Roman Stanek’s graduation up to Formula 2 with Trident is the right move for him according to the Czech driver. Having raced with the Italian outfit last year in F3 and enjoying race win and podium success, Stanek believes familiar territory is only a positive going up to F2.
The settling in process is condensed and focus has instead been on fitness and preparations for Stanek. Rather than learning all the new names and faces ahead of testing and the 2023 season getting underway, he is instead in the middle of an intensive physical fitness plan handed down by Trident Team Principal, Giacomo Ricci.
“Preparations are going great. I'm really enjoying it and I'm also very happy that Giacomo selected me as one of the two drivers in Formula 2 for 2023. I'm working hard it's great, I can't wait for the season.
“For me as a person, it kind of helps because I know the people already because it’s my second year with them and I feel extremely good with them, and I think this can help me in my rookie season and help me perform better.
“I was in Czech Republic over winter, so I had some time at home, but I got sick and I was not able to train for 10 days and I felt very bad. But I was able to recover from it and I’m back in the routine nw. I got a very busy training plan from Trident and Giacomo, which I have to do! So I’m trying to do everything I can to be prepared for the season ahead.”
Of course, Stanek has already sampled the Trident car from last year during post-season testing. The Czech driver achieved a grand total of 246 laps around the Yas Marina Circuit.
For Stanek, it wasn’t the mileage that was most encouraging thing even though it won’t have harmed his preparations. The final day of running brought an adaptation in his driving style back towards his F3 style. It proved to be a promising change according to the man himself.
“I enjoyed testing in Abu Dhabi. On the third day I was quite slow, so we tried something and also, I tried different styles more like the F3 style, which brought improvements which was very positive. To be honest, even though it didn't look like it on the second and third days, I learned a lot of things that I’ll be taking with me and using in the next time I’m in the car.”
Start to life in F2 will be difficult for Stanek and the rest of the rookies, with races in Jeddah, Baku and Monaco soon following the season opener in Sakhir, Bahrain – a track they all have experience around.
The 18-year-old says that the street circuits will be a huge challenge to overcome so early in the season and without experience at those circuits.
With two of those being such high-speed tracks and the other the most mentally demanding, the amount of risk drivers are willing to take early into their F2 careers will be the key factor on those weekends according to Stanek. He also admits that he will need to tweak his approach slightly for the early stages of the campaign.
“The biggest challenge for me will be to not overdrive. Because I have the tendency be straight on the limit and sometimes that’s not good. So it will be very important to bring that back a bit, especially on the street circuits like Baku, Monaco and Jeddah.
“I can’t go over the limit because if you have zero laps in Practice then you’re in trouble heading into Qualifying. I think I will be able to perform well together with the team and I can't wait to sit in the car again, it will be great.”
Work is well underway at Trident in preparation for the new year, with Stanek working hard on the simulator to learn the circuits on the F2 schedule that will be new to him. One track in particular stands out to him, with the Saudi Arabian street circuit a weekend he is particularly looking forward to.
“I'm preparing on the simulator right now, especially for the tracks I don't know for example, and it's busy, very busy. It will be a big challenge for me because I have never raced on them before. I’ve been driving Jeddah on the sim and the speed you’re carrying right up against the wall…it's amazing.
“I feel this is what makes me feel alive, to be on the edge and taking risk. That's how I want to live my life in any sport or any day I do, to be on the edge because that's what I enjoy the most in my life. Hard work beats talent though and I'm ready to go.”