It was Trident’s new recruit Richard Verschoor that won the F2 season opener in the Sprint Race in Bahrain. The 21-year-old was racing in his first race for the Italian team, after nearly missing out on an F2 seat altogether due to funding. This victory is Trident’s first at this level since Luca Ghiotto back in 2016.
By Tyler Foster
Verschoor had an excellent getaway off the grid, after starting P2, and overtook Felipe Drugovich for the lead into turn one. The Dutchman dealt with a Safety Car period and managed the restart to perfection, pulling away from Ralph Boschung and out of DRS range. The only scare for Verschoor was the rapid pace of Prema’s Jehan Daruvala in the final few laps, but ultimately it was Verschoor that won with relative comfort.
“I think the crucial moment was the start”, he told F1 Feeder Series and selected media. “Obviously, the start was really good. I was leading into the turn one, then I tried to save the tyres. I just managed it from there.”
Verschoor was the final driver to be announced for this year’s Formula 2 grid, as a result of financial problems. It almost seemed as if he wouldn’t be on the grid at all for this year, after having to drop out of F2 last year despite winning a Sprint Race at Silverstone with MP Motorsport. Amazingly he found the funds and has now proven his worth by winning the second F2 race of his career.
“I’m really, really grateful for all my loyal and new sponsors. I have like seventeen partners at the moment. I worked hard over the winter to make it all happen. That makes me more proud to win today.”
This is not only a massive achievement for Verschoor, but also for Trident who have not won at this level since the days of GP2 and only managed their first F2 podiums last year with Bent Viscaal. Subsequently, this is Trident’s first Formula 2 win. Verschoor joked after the race about the lack of F2 trophies at Trident’s headquarters.
“Every time I come into the workshop I see these nice trophies of all Formula 3 trophies, but I don’t see any F2, so finally they can have one.”
The talent of a driver like Richard Verschoor is clear. His Sprint Race victory at Silverstone as a rookie was exceptional, and despite missing an entire round at Jeddah last year, Verschoor finished eleventh in the standings. He raced for MP Motorsport, before making an appearance with Charouz for the final round in Abu Dhabi. We asked the Dutchman, how he feels his move to Trident has gone considering his instability within motorsport over the last twelve months.
“For me, I’ve been six years with MP Motorsport, so it was a bit of a change going to another team for me. To be honest, I got used to it very quickly. I especially like the motivation that the guys have in the factory all ready. We are going along well and of course this is a nice motivational boost for us to win the first race of the season. I’m looking forward to continuing with them.”
Verschoor will start in P9 for the Feature Race on Sunday, with Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan on Pole.
Header photo credit: Trident
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