There may be nonetheless a spherical left on this 12 months’s version of the Components 2 Championship, nonetheless each staff is properly in superior discussions with drivers to form the formation of the grid for 2023. Following a lot hypothesis, right here is the newest information on the F2 driver line-ups for subsequent 12 months.
By Tyler Foster
We are going to contact on every staff’s set of drivers from this 12 months and whether or not they are going to be staying or transferring on, together with the place they could relocate to inside motorsport. Secondly, we’ll focus on the principle potential drivers for every staff, and at last, now we have included a bit point out of different contenders who could also be thought-about as secondary choices.
The reunion of Felipe Drugovich and MP Motorsport has gifted feeder collection followers with an all-time nice F2 season. Having claimed the Drivers’ Title with their Brazilian star, they’re able to do the double this 12 months and win the Groups’ championship in the event that they aren’t outscored by the ART staff within the ultimate spherical. Both approach, it has been a stunning but exceptional 12 months for this Dutch staff they usually have massive ambitions to repeat this efficiency as soon as once more in 2023.
With Drugovich transferring on to an F1 reserve position within the Aston Martin camp and it being unlikely that Clement Novalak will return with MP subsequent 12 months, each seats can be found. Nevertheless, they gained’t must go far to search out keen suitors, with the 2 most important replacements already being part of the F2 grid. The Prema pairing of Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger haven’t met the expectations put upon them initially of this season and are concurrently becoming a member of MP Motorsport for 2023, remaining as teammates.
Whereas Daruvala has been talking with ART, he’s much less strongly rumoured on the French staff. In the meantime, Hauger has been linked with Carlin however is extra prone to be a part of MP . An alternative choice for MP was Alpine Academy’s Brazilian driver, Caio Collet, who completed P8 in Components 3 this 12 months with MP Motorsport. He’s rumoured to be focusing his future on endurance racing.
ART Grand Prix
It’s been a powerful 12 months for ART in 2022 with the French staff having scored 4 victories – three for Pourchaire and one for Vesti. They enter the ultimate spherical in Abu Dhabi on stage factors with MP Motorsport and Théo Pourchaire is all however confirmed to complete P2 within the standings. Moreover, they’ve seemingly banished the ‘cursed second seat’ notion that existed in earlier years. Vesti is strongly rumoured to be switching groups in 2023 ART will nearly definitely see a brand new driver pairing in 2023.
One of the simplest ways to safe a seat in Components 2 is to win the Components 3 Championship; Victor Martins has performed simply that. The 21-year-old Alpine Academy driver entered his second season in F3 in 2022 with ART, and gained two of the opening three Characteristic Races to take an early lead within the collection. From then on, a constant inflow of factors helped Martins take the title in complicated style throughout a busy ultimate spherical in Monza. The mixture of his 2022 performances and his Alpine connection makes Martins one of the vital kind after drivers for F2 groups. It’s all however confirmed that the Frenchman shall be staying with ART, the staff that helped him ship the F3 title, as he graduates to Components 2 for 2023.
In an uncommon flip of occasions, after initially saying that he wouldn’t return to F2 in 2023 for a 3rd season, Théo Pourchaire is now the favorite to be confirmed alongside Martins to create an all-French line-up for the French squad. In that case, this provides Pourchaire one ultimate probability to attain his “dream” of successful the F2 title, earlier than penetrating the F1 marketplace for a 2024 seat.
Different drivers linked to the Pourchaire seat embody Arthur Leclerc, and Juan Manuel Correa, nonetheless neither of those are to be taken as robust claims. Jehan Daruvala shall be remaining in F2 for a fourth season and whereas in talks with ART the Indian driver has an alternative choice open with MP Motorsport.
It’s anticipated that each Lawson and Sargeant won’t return, leaving each seats at Carlin free for subsequent 12 months. Sargeant in fact shall be aiming for a dream commencement to F1 with Williams so long as he picks up the mandatory Tremendous License factors in Abu Dhabi. In the meantime, Lawson shall be hoping to sneak into F1 for 2024 whereas performing his duties because the official F1 reserve driver for each Crimson Bull and AlphaTauri.
Our expectation is that Enzo Fittipaldi will proceed his uncommon path by way of the feeder collection world and depart Charouz for Carlin. An unbelievable first full season in Components 2, together with 4 Characteristic Race podiums, has left the Brazilian inside attain of the highest three. If Fittipaldi continues his present kind by way of to subsequent 12 months, a season with Carlin might make him an F1 prospect.
The second seat is sort of a certainty, with Zane Maloney returning to Carlin 4 years after successful British F4 with them. The ‘Boy from Barbados’ overturned a disastrous begin to his Components 3 marketing campaign, with simply 29 factors within the first 5 rounds, and went on to attain over 100 factors within the ultimate 4 to complete P2 within the standings. After successful every of the final three Characteristic Races, Maloney has set his eyes on switching again to the staff with which he made his open-wheel debut.
