CEO Bruno Michel looks back at Formula 2's weekend at Silverstone and what was an intriguing round.
There is plenty to get into, including reviewing the latest winners in F2, the Championship fight and the massive safety improvements that enabled a safe race weekend.
Carlin had an incredible weekend at Silverstone. On Friday, it claimed pole position in both Formula 2 and Formula 3, with Logan Sargeant going quickest in F2. The American sealed a maiden pole in commanding fashion, having previously topped the Free Practice session. He finished seventh in the Sprint Race, gaining three positions, but all eyes were on the rookie come Sunday to see if he could convert pole into a first win. He elected to run the Option/Prime strategy, which proved to be the right choice. He sustained pressure from Théo Pourchaire, but never faltered. At the flag, his and Carlin’s joy was undeniable. To add to the team’s delight, Liam Lawson took P3, his third of the year, to make it a double Carlin podium.
When the dust settled, the team had jumped from fifth to third in the Standings, just 23 points behind championship leaders MP Motorsport. Sargeant moved up to third, 18 points behind Pourchaire. Lawson also moved up from 10th to 5th. All in all, it was a great weekend for them in front of their home crowd.
ROUND 7’S MVPs
Ever since the start of his rookie season, Jack Doohan has showed serious pace, snatching a first pole position in Barcelona. However, his goal of a maiden win had not yet been achieved. He was disappointed after ending up seventh in Qualifying at Silverstone, and he started from P4 on the reverse grid on Saturday. A mature drive led him to victory in the Sprint Race, making him the eighth race winner in 2022.
Meanwhile, ART Grand Prix’s duo of Théo Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti were two of the drivers who regularly featured at the front at Silverstone. The Dane clinched a front row start for the Feature Race while the Frenchman got off the line perfectly from P4 to slot in behind race leader Logan Sargeant. Pourchaire was unable to deny the American the win, but he looked pretty happy with P2 at the flag. Overall, the pair scored 36 points for ART, moving it into second in the Teams Standings, 10 points behind MP Motorsport.
Ayumu Iwasa and Enzo Fittipaldi also left Silverstone with silverware. The Japanese driver took P2 in the Sprint Race, ahead of the Brazilian from Charouz Racing System. It’s the second rostrum for both drivers, both of whom have proven their strong racing skillsets.
We cannot forget to say a word about our Championship leader Felipe Drugovich. The MP Motorsport ace may not have stepped on the podium at Silverstone, but his consistency is still extremely impressive: third in Qualifying, he took P6 in the Sprint and P5 in the Feature. That’s 16 points added to his tally. He still enjoys a 42-point advantage over Pourchaire at the midway stage of the season.
SEVEN DOWN, SEVEN TO GO
We have seen half of the 2022 season unfold, and as I said above, Drugovich has been the most consistent driver so far. He took control of the Championship after Round 2 in Jeddah, saw Pourchaire reclaim it following Imola, but has since retaken the top spot and managed a comfortable gap to the French driver since Barcelona.
Pourchaire has lacked much-needed consistency, but he entered Round 7 at Silverstone with the goal of finding pleasure at the wheel of the car, something that he had been missing for a few rounds. It showed last weekend, and if he can keep it going, he could put Drugovich under pressure.
Our highest-placed rookie is now race winner Logan Sargeant who seems to have gotten to grips with the car, whereas Jehan Daruvala, in fourth, is still working on claiming a first victory this season.
It’s interesting to see that only five points cover P5 to P11, from Liam Lawson to Frederik Vesti! All seven of them are podium finishers in 2022, and three of them are race winners. With seven rounds to go, anything can happen, and the face of the current standings could look quite different comes Abu Dhabi…
I would like to conclude this week’s column with praising, once again, the Halo. We saw a scary collision in the Feature Race, and this safety device protected the driver from the impact. We know the FIA make the safety of the drivers a priority, and they will continue to make racing as safe as can be.