It’s never too late to join the F2 party
Been too busy having a life but now experiencing F2 FOMO and feeling panicked because you don’t have a spare 24 hours to catch up on everything that’s happened so far this season? Don’t worry, here’s a handy F2 2023 cheat sheet for you with everything you need to know about how the championship is going so far and how to choose the driver you should have been supporting…
Fighting for the championship
Frederik Vesti (110 points) might not be the name that immediately springs to mind when you think of the F2 championship title, but that’s because he’s stealthed his way into the championship lead by tricking everyone into thinking he wasn’t that good at the beginning (it was hard not to judge him with penalties for impeding and causing a collision all in the first weekend) and then by being sneakily good and winning races for the rest of the season. If he keeps up his recent consistency, he might be hard to beat.
In a close second place is Théo Pourchaire (99 points). After a strong start to the season it might have looked like he was a shoo-in for the title win, finally. However recent rounds have seen Vesti shuffling past him on the leader board. Luckily for Pourchaire, his speedy qualifying laps mean he’s usually able to put himself in a good position for points and he still very much has the championship win within reach.
Third-placed Ayumu Iwasa (82 points) has also been stealthing it, winning several races like it’s no big deal, but then understated is just his whole brand. He’s also quietly winning the battle to be the best of the million Red Bull juniors, if that even means anything anymore.
Fourth-placed Ollie Bearman (70 points) is turning into this year’s “Oh wow look, he ‘s so fast and young and fast” person. It’s the law for there to be one of these drivers to hype each season. If anyone tries to question it, just point them to the Azerbaijan weekend where he won literally everything there was to win, but steer clear of Saudi Arabia (where he spun himself out of the race) or Monaco (where he hit the walls a bit).
In fifth place is Dennis Hauger (57 points) who apparently hasn’t heard that consistency is key and instead is going for a combination of doing well in some races while getting involved in crashes in others. Makes for an exciting time at least, but maybe not the best way to win a title. Time will tell.
Keeping up their profiles
Hanging out just below the top five, but keeping up a steady profile are Richard Verschoor (50 points), Enzo Fittipaldi (49 points), Kush Maini (49 points) and Zane Maloney (48 points). While Verschoor has been keeping his head down and quietly building up points in the mid-field, the others have been going for a more all-or-nothing approach, alternating between podiums and crashes. Highlights include Maloney’s 18th to 2nd glory run in the Bahrain Feature Race, with lowlights being Maini and Fittipaldi crashing during the reconnaissance lap before the Australian Sprint Race.
Probably expected things to be going better
Siting outside of the top ten but probably expecting to be at least looking like they were challenging for the championship title are Victor Martins (45 points), Jehan Daruvala (40 points) and Jack Doohan (40 points). Maybe they’re all just unsure about their F1 futures and hoping to lurk in F2 for a bit; after all, Martins and Doohan need to oust Ocon or Gasly from Alpine, while Daruvala is no longer a Red Bull junior. Regardless, they’ve spent too much time crashing with each other and other people and not enough time being on the podium.
Things have gone wrong
Expectations were high for mini Leclerc, Arthur (36 points), just because, whereas expectations probably weren’t too high for F2 veteran Ralph Boschung (33 points) until he started the season winning everything and leading the championship. That time was long ago and now everyone has forgotten about both of them, as they languish in the bottom half of the championship standings.
Things have gone even more wrong
The much hyped battle of the Red Bull juniors had everyone talking about F2 newcomers Jak Crawford (24 points) and Isack Hadjar (18 points), but Hadjar has spent more time shouting than winning, while Crawford just doesn’t have that many points. I don’t know why.
Some points at least
I regret using the word languish earlier, because Roman Staněk (7 points), Juan Manuel Correa (5 points) and Clément Novalak (2 points) are in full languish mode, with only 14 points between them. We know they’re all good drivers, so let’s just assume that Staněk and Novalak’s team Trident has been struggling, while there are few people on the planet who would be able to make a comeback as strong as Correa’s and everyone is just happy to see him in F2 again.
Oh dear, no points
Still awaiting their first points of the season are Roy Nissany, Amaury Cordeel and Brad Benavides. While Nissany being Nissany is an established part of F2 by now, Cordeel made a short-lived attempt at an adventure away from being an F2 backmarker before returning to his usual spot. F2 newcomer Benavides doesn’t seem to have had the most fun either and might be wondering if a career as a CEO wouldn’t be a better choice after all (follow me on Twitter for more excellent careers guidance). Will any of them score points before the end of the season? Not sure I can handle the suspense.
Choose you new favourite driver
So now you know who they all are it’s time to choose who to support. Or maybe you’re disappointed with your current F2 driver and need a new one. Either way, this flowchart has all the answers…