It’s been near enough a month since we last saw some Formula 2 action; it’s safe to say drivers and fans alike are raring to go at the Red Bull Ring.
There’s been plenty of time to let predictions marinate and news to filter through over the past month. June was pretty bare but July is is set to be jam-packed; four rounds in as many weeks.
But I think we’re all in need of a reminder of how the Championship is stacking up heading to Austria. What are the main stories across the paddock, and who are the favourites around the iconic Spielberg circuit? The F2 Report investigates.
Vesti running away with it?
The Drivers’ Championship has shuffled between various leaders in the preceding six rounds, with the likes of Ayumu Iwasa, Ralph Boschung and Theo Pourchaire claiming the top spot.
21-year-old Dane Frederick Vesti is currently first in the Standings, and has built up an 11-point advantage over Pourchaire by virtue of his consistent finishes at the head of the field.
As long as the Prema driver continues his solid run of form there is a good chance he could fight for the Title this year. Although he would have to do better at the Red Bull Ring than he did last year, where he left the track pointless…
Big story from Hitech
F2 team Hitech Grand Prix was on mainstream news earlier this week, as they confirmed their F1 bid for the 2026 season. The British outfit received a welcome injection of funds from Kazakh billionaire Vladimir Kim, who bought a 25% stake in the team.
Whether their bid will be successful remains to be seen, with verdicts expected in the middle of July. Perhaps a small portion of the investment will be funnelled into the current F2 team; could we see Hitech climb up the Standings in the next few months?
Hitech drivers Isack Hadjar and Jak Crawford have so far failed to meet fan’s expectations. The team is winless in 2023 and languish down in eighth in the Teams’ Championship.
The Red Bull Ring
A little bit of information on the Red Bull Ring, where the field of 22 drivers will be running rings later this week.
A 4.318km lap makes the track one of the shortest on the 2023 calendar. Monaco and the upcoming Zandvoort circuits are shorter, but the previously-named A1-ring has a greater average speed and thus the quickest lap times of the season. Long straights and several tight turns means there will be no shortage of overtakes; pole position is by no means a one-way ticket to victory on this circuit.
Current Championship leader Vesti took pole last year, but the race wins were claimed by two drivers who no longer compete in the feeder series. IndyCar driver Marcus Armstrong took the chequered flag first in the Sprint race, while Williams F1 rookie Logan Sargeant took victory in the all-important Feature.
No one in this year’s grid has won in Austria in F2 yet; a debut victory in the forested mountains of Styria awaits…
2023 Formula 2 Standings ahead of round seven in Austria