CEO Bruno Michel looks back at an eventful opening round of the season and picks out his key topics from Sakhir.
Michel discussed the impressive performances of Formula 2’s more experienced drivers and praised the rookies who managed to score points in Round 1. He also talked up the new-look format and congratulated Trident on their first F2 win.
THE MEN AT THE FRONT
Théo Pourchaire and Liam Lawson are two of the most scrutinised drivers this season, and they’ve admitted that after a strong rookie season, they are back for a second year with the goal to win F2. In the opening round at Bahrain, Lawson grabbed two podiums while Pourchaire qualified P2 for Sunday’s race and won from that position. The Frenchman now leads the Kiwi by one point in the Standings, setting the tone for their title challenge.
But I am sure they know the competition is fierce, starting with Jüri Vips and Ralph Boschung who both took mega starts in the Feature Race to take P1 and P2 at Turn 1. Vips was unlucky at the pitstop, but he recovered nicely to third at the flag. It’s only Round 1, but you can already tell that with the pool of talent we have on the grid, 2022 will be very exciting.
A FIRST WIN FOR TRIDENT
Richard Verschoor was a late addition to the 2022 grid, joining Trident for his second F2 season. The Italian team drafted him with the hope to reap the rewards of their hard work since 2017. Verschoor had scored a maiden win last year in Silverstone. He is quick and is experienced. On Saturday, he finally claimed a first F2 win for Trident. Could this be the beginning of a new era for the Italians?
UPS AND DOWNS FOR THE ROOKIES
Only three rookies scored points at the Bahrain International Circuit, but they showed a lot of promise, starting with the first pole sitter of the season, Jack Doohan. The Australian took the more experienced drivers by surprise when he set the quickest laptime in Qualifying. We know from his F3 season last year that Doohan is quite talented. He had also qualified P2 in the final round of the 2021 F2 season. Unfortunately, the rest of his weekend in Bahrain did not go to plan, but I am sure he will fight for podiums very soon.
Logan Sargeant is another rookie who has scored his first F2 points, nine to be precise. It’s important to note that he scored in both races too. Like Doohan, Sargeant’s F3 career told us that the American is a clean, consistent, and quick driver. I also expect him to fight for podiums in the coming rounds.
The last rookie who has taken a point in Bahrain is Ayumu Iwasa. When you look at both his races, for him to score only one point does not seem fair. A mistake in the very early stages of Qualifying meant that he could not set a laptime. He was authorised to start both races from the back of the grid. From that position, the Japanese ace sliced his way up the field, finishing an impressive P8 in the Sprint Race!
AN ATTRACTIVE NEW FORMAT
I am very pleased with the new racing format, and the difference in the points allocation between the Sprint and the Feature races really gives Sunday’s race the spotlight it deserves. Everyone in the paddock, both F2 and F1, but also the fans have said they are also liking this year’s format. 2022 is definitely off to a good start!