As a result of Carlin’s immense tempo they’re a staff with a lot hypothesis. Their greatest performing F3 driver, Zak O’Sullivan, appeared viable to graduate with the staff to associate Maloney, nonetheless, he’ll stay in F3 for a second 12 months. Lastly, Dennis Hauger was initially closely linked to Carlin however is regarded nearer with MP Motorsport at current.
Getting into this season off the again of two consecutive Drivers’ and Staff’s Championships, Prema have been definitely the staff to beat. Nevertheless, their mixture of expertise and youth with Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger has failed by their requirements. On account of this disappointment, Prema will see an up to date driver line-up for 2023.
20-year-old Danish Mercedes Junior, Frederik Vesti, has impressed at instances all through his rookie marketing campaign in Components 2 with ART – a maiden F2 victory within the Dash Race in Baku being the spotlight. A pole in Austria illustrated Vesti’s uncooked pace, backed up by a Characteristic Race podium coming a spherical later in France. With two separate P2 finishes in Monza final day out, the ART driver at the moment sits eighth within the standings, forward of Prema’s present rookie and F3 Champion Dennis Hauger. Subsequently, Vesti is believed to be re-joining the Prema squad that he dominated FRECA with in 2019 and made his F3 debut with, earlier than leaving for ART in 2021. As Prema’s extra skilled driver, Vesti will enter 2023 as a title contender.
Regardless of simply lacking out on the Components 3 title by seven factors earlier this 12 months in an epic title showdown, Oliver Bearman continues his fast rise by way of the ranks and can graduate to Components 2, remaining with Prema. Having gained each the German and Italian Components 4 campaigns in 2021 with Van Amersfoort the Ferrari junior got here into the F3 season as a serious title contender. Though Bearman had only a single victory all season the 17-year-old’s consistency of eight podiums stored him within the title struggle, however following an unlucky spherical in Zandvoort, he fell simply wanting the highest spot. Having come so near the title Bearman may have discovered his lesson the laborious approach this 12 months and can come into Components 2’s 2023 season as a power to be reckoned with.
One other driver who fell wanting the title in Components 3 was Bearman’s Prema teammate, Arthur Leclerc. The 22-year-old Monegasque was hopeful of following in his elder brother’s footsteps by making the soar to F2 with Prema however his performances compared to Bearman have left him wanting elsewhere.
Hitech Grand Prix
The duo of Vips and Armstrong for Hitech has been underwhelming this season. A noticeable lack of factors for the pair regardless of their abundance of expertise. Each drivers shall be transferring on, with Armstrong and Vips each IndyCar for the foreseeable future. Because of this, Hitech have a contemporary begin for 2023, and a younger thrilling pairing to match.
18-year-old French-Algerian, Isack Hadjar, spent a lot of the first half of his rookie F3 marketing campaign battling eventual champion Victor Martins on the prime of the standings. A poor ultimate 4 rounds noticed him choose up simply 26 factors, with Hadjar throwing away his title hopes following a crash in qualifying through the ultimate spherical at Monza. Regardless, ending fourth as a rookie in F3 is not any simple feat. With such a superb begin to the 12 months, Hadjar was at all times on the right track to graduate straight to Components 2, and can just do that for 2023, the place the Crimson Bull Junior stays with Hitech. He’s held in extraordinarily excessive regards by Helmut Marko and seen to be a serious asset to the way forward for the Crimson Bull programme.
One other member of the Crimson Bull Junior Staff who shall be graduating to Components 2 with Hitech is 17-year-old American Jak Crawford. Having made his F3 debut with Hitech in 2021, Crawford shall be returning to the Silverstone-based staff after making vital progress with Prema final 12 months, the place he completed seventh within the F3 standings.
The contrasting mixture of Jack Doohan and Marino Sato will stay for 2023, as each drivers stick to for Virtuosi for one more 12 months. Marino Sato has now had three full seasons in F2; two with Trident and this 12 months with Virtuosi. The 23-year-old from Tokyo has solely managed six factors in 2022 and languishes down in P22 within the standings. He shall be anticipated to enhance additional as a way to help his proficient Australian teammate.
In the meantime, Jack Doohan is true on the prime of the F2 meals chain. It might be thought-about unfortunate that Doohan wasn’t promoted by Alpine into F1 for subsequent 12 months in the best way that Logan Sargeant was with Williams. On the age of 19, Doohan definitely has time on his facet, however with Alpine having each Ocon and Gasly contracted till 2024, there are diminished choices for the Aussie. Both approach, he’ll enter the 2023 season with Virtuosi as a title favorite.
