ART Grand Prix and Campos Racing made a fast start to the new campaign, but things are about to get even faster. Round 2 takes us to the quickest street circuit on the 2023 calendar. The Jeddah track has had several changes made to it since the last visit, but who will adapt to them best?

Here is what to keep an eye out for this weekend.

default image


Two teams will head into the Jeddah race weekend on a high note. Firstly, Campos Racing secured their first race victory since 2019 after Ralph Boschung took the first Sprint Race win of the 2023 season. Rookie teammate Kush Maini more than held his own too, finishing both races in the points, contributing to the Spanish team’s early lead in the Teams’ Standings. Campos is the only team to have scored in both races with both drivers. Can the team keep that streak going?

Théo Pourchaire put the grid on notice in Sakhir Qualifying, threading together a storming lap for pole. He followed that up with an impressive drive to victory in the Feature Race, and the Frenchman enters Round 2 as the Drivers’ Championship leader. He and new teammate Victor Martins proved that ART Grand Prix are quick out of the box, but will that hold true around a totally different circuit in the Jeddah Corniche Circuit?


Elsewhere, Rodin Carlin’s Zane Maloney snatched attention on Sunday last time out, rising from P18 on the grid to P3 for his maiden Formula 2 podium. The Barbadian driver’s stellar effort means the team will be optimistic of carrying that form on around a venue it took Sprint Race victory around in 2022.

default image


Richard Verschoor was another driver on a recovery mission in the Sakhir Feature Race after being tagged into a spin on the opening lap. The Dutch driver put on a late-race overtaking show, climbing back up to fifth by the chequered flag. Verschoor is confident his new team in Van Amersfoort Racing has all the tools to compete in Jeddah this weekend. He also has strong previous form around the Arabian circuit, finishing the 2022 Feature Race in P2.

Reigning Teams’ Champions MP Motorsport will be aiming to rebound after a bittersweet opening weekend. Dennis Hauger proved the team has strong pace by securing P2 in the Sprint but neither he nor Jehan Daruvala could follow that up with points in the Feature. The team was victorious last year in Jeddah with Felipe Drugovich, so knows how to win around the ultra-quick street circuit.

PREMA Racing, Trident, PHM Racing by Charouz and Invicta Virtuosi Racing will each be aiming to kick-start their seasons and get points on the board after a disappointing opening weekend. Each are more than capable of doing so, with plenty of analysis completed between races. Frederik Vesti will be contending with a grid penalty though, set back five places following the Lap 1 incident in the Sakhir Feature Race.

FROM THE GRID – Richard Verschoor, Van Amersfoort Racing

default image

“Jeddah is an amazing circuit, it’s a bit different from all the others on the calendar because it’s so high speed and because it’s between walls and that’s always exciting. I still remember the feeling after Qualifying last year when we were P2. The feeling you have when you get a good lap in Jeddah is amazing because you get so close to the walls. Monaco is a bit different because you go low speed, but in Jeddah, you’re going 200 KPH plus. It’s a unique feeling!

“Qualifying is very important in Jeddah, the steering is always very heavy there so it’s difficult for the drivers. To be honest, overtaking there is not so difficult so it’s not quite as important as elsewhere but in Formula 2 it’s always best to start at the front.

“The good thing about the circuit is that you have two big DRS zones in a row, before the last corner and on the main straight so through the first corner I think is the best opportunity. It’s a bit hard to follow into Sector 1 so you always have a bit of a gap and then you try to catch up but Turn 1 is the best place for overtakes.

“The track evolves a lot over the race weekend, straight away from the first session the grip is very good, but then we go almost three seconds faster in Qualifying. Last year the tyre degradation wasn’t too bad, but this year we have the super softs so I think it will be a bit more difficult, but nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait for the Qualifying experience again.”


default image

As the case was last season, teams will have the yellow-walled medium compound tyres available to them. What is different for 2023 though is the second tyre Pirelli has brought. One step softer than last year, the purple supersoft tyres will be in action for this weekend’s event, which may open up some strategic options in the Feature Race.

In Qualifying, expect plenty of last-gasp improvements as drivers vie to start their laps as late as possible owing to high levels of expected track evolution. While the mediums are the likely choice for the Sprint, the initial benefits from the faster but more fragile supersofts might lead a few to take a risk on Sunday. With the fast sweeps and close barriers making overtaking more difficult, gaining an advantage at the initial start and any subsequent restarts could be vital. In this respect, the quicker warm-up and initial grip offered by the supersofts will be a benefit in both scenarios. Last season, the majority of the top 10 started on the soft compound and gained an immediate benefit, passing those on mediums at lights out by virtue of more grip off the line.

Felipe Drugovich was victorious using this strategy, going from the softs to mediums. This year, with a step softer compound available to the teams, it could sway several to go for the mediums initially instead in order to maximise their initial stint length.

Pirelli Motorsport Director, Mario Isola

“For Jeddah, the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Purple supersoft tyres are nominated. This is the same selection we had for our first visit to this track in 2021, while the medium and soft were nominated last year. Although the track is very fast for a street circuit, and so rather challenging for the drivers, the demands for the tyres are still relatively contained.

"There is also significant track evolution during the weekend, and with Formula 2 qualifying taking place already on Friday – when not so much rubber has been laid down – the drivers will be able to count on the optimal grip provided by the supersoft. It also means there will be an extra step between the compounds, creating more opportunities with strategy in the races: particularly given that the probability of a safety car is quite high, which always provides an opportunity to try something different”.

default image


  • Théo Pourchaire claimed victory by 19.666 seconds in the Feature Race in Bahrain, the biggest win margin in the history of the Championship. The previous record was 16.508 seconds seconds, set by Nyck De Vries, at the Hungaroring in 2018, over Lando Norris.
  • Five rookies scored points in the opening round, claiming a collective 49 points across the Sprint and Feature Race.
  • Campos Racing duo Ralph Boschung and Kush Maini collected 42 points in the opening round, just 25 points shy of the team’s finals points haul in 2022.
  • A total of 13 drivers, from seven different teams, claimed points in the opening round in Sakhir.
  • Two rookies, Victor Martins and Zane Maloney claimed podium finishes at the Bahrain International Circuit, taking the total number of podium sitters on the grid to 14.
  • Following his Feature Race win, Pourchaire’s total number of wins in the second tier rises to six. He is now just two wins short of the all-time record.
  • Maloney made up a remarkable 15 places in the Round 1 Feature Race, driving his Rodin Carlin from 18th on the grid to third at the flag.


Formula 2 documentary, Chasing the Dream, returns for a fifth season this year. The series, which follows the stories of the drivers fighting for Championship glory, and a seat in Formula 1, takes on a new format this year.

Premiering on YouTube and F1TV every Wednesday following a race weekend, Chasing the Dream will be a fly on the wall for all the twists and turns that the 2023 season has in store.

Episode 1, available now, follows Dutch team MP Motorsport as they return to the paddock for their first weekend as Teams’ Champions.