In one week, it's that time again and Formula 2 will start its new season in Bahrain. It will already be the sixth season after the takeover of the GP2 Series. Once again, we can look forward to an action-packed season with several title contenders. In this preview I will introduce you to all the teams and their drivers. In addition, there is a new weekend format and more race tracks compared to last year. And after a little insight into the pre-season testing, you'll find my championship predictions again at the end of the article.


In addition to several new drivers who will make their debut in F2, there is also a new team. The Dutch team of Van Amersfoort Racing takes over the place of HWA Racelab. In total, there are still 22 cars on the grid.


Prema Racing

(1) Dennis Hauger, (2) Jehan Daruvala


After winning another team championship last year and the drivers' title with Oscar Piastri, Prema will be among the favorites again for this season. This year they will be competing with two Red Bull Juniors. Reigning FIA F3 champion Dennis Hauger will start his first Formula 2 season. The Norwegian has had an impressive career in motorsport so far and, in addition to his 2021 F3 title, became the Italian Formula 4 champion in 2019 among others. His teammate for this season is Jehan Daruvala. The Indian is entering his third season in Formula 2, having already won three races in the championship and finished on the podium seven times.


Virtuosi Racing

(3) Jack Doohan, (4) Marino Sato


After last year's second place in the team championship and four race wins by Guanyu Zhou, two new drivers have to pull the coals out of the fire for Virtuosi Racing this season. Reigning FIA F3 runner-up Jack Doohan competed in his first F2 races with the team at the end of last year and has already made a strong impression. He won four races with Trident and stood on an FIA F3 podium seven times. The Australian also finished the F3 Asian Championship twice as runner up. His teammate this year is Marino Sato. The Japanese enters his third full Formula 2 season. So far, the 2019 Euroformula Open champion has not had any success in F2 with his previous team Trident.



(5) Liam Lawson, (6) Logan Sargeant


Carlin also enters the new season with two new drivers. Liam Lawson enters his second F2 year as one of the biggest favorites for the title. He won the first race of the season for Hitech GP last year and was on the podium twice more. The Red Bull Junior was also runner-up in the DTM in 2021. In 2019, the New Zealander won the Toyota Racing Series. Williams Academy driver Logan Sargeant will be his teammate this year. The American from Florida finished third in the FIA F3 Championship in 2020 and won a race with Charouz in Formula 3 last season. With the support of Williams, he will finally succeed in Formula 2 this year.


Hitech Grand Prix

(7) Marcus Armstrong, (8) Jüri Vips


Jüri Vips starts his second F2 season with Hitech Grand Prix. After two race wins and four further podium finishes, the Estonian wants to go for the title this year. The Red Bull Junior was ADAC Formula 4 champion in 2017 among others and finished second in the 2019 Macau Grand Prix. His teammate this season is Marcus Armstrong. So far, he has only won one race in two F2 years with ART Grand Prix and DAMS. The former Ferrari Junior from New Zealand was champion in Italian Formula 4 in 2017 and finished runner-up in the 2019 FIA F3 Championship.


ART Grand Prix

(9) Frederik Vesti, (10) Théo Pourchaire


ART Grand Prix starts the new F2 season with Frederik Vesti and Théo Pourchaire. The Danish driver Vesti makes his Formula 2 debut next weekend after competing with the team in FIA F3 last year. The Mercedes Junior was champion in the 2019 Formula Regional European Championship and won four FIA F3 races in the last two years. His teammate Pourchaire, on the other hand, will start his second F2 season. The Frenchman won two races in his rookie year last season. The Sauber Junior won the German ADAC F4 in 2019 and was vice champion in the 2020 FIA F3 Championship with ART Grand Prix.


MP Motorsport

(11) Felipe Drugovich, (12) Clément Novalak 


Felipe Drugovich is back with MP Motorsport after a season with Virtuosi and is entering his third Formula 2 season. The Brazilian has already won three races and stood on the F2 podium eight times. In 2018, he won the Euroformula Open. His teammate this year is Clément Novalak. The Frenchman made his F2 debut with the team at the end of last year. He finished third in the FIA F3 Championship in 2021 and won the BRDC British Formula 3 in 2019.


