around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

For Team Principal Adrián Campos Jr, who has overseen the impressive campaign to this point, the result at testing was not the most pleasing aspect, instead it is the fact that his team are carrying their strong form into the next phase of the season.

“Obviously, we can't complain. With it being a new car, our main focus was not on setting quick laptimes, but just to learn things and try as many things as we could, and this is what we achieved.

“We learned a lot and it was one of these tests that you cannot believe how well with everything went, everything was fine. We had no issues, drivers were driving very well, and most of the things that we were trying were positive.

“So, I think that the technical stuff, we did a good job preparing during the test, and it was very successful. We’re looking forward to the next races.”

A circuit that is heavy on tyre degradation and two street tracks thus far has made reading into the competitive order a tricky task. But around a more conventional circuit in Barcelona, the team looked every bit as competitive as they had done in the three rounds prior.

Hadjar enjoyed his best F2 weekend to date in Melbourne winning the Feature Race around Albert Park
Hadjar enjoyed his best F2 weekend to date in Melbourne, winning the Feature Race around Albert Park

Asked whether the strong start to 2024 impacted their test, Campos Jr stated that he believed so, adding that their work over the three days was an extension of how strong the team has started the year.

“I think so because we can't complain about how the season has started. The season started well, but it could have been a lot better. We had a lot of bad luck, and we hope that we already had all the bad luck for the whole season.

“And in these test days, we saw the performance that we can achieve. There have been, for example, I think Maloney was one step ahead of everyone in Sakhir, but he wasn't in the next races. At least that isn't what we saw.

“We have a very strong team in every department and we are starting to see this in the results”

“But for us, we have been constantly in with a chance to be on the podium if everything was working well, in all the races. So, this is why I'm so happy with the team. They did a good job of being able to fight for the top spots regularly and this is what we're hoping for going into the rest of the season.”

Campos Jr says that the team has continued to progress in every area year after year, and that in 2024 it has been hugely satisfying to witness having put the right structures in place that has allowed the team to thrive.

The team were quickest at testing topping two of the three days in Barcelona
The team were quickest at testing, topping two of the three days in Barcelona

Ensuring personnel have been given the right tools and the right working environment to achieve the maximum is what the Team Principal says has made the difference this time around.

“I think that the team has been improving a lot in the last in the last few years. We have a very strong team in every aspect, in every department and we are starting to see this in the results.

“At the beginning of this year, I wanted to give each person in the team the responsibility of what they do best. This was the main thing for me, to give the people the space to do what they are most talented at doing. This is what we have done.

“On the technical side, each person is good in one particular aspect especially, and they take care of that. So, this, together with the incredibly talented people in the team, is why we are starting to see the results on track. We have very strong drivers, and they are also another reason why we are delivering good results.”

READ MORE: Hadjar: Campos Racing improving with every lap in 2024

That is also true of the drivers, with both Hadjar and Josep María Martí achieving podiums already at this early stage of the campaign. Campos Jr says that while he and the team have to work to get the maximum from themselves, they also have to provide the right environment for the drivers in order for them to reach their best.

Trust is a pivotal aspect in this respect, with the Spanish team boss adding that isn’t just the case for drivers either.

“One of the most important things regarding the drivers, they need to feel at home, and they need to trust the people that work with them, and those people need to trust them.

“Once we have all of those points, they can perform at the maximum. So, while a part of it comes from taking the maximum out of the cars, we are also focused on this in order to get the maximum of the drivers, which is also extremely important.”

Martí has taken to the podium twice already in his rookie campaign and feels very at home at the team
Martí has taken to the podium twice already in his rookie campaign and feels very at home at the team

Heading to Imola, Campos Jr’s squad sits second in the Teams’ Standings, 18 points behind current leaders Rodin Motorsport and just three ahead of Hitech Pulse-Eight in third.

Reigning Champions ART Grand Prix find themselves down in 10th place at the moment, while familiar foes PREMA Racing are just ahead in eighth although both are expected to fight back in the upcoming races.

Five teams have taken race victories so far across six races, and the 2024 campaign is continuing to shape into one of the most intriguing in recent memory.

TEST NOTEBOOK: What happened during testing in Barcelona?

Asked whether the 2024 season feels more open than previous years, Campos Jr says he believes it is, adding that even if he and his team are performing well, there is no favourite even at this phase of the campaign.

“I think so. It's been good racing and there have been different drivers on the podium in every race, different contenders together with us. It means that there is no favourite driver at this moment. The championship is still very open, this is very nice, and if it continues like this until the end of the season, we have a chance to be in there come the end.

“We were the quickest and the second quickest, but I don't think that means we will always be P1 and P2. Around different types of tracks we are also competitive. We have been to four tracks now and we have been quick around all of them. “So, the main thing for the rest of the season is that around another type of track, we are competitive, and we remain as competitive for the rest of the season.”