Having to adapt to a brand-new car is already a big enough challenge for any rookie stepping up to Formula 2, and that test is made even trickier when you are having to learn a whole host of new tracks as well. That’s the position that Guilherme Samaia has found himself in though, with the Campos racer laughing “I don’t think anyone arrived in F2 like I did.”
He is taking it firmly in his stride though. “I think there’s a lot on my plate, but I have to be patient and slowly manage all of this.”
The Brazilian’s last full season of racing actually came in 2018, in the Euroformula Open Championship. He competed in the same series in 2019, but didn’t complete a full campaign, driving eight times and taking 26 points.
“I think I am in a very tough position,” he admitted. “I was talking to some people and I don’t think anyone arrived to F2 like I did. I came from Euroformula, but had spent more than a year away from full time racing on the track. Learning a new car, new tyres, and new tracks, has not been ideal.
“A lot of the tracks I haven’t been on for two or three years, so that’s not ideal either, but it’s something to adapt to and enjoy. I hadn’t actually driven on all of them before either. For example, Sochi, I have never driven on, Mugello I have never driven on. Bahrain, the first time I drove there was in pre-season testing, and I didn’t actually get that much mileage in.”
Despite all of this, Samaia is slowly feeling his way through his rookie season and believes that there have been high points during the year, with plenty of promise shown, even if he doesn’t have any points to show for it yet.
More than anything, he feels that he and Campos are heading in the right direction.
“I think my best race was the Feature Race in Barcelona,” he continued. “That’s where I had the most confidence with the car, and I felt better with the setup we had. As a team this season, I feel we are still trying to find ourselves.
“I think we are going in the right direction though. I want to improve in every lap of every race, so I hope from here till the end of the season, it is going to be an exponential curve.”