Consecutive weeks of action in the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship, saw its 22 drivers headed straight from the Styrian hills to the historic Silverstone Circuit.
Last year’s Silverstone round proved immensely exciting for the fans, mixed weather conditions and various tyre strategies playing a pivotal role in the outcome of both races.
The 2023 edition played out in a very similar fashion, but with very different consequences for the Championship. The F2 Report examines the main talking points and stories following the conclusion of round eight of the 2023 campaign.
Vesti’s lead disintegrates
Though Prema Racing’s Frederik Vesti won Saturday’s Sprint Race, a pointless Feature meant he lost out on his two main rivals in the Drivers’ Standings.
It was a lights-to-flag victory for the Dane in a wet Sprint, as he took reverse-grid pole and never looked back. However, the next race was a very different story. On lap 11, Vesti was caught up in a three-way collision with Trident’s Roma Stanek and the MP Motorsport of Dennis Hauger. This resulted in a broken front suspension arm which sent the Championship leader out of the race.
Meanwhile Theo Pourchaire secured a pair of podiums and Ayumu Iwasa scored the same number of points over the weekend as Vesti. The Dane’s lead is now down to a slim six points.
We’ve got a battle for the Teams’ Championship
The recent consistency of Italian outfit Prema Racing has enabled them to maintain a foothold in the Team’s Championship. But a sub-par set of results at Silverstone along with a trio of podiums for ART Grand Prix (including Victor Martins’ Feature race win) has closed the gap at the top to a mere six points.
DAMS are a distant third on 150 points (compared to 223 and 217 points respectively), meaning the Teams’ Title challenge is increasingly shaping up to be between Prema and ART.
Prema Racing have experience winning Titles; they most recently claimed their second crown in seven seasons of F2 back in 2021. ART Grand Prix on the other hand haven’t won in F2’s most recent era which began in 2017, but did take the Championship when the series was called GP2 in 2015.
APXGP: The upcoming F2 car?
APXGP slipped through The F2 Report earlier this week. The fictional team created in conjunction with a forthcoming Apple Original Film centered around Formula 1 was filmed extensively over the British Grand Prix weekend. It even raced around the track on installation laps and was piloted for a brief period by star actor Brad Pitt.
While the APXGP car raced around with the F1 grid, under the bodywork was a current Dallara F2 2018 chassis. The body and aerodynamic cues were taken from designs focussed on the 2022 F1 regulations but an interesting questions popped up in the minds of many an F2 fan.
Will the next F2 car look something like the APXGP we saw at Silverstone over the weekend? The following season will see a brand new chassis and the possibility of a radically different exterior design.
In fact, F2 CEO Bruno Michel had stated previously that the 2024 F2 car will “look more like an F1 car”, which points to a shape not too dissimilar to the APXGP.
We will have to wait until early next year for the grand reveal nonetheless, but some may say we got a little taste of what to expect in the UK.