This historic French staff have seen a good quantity of success this 12 months with Ayumu Iwasa. The Crimson Bull Junior has shocked everybody as a rookie, with a Characteristic Race win and a pole place to his identify. Alternatively, Roy Nissany has had his strongest 12 months in F2 however remains to be off the tempo in comparison with his Japanese teammate. We count on Iwasa to remain at DAMS for 2023 the place he shall be their star, nonetheless, he shall be partnered with a brand new driver.
It’s lastly time to announce the place we count on Arthur Leclerc to race subsequent 12 months. The youthful Leclerc shall be transferring away from Prema for the primary time since 2019, and anticipated to hitch forces with DAMS as he lastly graduates to Components 2. The 22-year-old remains to be a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and a powerful rookie season might see him transfer ever nearer to F1, nonetheless, he’s not anticipated to struggle for the title.
Two Israeli drivers have additionally been linked to DAMS: Roy Nissany and Ido Cohen. On the age of 28 Nissany shall be in his fifth season of Components 2 come 2023. Ido Cohen has had two seasons in F3 and made minor progress final 12 months. With a twenty sixth place end within the FIA F3 standings this 12 months it might be a bit untimely to advertise Cohen to the following rung on the feeder collection ladder.
Charouz Racing System
Sadly for followers of the staff from Czechia, little is but recognized about their driver line-up for 2023. Following the unsavoury exit of Cem Bölükbaşı mid-way by way of the season the squad from Prague have been very tight lipped. One assumption that we are able to draw, is that if Enzo Fittipaldi does be a part of Carlin and none of their different drivers from this 12 months (Cem Bölükbaşı, David Beckmann and Tatiana Calderón) will return in a full-time capability, each seats at Charouz are at the moment vacant.
This Italian staff have had their most profitable F2 season up to now, having gained the opening race earlier than occurring to take two Characteristic Race podiums. Richard Verschoor has impressed and is simply a pair factors behind Marcus Armstrong in twelfth, whereas Calan Williams has proven glimpses of uncooked pace. Nevertheless, it’s wanting probably that Trident will home an all new line-up for 2023.
Clément Novalak has struggled at MP Motorsport compared to his rookie counterparts. Regardless of a superb season of consistency in 2021, which noticed Novalak end P3 within the F3 standings with Trident, the Frenchman has been unable to adapt shortly in Components 2 since altering staff. Nonetheless, Novalak is anticipated to be reuniting to Trident the place he would be the extra skilled driver.
To associate Novalak, one other driver who noticed success in Components 3 with Trident shall be becoming a member of him. 18-year-old Roman Staněk will graduate to F2 after his spectacular third season in F3 which noticed him end fifth in a aggressive area. The Czech racer has demonstrated huge quantity of development within the final twelve months and shall be seeking to shock everybody as a rookie in 2023.
After the dying of staff founder, Adrián Campos, in 2021, it has been Ralph Boschung who has given the staff their largest successes. Regardless of lacking over half of the season on account of side syndrome, Boschung nonetheless has been in a position to rating two podiums and carry out properly for the staff. Subsequently, the Swiss 25-year-old is prone to return with Campos for a sixth season of Components 2 and his fourth full-time 12 months with the Spanish staff.
As a result of Boschung’s damage, his teammate, Olli Caldwell, has had three totally different companions over the course of this season. This instability definitely hasn’t helped the Alpine Academy driver, who has solely scored on two events. With Caldwell strongly linked to a transfer to Charouz, a brand new teammate for Boschung appears doable.
The frontrunner in the mean time for Campos’ second seat is Kush Maini. The 22-year-old Indian from Bangalore had a combined rookie marketing campaign in F3 with MP Motorsport, however was unlucky to not rating extra factors from his robust performances. Apart from Maini, one other contender for this seat is Trident’s Richard Verschoor. The Dutchman gained the opening race of the F2 calendar and can be altering staff for the third consecutive 12 months.
Van Amersfoort Racing
The second Dutch staff in F2 could also be final by way of factors scored, however have proven that they aren’t a ‘weaker’ staff. Van Amersfoort would have achieved extra of their first F2 season if that they had a powerful driver line-up, which they need to kind for 2023. With Jake Hughes having left midway by way of the 12 months, there’s a seat vacant there. Nevertheless, whoever takes it’s nearly sure to be alongside Amaury Cordeel, who’s closely anticipated to stick with the VAR staff for his second season within the collection.
It’s Juan Manuel Correa who’s at the moment our frontrunner for the opposite seat at VAR. If true, the 23-year-old would full his exceptional comeback following his life-changing crash at Spa three years in the past, and return to F2. The American from Quito can be an amazing associate on account of his expertise in racing in comparison with the youthful Cordeel.
Nevertheless, there are a mess of different drivers who’ve been linked to the VAR staff for subsequent 12 months. In no specific order, these embody: Richard Verschoor, Olli Caldwell and Alexander Smolyar.
Header picture credit score: Dutch Picture Company
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