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F2: Sprint race podium-sitters on their approach to the Feature Race

Formula 2's first race of the 2023 season saw a rookie on the podium and a maiden F2 race winner

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Ralph Boschung won the Formula 2 Sprint Race and spoke to FormulaNerds about how he’s approaching the Feature Race along with podium-sitters Dennis Hauger and Victor Martins. 

F2 Boschung Martins Hauger Bahrain Sprint Formula 2
Ralph Boschung of Campos Racing on the podium at the Bahrain International Circuit for the F2 Sprint Race. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

The feeder series are in Bahrain this weekend supporting Formula 1. For the lower junior category of Formula 3 the sprint race was action-packed with two safety cars. However, in Formula 2 all cars stayed on track showcasing the competitiveness of the championship.

The Bahrain International Circuit allows for overtaking. During the Sprint Race, many drivers battled amongst each other and moved up the grid. Two notable drivers who improved on their starting positions were Dennis Hauger and Victor Martins.

Hauger finished the race in P2 and Martins finished the race in P3. The two drivers joined Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung on the podium as the latter finally took his maiden F2 race victory after 96 race starts in the championship.

The Formula 2 Sprint Race this weekend consisted of 23 laps, 11 laps shorter than the Feature Race today. FormulaNerds spoke to the three podium-sitters after the Sprint Race yesterday. The trio told FormulaNerds and Formula 2 what they need to do in order to maximise their results for the Feature Race.

Martins’ comments

Martins debuted in Formula 2 this weekend with ART Grand Prix after graduating from Formula 3, where he won the title. He partners Théo Pourchaire at the French team, but it was the rookie who succeeded today.

Martins told Formula 2 that the key thing for him to manage is his emotions. He said:

“I will say to manage my emotions a bit more. I was seeing Ralph [Boschung] and I was like; I want to go for it.

“But you need to think about the tyres, so maybe tomorrow and tonight we need to analyse where I could have stayed a bit more on the back foot to be better in the end.

“I need to have another approach, but I think for the first race I just wanted to push and see where I ended up.”

F2 Formula 2 Martins Boschung Hauger Bahrain Sprint
Third placed Victor Martins of ART Grand Prix (6) celebrates on the podium during the Round 1:Sakhir Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

On Friday after the Formula 2 Qualifying, Martins told FormulaNerds that this weekend he wanted to take it as it comes and get used to the F2 car and way of working. Keeping his emotions in check will be key, but for Hauger and Boschung, their focus is more on having a good start.

Hauger’s focus for today

In the Sprint Race, Hauger started in sixth but for the Feature Race, he’ll start in P4. Speaking to FormulaNerds, the Norwegian said:

“Overall, I think starting a row more forward tomorrow is going to help a bit. Have a good start, I think that’s gonna be the main thing for me to get everything settled down a bit, so I’ve ended up in the middle of everything and that probably didn’t help the race overall, I think.

“But in the end I think that’s going to be a key point and from then on obviously strategy’s going to be key. But for me, it’s just about doing a sort of similar thing to yesterday.

“Look at the data with the team to see what we can improve but I think overall it’s been quite strong, just have to work on those details to get a good start.”

Hauger moved to MP Motorsport for his second campaign in Formula 2. MP Motorsport were the team last year, which saw one of their drivers clinch the Drivers’ Title. After winning the F3 Championship in 2021, Hauger is pipped for being a potential contender for the F2 title this year.

A maiden race victory

Ralph Boschung is the most experienced Formula 2 driver on the grid. He first competed in the championship back in 2017 and has competed in it ever since.

Yesterday’s Sprint Race saw Boschung clinch his maiden title. When speaking to Formula 2 on his win, Boschung said he’s “super happy”, especially since he won “by more than 10 seconds.”

Today, Boschung is starting in P10 for the race. FormulaNerds asked him what his main takeaways from his sprint race win were that will help him get some good results in the Feature Race. Boschung said:

“Well, for sure, having a good start is gonna help. Pretty confident on that and then obviously try and have a good strategy.

“Even though I kind of had a bit of a lonely race today, I think it’s really about staying very clean, minimizing mistakes. I think it’s a bit easier when you’re in the front to you know, to pull a gap and then just manage the tyres then when you fight with cars around you.

“So definitely tomorrow’s going to be more tricky, but I kind of have an idea of what I want to do.”

The Formula 2 championship is only just beginning but it’s a competitive field of drivers. With experienced drivers and rookies from F3, it is unknown; how well will the Sprint Race podium-sitters fare in the Feature Race?

Headline Image: GettyImages

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