Campos Racing

(14) Olli Caldwell, (15) Ralph Boschung


Campos Racing celebrated two podium finishes last year with Ralph Boschung. The Swiss is entering his third season with the team and his fifth full Formula 2 season. Last season and tenth place in the championship, was his most successful so far. Williams Academy driver Olli Caldwell is his teammate this year and is contesting his first season in Formula 2. He won one race with Prema in FIA F3 last year and finished on the podium a further three times. In 2018, he finished third in the Italian F4 Championship.



(16) Roy Nissany, (17) Ayumu Iwasa


The French DAMS team is entering its second season with Williams Academy driver Roy Nissany. It will be the Israeli's third season in Formula 2 overall, with his best result to date being third place in the first race at Monaco last year. Ayumu Iwasa will be his teammate this year. The Red Bull Junior will contest his first season in F2. He finished his FIA F3 rookie season last year in twelfth place with a race win and another podium finish. The Japanese driver won the French Formula 4 Championship in 2020.



(20) Richard Verschoor, (21) Calan Williams


The Italian Trident team enters the 2022 season with two new drivers. For Richard Verschoor, it will be his second year in Formula 2. He finished on the podium once last year with MP Motorsport. The Dutchman won the Macau Grand Prix in 2019, was runner-up in the Toyota Racing Series in 2018 and won both the Spanish and SMP Formula 4 championships in 2016. This year, Calan Williams is his teammate at Trident. He won the Australian Formula 3 Premier Series in 2017. Last year, he took his first and only FIA Formula 3 podium with Jenzer Motorsport in the first race at Circuit Paul Ricard.


Charouz Racing System

(22) Enzo Fittipaldi, (23) Cem Bölükbaşı


The Czech Charouz Racing System team has signed Enzo Fittipaldi for the full 2022 season. The Brazilian already competed in FIA F3 last year and later also competed for the team for three F2 race weekends. The 2018 Italian Formula 4 champion was able to score one podium finish in F3. This year he will have a new teammate in Cem Bölükbaşı. The Turk made a name for himself in simracing and competed in the Formula One eSports Series for three years. In 2019, he took his first steps in car racing and won four races in the GT4 European Series. Last year he also participated in the Euroformula Open, where he won two races and finished on the podium six times.


Van Amersfoort Racing

(24) Jake Hughes, (25) Amaury Cordeel


Van Amersfoort Racing starts into their first Formula 2 season. They have taken over the starting grid spot and the material from HWA Racelab. They have also been able to sign an experienced driver in Jake Hughes. The 27-year-old Briton has already contested ten Formula 2 races with HWA in the past two years. Prior to that, he raced in Formula 3 for several years, finishing runner-up in F3 Asian in 2018 and winning the British BRDC F4 in 2014, among others. His teammate Amaury Cordeel makes his Formula 2 debut this year. The Belgian was Spanish F4 champion in 2018.



After only eight race tracks were used last year due to a new format, there are five more race tracks this year. The total of 13 circuits is a new record for Formula 2 in terms of race weekends. The Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom has been cancelled due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. A replacement for the race has not yet been officially announced, but it is quite likely that another race weekend for Formula 2 will be added. In addition, Formula 2 is the first time ever to be held at the Imola Circuit. The event at the Zandvoort circuit will also be held for the first time this year, after it was cancelled in 2020 and was not on the F2 race calendar in 2021. The Barcelona, Red Bull Ring, Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps rounds return after being initially dropped in 2021.


Round 1: Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir (19-20 March)


Round 2: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah (26-27 March)


Round 3: Imola Circuit, Imola (23-24 April)


Round 4: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona (21-22 May)


Round 5: Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo (28-29 May)


Round 6: Baku City Circuit (11-12 June)


Round 7: Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone (2-3 July)


Round 8: Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (9-10 July)


Round 9: Hungaroring, Mogyoród (30-31 July)


Round 10: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot (27-28 August)


Round 11: Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort (3-4 September)


Round 12: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza (10-11 September)


Round 13: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi (19-20 November)



The weekend format with three races, two of them sprint races, did not have many fans last year. Therefore, this year the format was changed back to two races per weekend, one sprint race on Saturday and the main race on Sunday. All in all, the renewed rule change brings us two to four races more than last year. The practice and qualifying sessions will take place on Friday as usual.


