Get ready for some more feeder series action, as the Formula 2 grid heads to Hungary for round nine of the 2023 season.
It’s been just two weeks since the F2 field raced around the historic Silverstone Circuit. The racing was, as usual in the spec series, spectacular. Weather was variable that weekend, and the latest reports suggest conditions will be just as wet and unpredictable at the famed Hungaroring.
Both the Teams’ and Drivers’ Championships have tightened up considerably at the top. Some drivers are coming off an impressive previous round, while others will have to get their momentum back after a point-less British weekend.
What can we dare to expect in Hungary as the season’s sun begins to set? The F2 Report investigates.
How the Standings are shaping up
Championship leader Frederik Vesti’s lead of 20 points before Silverstone was brought down to just six following a retirement in the Feature race. Pre-season favourite Theo Pourchaire holds the runner-up spot for now with 129 points (to Vesti’s 135), while Ayumu Iwasa is the only other driver past the century with 111 points for DAMS.
Pourchaire was asked in the post-Feature race press conference about his thoughts in closing the gap to Vesti in the Championship. He said: “A bit lucky as well because Fred, I think he got pushed. It’s not his mistake, it’s not his fault, but it’s a race incident. It can happen, we know that and, in those moments, you have to maximise everything.”
Meanwhile, the Teams’ Standings are also looking closer than they have ever been this season. Prema Racing on 223 points are also just six points ahead of French outfit ART Grand Prix. The performances of Victor Martins and Oliver Bearman for ART and Prema respectively are going to prove crucial in which team takes glory at the end of the campaign, along with their teammates battling it out for the Drivers’ crown.
A resurgent VAR
Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) have already surpassed their points tally from their debut season last year and sit sixth in the Teams’ Standings. They recorded their first ever win in the feeder series in Austria thanks to Dutch driver Richard Verschoor.
Despite enduring their first weekend of the season with no points in Great Britain, VAR Team Principal Frits van Amersfoort still alluded to an interesting fact instrumental to their recent success.
He told F2 media: “We specifically chose Richard also. I’m speaking English now, but you maybe already found out that it’s not my native language. And so to take every problem, every little detail out of the communication is important. And that’s, of course, still always the best in your own native language. And that plays an important role in our success we have now.”
F2 at the Hungaroring
Last year saw two relatively straightforward victories by a pair of drivers who are still present on the 2023 grid. The Sprint was won by Jack Doohan while the Feature race was claimed by Pourchaire.
The latest weather forecasts are showing that there is a high chance of showers for most of Friday and further rain on Saturday afternoon, which could make for a mixed-up grid in Qualifying and changeable track conditions in the races. We shall have to wait and see.
With plenty of medium and high-speed corners, the Hungaroring is notorious for eating away at fresh rubber. So tyre management is going to be a crucial aspect over the weekend.