As we enter the month of July, motorsport has been in the news because of the abhorrent behaviour of Brazilian F1 champion Nelson Piquet. But in Formula 2, a Brazilian from the current generation has been making headlines throughout the first half of the campaign for all the right reasons.
By Tyler Foster
MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich leads the championship by 49 points over Théo Pourchaire coming into the hectic month of July. Despite having been the dominant driver of the series so far, winning three of the six Feature Races so far and taking two pole positions, Drugovich remains unaffiliated with an F1 team or driver academy. Among the current top five in Formula 2, he is the only one without F1 backing.
Speaking to F1 Feeder Series in Baku, Drugovich said, “I don’t know a better way to show them this, so that’s all I can do for now.” It might seem harsh, but Drugovich’s age, 22, could be a factor for some of those F1 teams, as his nearest championship rival, Sauber Academy driver Pourchaire, is more than three years younger.
July: A month of chaos
Formula 1 will be racing on four of the five weekends in July, and Formula 2 will be joining it for all of those, starting with Silverstone and the British Grand Prix this weekend followed by the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Then there is a one-week break before two more back-to-back races at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France and the Hungaroring in Hungary.
Usually in junior series racing, calendars are fairly spaced out, but after Formula 2’s long and sparse 2021 calendar, it seems that July will counter any longer breaks. The month will be critical for all the Formula 2 drivers this season because of the effects it will have not only upon the F2 championship itself but also upon any drivers with hopes and prospects of reaching F1, especially those who are not currently members of a driver academy.
At the last round in Baku almost three weeks ago, F1 Feeder Series spoke to Dennis Hauger, Logan Sargeant and Drugovich, the drivers who made up the top three in the Feature Race. We asked them all how they felt about the chaotic schedule in July.
Some drivers, like Drugovich, relished the chance to compete at such a high level constantly. “Yeah, I think July is going to be exciting,” Drugovich said. “Of course, we’re going to enjoy a little bit now the break, but at the same time I really like the opportunity to get to drive every weekend.”
Keeping busy with other racing
For Baku Feature Race winner Hauger, there was less of a break in the build-up to July than for most: he headed to Sweden’s Drivecenter Arena to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia from 17–18 June.
“It’s going to be a cool and intense month. I’m actually not really having a break. Next weekend, I’m doing a Porsche race, so that’s going to be a bit of a different experience, but other than that it’s always going to be an intense season, and it’s just about resetting when you can.”
Hauger seemingly enjoyed his time racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, as he qualified third and second for the two races and went on to finish second and 14th respectively. The Prema driver will be looking to carry his recent momentum into July after two race wins in the last two rounds, which have pushed him to fifth in the standings.
Sitting fourth in the F2 championship, Sargeant has been incredibly consistent, especially in the Sprint Races. He has also been working with Williams as a member of their driver academy. The American will be hoping for an FP1 appearance with Williams at some point this year after Nyck de Vries was the first to have the opportunity at the Spanish Grand Prix.
“Even when you have time off, it doesn’t really stop. You’re still constantly staying busy. I do sim stuff with Williams, stay in the gym. Looking forward to July, I’m extremely excited, especially because we’re getting into the tracks that I know well. I feel like I’ve got the extremely hard ones out of the way, and now we can look to really start feeling more comfortable.”
Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd
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