Spa-Francorchamps kicked off a triple-header that will shape the season in the space of three weekends. Liam Lawson and Jack Doohan leave Belgium as the latest Sprint and Feature race winners respectively, but there was plenty happening outside of the winners’ circle too.
CEO Bruno Michel reflects on an eventful weekend as the title battle took another unexpected twist, returning drivers were welcomed back and familiar names re-emerged from the summer slumber meaning business.
A STRONG AND CLEAN WEEKEND FOR DOOHAN
The rookie from Virtuosi Racing has scored in both races over the course of a race weekend only five times in 2022. That’s half of the events so far. He’s showed speed and skills since Round 1 in Sakhir, but he had to improve on consistency. At Spa-Francorchamps last time out, Jack Doohan delivered a mature drive throughout all sessions to take two podiums, including his first Feature Race win on Sunday. A great getaway followed by a perfect undercut put him ahead of Felipe Drugovich at the flag. He amassed 33 points in Belgium to move up to fourth in the standings, just 8 points behind Logan Sargeant. He’s definitely a man to watch in the final stages of this campaign.
A WEEKEND TO REMEMBER FOR LIAM LAWSON
It all started with a maiden FP1 outing with AlphaTauri for the Red Bull protégé on Friday. It’s always fantastic to see one of our F2 drivers feature in the F1 sessions. But Liam Lawson also had to focus on his F2 season at Spa. He maintains that the car has always been strong, but for one reason or another, Lawson has been through a season of ups and downs. It looked to be back on track in Belgium where the New Zealander claimed the Sprint Race win on Saturday before adding some silverware to his collection on Sunday, with third place. He’s joining the battle for the 2022 top three, now fifth in the Standings within touching distance of Doohan and Sargeant.
THE MAN AT THE TOP
Felipe Drugovich was mightily impressive in Qualifying last Friday, taking his third pole position of the season with a laptime three tenths quicker than his closest rival, Enzo Fittipaldi. He may have been defeated by Doohan in the Feature Race, with the Australian timing his mandatory pitstop to perfection, nevertheless Drugovich was second to the finish line, claiming his eighth podium in 2022. He added 25 points to his tally in Belgium, and he’s extended his lead over Théo Pourchaire at the top of the Standings. The Brazilian is now 43 points clear of the Frenchman.
ROUND 10 HIGHLIGHTS
Ralph Boschung had to put his season on hold due to health issues. It was tough on him and on Campos Racing. Back at the wheel of his car at Spa last weekend, the Swiss was able to take P3 in the Sprint Race, making it a rather successful comeback.
Meanwhile, Richard Verschoor also enjoyed a positive weekend in Belgium. The Dutch driver scored points in both races, something he had last achieved in Jeddah. It will certainly boost his and Trident’s confidence ahead of Verschoor’s home event.
Finally, I would like to welcome back Tatiana Calderon on our grid. She says she is better prepared for the challenge than ever before. I hope that her presence will help inspire other female drivers and that she will pave the way for more of them to progress in their racing careers.