f2 testing bahrain 2023

The F2 Report: Pre-Season Testing Recap

f2 testing bahrain 2023

We got a first glimpse at this year’s Formula 2 field earlier this week with three action-packed days of testing around the Bahrain International Circuit.

For a grand total of nine drivers it was their very first time wringing out their new rides round the iconic Bahraini circuit, with the rest of the field looking to make improvements on their performances in 2022.

The F2 Report analyses the stand-out showings and moments from 2023 pre-season testing and what we can expect from another year of racing action going forward.

Day 1: Pourchaire puts on a show

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The first day of pre-season testing was dominated by the ART Grand Prix driver of Theo Pourchaire, who topped the timing sheets in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Already in his third full season in the Formula 1 feeder series, Pourchaire will be looking to mount a Championship Title-fight in what many believe is a make-or-break year for the Frenchman. 2022 proved to be a somewhat disappointing year for him; despite finishing second in the F2 standings he was simply outclassed by eventual Champion Felipe Drugovich.

For this reason, Pourchaire will hope to hit the ground running immediately in 2023, to give himself the best shot at securing the crown.

The morning session was more of a taster for the drivers; it was in the afternoon when times really began to tumble. Yet Pourchaire still held onto the top spot, a 1:42.165 more than a tenth faster than the VAR of Richard Verschoor in second place.

The two DAMS drivers of Ayumu Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc impressed with fifth and third positions respectively. Another noteworthy showing was by Ralph Boschung, who slotted in fourth after finishing third in the morning session, a consistent solid result from a reliable veteran in the series.

Day 2: Verschoor and Vesti on top

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Frederick Vesti of Prema Racing was seemingly the only driver pushing on the morning of the second day, setting a time almost two seconds quicker than the next fastest lap. He also has a lot to prove this year; although he managed a victory in his debut season in F2 last year he suffered from a lack of consistency.

The Dane has a tough job on his hands this year; his teammate at Prema will be the 17-year old Oliver Bearman who is touted by many as a potential future World Champion.

The afternoon session saw drivers pushing on soft tyres yet again, and it was much closer on the timesheets. Verschoor topped the session with a 1:42.140, just eight milliseconds ahead of reigning F3 Champion Victor Martins in the ART Grand Prix car. This time proved to be the fastest time over the three days, just over a second slower than the pole lap in 2022 on significantly higher fuel loads.

Day 3: A new name tops final day of F2 testing

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A fresh face took the spotlight on the final day of pre-season testing, with the Campos car of Kush Maini posting a 1:42.623 to oust long-standing Roy Nissany in the new team, PHM Racing by Charouz by almost three tenths in the afternoon.

Maini’s teammate Boschung on the other hand was quickest in the morning by over two seconds with a 1:45.027, where race-pace runs were prioritised by all the teams.

And with that, our excitement for the opening round grows ever stronger. All nine debutants have now had ample opportunity to get to grips with their new toy and will be raring to go, while the returning drivers will be determined to improve on previous seasons.

The first race in F2 for 2023 will take place at Sakhir on the fourth of March, make sure not to miss it!

Day 3 Sakhir F2 Pre-Season Test Session 1 Best Times

1Ralph BoschungCampos Racing1:45.02728
2Clément NovalakTrident1:47.03123
3Victor MartinsART Grand Prix1:47.05439
4Roy NissanyPHM Racing by Charouz1:47.22346
5Frederik VestiPREMA Racing1:47.26434
6Richard VerschoorVan Amersfoort Racing1:47.33539
7Théo PourchaireART Grand Prix1:47.42640
8Jak CrawfordHitech Pulse-Eight1:47.51244
9Jack DoohanVirtuosi Racing1:47.90035
10Juan Manuel CorreaVan Amersfoort Racing1:47.91230
11Roman StanekTrident1:48.07533
12Oliver BearmanPREMA Racing1:48.14534
13Brad BenavidesPHM Racing by Charouz1:48.23931
14Ayumu IwasaDAMS1:48.38734
15Dennis HaugerMP Motorsport1:48.74745
16Arthur LeclercDAMS1:48.82835
17Jehan DaruvalaMP Motorsport1:48.98842
18Amaury CordeelVirtuosi Racing1:49.14927
19Kush MainiCampos Racing1:49.24536
20Enzo FittipaldiRodin Carlin1:49.29533
21Isack HadjarHitech Pulse-Eight1:49.55723
22Zane MaloneyRodin Carlin1:49.73038

Day 3 Sakhir F2 Pre-Season Test Session 2 Best Times 2

1Kush MainiCampos Racing1:42.62334
2Roy NissanyPHM Racing by Charouz1:42.90520
3Théo PourchaireART Grand Prix1:42.90545
4Enzo FittipaldiRodin Carlin1:42.97115
5Dennis HaugerMP Motorsport1:43.02019
6Zane MaloneyRodin Carlin1:43.09419
7Clément NovalakTrident1:43.17026
8Brad BenavidesPHM Racing by Charouz1:43.22623
9Jehan DaruvalaMP Motorsport1:43.30019
10Richard VerschoorVan Amersfoort Racing1:45.54541
11Amaury CordeelVirtuosi Racing1:45.58730
12Roman StanekTrident1:46.03835
13Arthur LeclercDAMS1:46.49644
14Ralph BoschungCampos Racing1:46.71843
15Ayumu IwasaDAMS1:46.78940
16Frederik VestiPREMA Racing1:47.17143
17Victor MartinsART Grand Prix1:47.30845
18Jak CrawfordHitech Pulse-Eight1:47.43647
19Jack DoohanVirtuosi Racing1:47.57240
20Oliver BearmanPREMA Racing1:47.66842
21Isack HadjarHitech Pulse-Eight1:47.94551
22Juan Manuel CorreaVan Amersfoort Racing