After two rounds, the leader of the Formula 2 Championship is one that may surprise people, but the performances of Felipe Drugovich have been consistently impressive. His double podium in Jeddah, including a pole and a Feature Race win, means that he leads the standings by 11 points over Liam Lawson.
By Tyler Foster
Qualifying on Friday was chaotic, but it was the Brazilian who found himself best equipped to the final flying laps and put himself over sixth tenths ahead of his nearest competitor before a late Richard Verschoor lap cut his gap to two tenths. After an impressive fourth in the Sprint Race, that was later increased to a podium as a result of a Jake Hughes disqualification, Drugovich lined up on pole for the Feature Race.
The 21-year-old hadn’t won a F2 race since his rookie season with MP Motorsport in 2020. Since then he was unable to win with Virtuosi Racing in 2021, despite being on the podium four times. In this instance, he took his opportunity and dominated the rest of the field, especially after his pit-stop onto the harder compound tyres where he extended his lead over Verschoor.
A renewed Drugovich
After his impressive performance on Sunday, F1 Feeder Series had the opportunity to ask him about his excellent start to the season since rejoining MP Motorsport from Virtuosi.
“Talking about MP, I think we go down really well together. I really like the team, I really like the boys in the team. We worked pretty hard during winter to start the championship already on top. Compared to Virtuosi last year, I think they have a good car. Virtuosi is a very good team but I didn’t really melt with the team very well. Also, the car, I wasn’t really comfortable. So, things in the past so now I feel very comfortable with this team so we’re just trying to do the best we can.”
It is clear that since rejoining MP Motorsport, he has regained the confidence that saw him contend in his rookie season and win three races, including a Feature Race victory at Bahrain. After a year of consistency at Virtuosi, he has shown maturity that so far is leading to him contending for the title at this early stage in the season.
We also spoke to the Brazilian about his performance on the hard tyres and just why he was able to control the lead after his pit-stop.
“About the tyres, to be fair, the harder tyres we had today were very good. They held up pretty well and towards the end of the race, there was almost no deg. I think that brings to life the actual performance of the car and the driver. I think we just showed the performance we had in qualy. We were really quick in that and I feel very comfortable in the car, it was very balanced. So, big thanks to the team for that.
Drugovich is one of only two drivers, the other being Jüri Vips, to have finished inside the points in all four races so far this season. This is the sort of impressive consistency that we saw from past F2 champions such as Oscar Piastri, however this needs to be kept up in order to fight for the title.
More pole positions would also massively help those chances, as Piastri also illustrated the importance of performing well in qualifying over the course of the season. While this Jeddah pole and Feature Race win may have come as a surprise to many, Drugovich is now the man that all others will target from Round 3 in Imola, when Formula 2 returns.
Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd
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