Guilherme Samaia suffered a tough introduction to Formula 2, stepping up to the top tier of junior motorsport on the back of a 14-month break from racing. So naturally, the Brazilian feels he’s much more equipped to compete in 2021 after a full season on track.

Swapping Campos for Charouz, Samaia says it was difficult to make sense of his struggles with the Spanish outfit last season, but he is confident he can enjoy a breakthrough year, having put it all behind him.

“14 months without racing is a long time, so stepping up to F2 was a big jump,” said Samaia. “We were only driving a couple of months ago this time around and I feel a lot more ready than I was before. I never found the exact reason why I struggled quite a lot last year, but I learned a lot.

“Moving to Charouz in post-season testing, I think that we have already shown some good results. I felt quite comfortable in the car and I enjoyed the way that the team were working. Personally, the car just feels like it is working better for me, it feels more suited to my style.”

The Brazilian spent the off-season building up his fitness on the water, enjoying the summer in his home country. He kept his hand in with some go-karting and also worked specific muscles, like his neck, in the gym.

Spending time back home with his family and friends allowed Samaia to reset ahead of the season and he’s now ready to put to practice what he’s learned.

“It was my first time on the Pirelli tyres for a start,” he continued. “I had previously driven on the Michelins and that’s what I was used too. Not just that, but the engine, the turbo, the weight of the car, there were so many differences to what I was used to, and I feel like I improved in a lot of areas.

“My communication with the team feels stronger and that is important. So yes, I do think this year will be a step forwards and I can improve my results. I want to enjoy everything more and if I can do that, then I feel like the results will come. I do not know exactly where I will be, but I feel positive and optimistic.”