The points system has also been adjusted for this season. Now only half the points are awarded for a pole position or fastest race lap, namely two points for the first grid position and one point for the fastest lap in each race. In addition, there are significantly fewer points to be won in the sprint race. Previously, there were 15 points for winning the race with the starting order of the top 10 from qualifying reversed. From this season, the following points will be awarded: P1 = 10, P2 = 8, P3 = 6, P4 = 5, P5 = 4, P6 = 3, P7 = 2, P8 = 1. For the feature race on Sunday, there are still the same points as last season. P1 = 25, P2 = 18, P3 = 15, P4 = 12, P5 = 10, P6 = 8, P7 = 6, P8 = 4, P9 = 2, P10 = 1.


From March 2-4, the official Formula 2 pre-season tests were held together with FIA F3 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. There were two practice sessions on each of the three days planned, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each practice session lasted two and a half hours. The last session on Friday afternoon had to be cancelled due to a sandstorm.


Day 1 - Morning

P1: Liam Lawson / 1:44.522

P2: Felipe Drugovich / +0.388

P3: Logan Sargeant / +0.488

P4: Jehan Daruvala / +0.581

P5: Jack Doohan / +0.660


In the first practice session on Wednesday morning, Liam Lawson set the best lap time ahead of Felipe Drugovich and his Carlin teammate Logan Sargeant. Ayumu Iwasa and Cem Bölükbaşı completed the most laps with 26 each.



Day 1 - Afternoon

P1: Jehan Daruvala / 1:42.074

P2: Calan Williams / +0.516

P3: Dennis Hauger / +0.528

P4: Liam Lawson / +1.404

P5: Logan Sargeant / +1.409


In the first session in the evening, Prema's Jehan Daruvala was the fastest driver. Calan Williams and Dennis Hauger followed more than half a second behind. With 38 laps, Campos' Ralph Boschung was the busiest driver in the second session.


Day 2 - Morning

P1: Jüri Vips / 1:46.705

P2: Richard Verschoor / +0.526

P3: Cem Bölükbaşı / +0.983

P4: Enzo Fittipaldi / +2.194

P5: Jake Hughes / +2.204


The slowest of all practice sessions saw Hitech GP's Jüri Vips at the top, half a second ahead of Richard Verschoor and almost a second ahead of Cem Bölükbaşı. Logan Sargeant did the most laps with a total of 45. 


Day 2 - Afternoon

P1: Liam Lawson / 1:41.623

P2: Ralph Boschung / +0.473

P3: Théo Pourchaire / +0.473

P4: Logan Sargeant / +0.510

P5: Jack Doohan / +0.521


Liam Lawson set the fastest time of all three test days in the afternoon session on the second day. He was followed by Ralph Boschung and Théo Pourchaire. Cem Bölükbaşı completed 34 laps, the most of any driver in this session.


Day 3 - Morning

P1: Felipe Drugovich / 1:44.911

P2: Clément Novalak / +0.972

P3: Jüri Vips / +1.067

P4: Liam Lawson / +1.203

P5: Logan Sargeant / +1.850


In the final session of testing, MP Motorsport's Felipe Drugovich set the fastest lap. One second behind followed his teammate Clément Novalak ahead of Jüri Vips. The busiest driver on the final day was Frederik Vesti with a total of 54 laps.


As I already did with some racing series last year, I dare to make a little prediction for this year's Formula 2 driver and team championships.


Drivers Championship Prediction


P1: Dennis Hauger

P2: Théo Pourchaire

P3: Liam Lawson

P4: Jehan Daruvala

P5: Jüri Vips


Once again, we're in for an exciting battle with more than eight candidates for the F2 drivers' title. In my opinion, Hauger, Pourchaire and Lawson will decide the title among themselves in the long run. Behind them I also see Daruvala, Vips, Sargeant, Doohan, Armstrong, Drugovich, Novalak and Vesti competing for wins and podiums. And I wouldn't be surprised to see Campos driver Boschung back on the podium a few times.


Teams Championship Prediction


P1: Prema Racing

P2: Carlin

P3: ART Grand Prix


In the team championship, I expect a closer fight for the title than was the case last year. However, I think Prema will secure the title again in the end. But I expect that especially Carlin will challenge them for a longer time. Behind them I think ART Grand Prix, Virtuosi Racing and MP Motorsport will fight for the third place in the championship.


The first race of the new season will take place in a week's time at the Bahrain International Circuit. Enjoy the Formula 2 season!

written by Claudio Graf  / 12th March 2022