When all 11 teams line up in Bahrain for the season-opening round of the 2024 FIA Formula 2 campaign each will have their own ambitions for the next 12 months, but what exactly should those be?
The teams at the top will have their eyes firmly set on lifting the trophies at the end of the year, while those that didn’t enjoy a stellar 2023 season will be targeting a return to the sharp end of the grid. Here is a preview of what each F2 team will be aiming for this year.
Not only did the French outfit score their first Teams’ Championship victory in Formula 2 last year, they also completed the double with Théo Pourchaire taking the Drivers’ title. The expectations for 2024 will be clear – do it all again!
This will be slightly trickier given the lofty standards set last year, as they tied PREMA Racing’s record set in 2021 by achieving 19 podiums. Joining the team is Williams F1 protege Zak O’Sullivan, who makes the step-up from F3 and will be keen to make an impression in his new surroundings.
As always when you are on top, ART should expect to be pushed hard by their competitors with all eyes looking at them. However, given what was achieved last year, they will at least be looking to compete on both fronts again.
The Italian outfit are the only team in this category to have won the title more than once. But, given their own high standards and their successful history, some may find it hard to believe that PREMA Racing have not won either title since 2021.
They performed well in 2023, with Frederik Vesti and Oliver Bearman helping them push ART all the way down to the final race before they were ultimately forced to settle for second in the Championship. But those are below the targets René Rosin’s squad set for themselves.
To aid in their quest of returning to the summit in F2, they bring back Bearman, and he will be partnered by another Mercedes apprentice in the form of Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
Rodin Motorsport have not won the title since 2018, although they did come close in 2022 when they lost out to MP Motorsport. But, with a new name paired with an all-new car, could 2024 be the year that sees them return to their title-winning best?
Coming back for a second season with the team is Zane Maloney, and he will be joined by 2023 Super Formula Champion Ritomo Miyata. While the Japanese ace will work on adapting to a new category, Maloney will want to deliver from the get-go, with the Bajan driver looking to build on his four podium finishes in his rookie season.
If he can do that, paired with Miyata, Rodin could once again be challenging for top honours in 2024.
Another former championship-winning team looking to return to glory is DAMS, who, after claiming the title in 2019, finished eighth in 2020. But the last three seasons have seen steady improvement as they went from eighth in 2021, to sixth in 2022, before finishing fourth last year.
Based on that, a minimum top three finish will be the target for them with Ayumu Iwasa – who scored all five of their victories across the last two years – showing that they are capable of fighting at the sharp end of the field.
They bring an all-American line-up to the grid this year with Jak Crawford, who will be looking to build on a rookie season that saw him become a F2 race winner in 2023, and the experienced Juan Manuel Correa hoping to push DAMS further up the standings.
It was not so long ago that the new kids on the block, Invicta Racing, caught the attention of the paddock by finishing second in the Championship in their debut year in 2019 and in the two seasons that followed. The next two years were a bit less successful, although they did help Jack Doohan finish third in the Championship in 2023.
Their goal will simply be to build on the momentum they enjoyed in the second half of the 2023 campaign, as Doohan scored victories in three of the final five rounds of racing – which included two pole positions in Budapest and Yas Island.
Looking to build on that form and to get Invicta back competing for the title will be F2 podium finisher Kush Maini, returning for his second season in the category, as well as the reigning 2023 F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto.
After tasting double Championship success in 2022, last season proved to be a tough one for the Dutch outfit as they placed sixth. They went from winning five races the year before to being on the top step of the podium on just two occasions in 2023.
So, in the year that they turn 30, MP Motorsport will want to return to their title-winning form of 2022. Dennis Hauger showed what they were capable of last year by achieving two Sprint Race wins, and he will be back for a third F2 season, while the pacy Williams Academy Driver Franco Colapinto makes the step-up from F3.
Van Amersfoort Racing return for their third season in Formula 2 and with their sights set on continuing the progress they have shown since entering the Championship. They finished 10th in 2022 and ended up seventh last year after winning their first race – done by Richard Verschoor at the Spielberg Feature Race.
The expectations within the team will be to move further up the Championship pecking order, with their eyes set firmly on the top five. To aid their chances, they have brought on Formula 2 race winner Enzo Fittipaldi, whose experience in the category could prove invaluable to the team.
Hitech impressed immediately upon their entry into Formula 2 in 2020 by finishing fourth in the Standings. They repeated the same trick in 2021, before placing fifth in 2022. However, 2023 saw them slide down the order to end up eighth.
Despite that drop in the standings they have still won a race in every season, they have still won a race in every season that they have competed in F2. They will be looking to continue that streak in 2024, while also returning to finishing in the top five in the Championship.
To help with that, they will return to the grid with an all-new line-up this year, with the experienced Amaury Cordeel coming over from Invicta Racing. He will be paired with rookie Paul Aron, who will be keen to impress after his strong lone season in F3 last year – where he finished third.
The 2023 campaign was one of progress for Campos Racing, as they scored a victory – with Ralph Boschung winning the Bahrain Sprint race – and finished with 99 points, making it their most successful year since the 2019 campaign when they ended up fifth in the Championship.
However, such is the competition within F2, that points haul in 2023 still left them ninth in the championship - but considering they finished last in 2022, the Spanish outfit have shown clear improvement.
Racing for them in 2024, will be two Red Bull junior drivers with Isack Hadjar joining the team for his second year in F2, while F3 graduate Josep María Martí – who has been a part of Campos since 2021 – makes the step-up, with both hoping to lift the team up the Championship order.
Trident have enjoyed more success in Formula 3 – where they won the Team Championship in 2021 – than in F2, with just two wins to their name and their best Championship finish being ninth, which they claimed in 2021 and 2022.
In order to turn things around in 2024, the Italian team have bet on experience and familiarity with the return of Richard Verschoor, who claimed Trident’s first F2 win in the 2022 opening race at Sakhir. The Dutch driver, who has won multiple times in F2, will be key to Trident’s chances this year.
PHM AIX Racing return for a second season in Formula 2 having finished at the bottom of the pile last year. When joining the category in 2023 they were fully aware how demanding F2 would be, and that it wouldn’t be easy to adapt. But behind the scenes, the German squad have been working very hard to transform their performance, using last year's experience to get good results in 2024.