The Formula 2 title is almost wrapped up for the season’s star performer, Felipe Drugovich, who converted his pole position in the Feature Race at Zandvoort to extend his lead at the top of the standings to a massive 70 points. Meanwhile, the partisan Dutch crowd got to enjoy another home driver on the podium after Richard Verschoor finished in an impressive P2.
By Tyler Foster
F1 Feeder Series spoke to race winner Drugovich about the development of MP Motorsport over the last few years as well as touching on their hopes of being Teams’ Champions for the first time in their history. We also asked Verschoor whether he viewed the season as a success or if there was more to be desired from his performances with Trident.
Our Brazilian championship leader has been in control of the standings since regaining the ascendancy following his double race victory in Spain back in May. A total of four poles and four Feature Race wins so far this season make Drugovich the most successful statistical driver this year in F2. Despite failing to convert his pole in Spa in the previous round, Drugovich had no such issue this time around, gifting his Dutch team an enjoyable home race victory.
A perfect pairing
The supreme consistency of Drugovich in 2022 has come from the combination of his strength in the setup and his pace in the car, both of which are a result of the partnership between Drugovich and MP Motorsport. Prior to the Brazilian joining the team in 2020, they had only won a single race in the series. In his first year with the Dutch outfit, he won three alone.
However, Drugovich made the choice to separate from MP and join Virtuosi for 2021, where he struggled. A failure to achieve any wins while scoring less points than in his rookie year led to a return to MP for 2022. In that period apart, both driver and team learnt valuable lessons and since re-joining, Drugovich has looked indomitable. We asked him how the team has progressed since his time with them as a rookie.
When I came back to them this year they were much more prepared, a much better team.Felipe Drugovich
“Well first of all, looking back to 2020, they really helped me to progress as a driver and I think I really helped them progress as a team. In 2020 they were kind of a new team. The work started from there. When I came back to them this year they were much more prepared, a much better team. For this year, they just did an exceptionally good job every time.”
MP Motorsport ascends to the top
Following victory in the Feature Race and a podium from Clément Novalak in the Sprint Race on Saturday, MP Motorsport have been able to take the lead of the Teams’ Championship with just two more rounds to go. So far this season, Drugovich has scored over 86% of his team’s points. With a 16-point lead over ART, we asked Drugovich how it feels knowing that he has a big part to play in not only his title but that of the team as well.
“Actually, I didn’t know we are leading now, so that’s very nice information. I’m actually happy for them, they really deserve it. We just need to keep doing whatever we are doing. The team is doing great and hopefully I had a very good effect on them also to help them improve.”
Verschoor happy to be free of mechanical problems
MP Motorsport weren’t the only Dutch success story in F2 over the weekend with Richard Verschoor grabbing his first podium since Round 2 in Jeddah. With Logan Sargeant retiring early on from third, a podium looked likely for Verschoor. Despite a messy safety car restart, where Verschoor collided with Jack Doohan, he eventually moved up to P2 and came home just a couple of seconds behind the race winner.
Considering that Verschoor has often been a source of excitement this season, it’s a shame to see him sitting way down in P13 in the Drivers’ Standings. The Dutchman was the victor of the first race of the year but has had his fair share of troubles since his strong start to the campaign. We asked if he has been able to maximise results this season with Trident or whether he could have scored more points.
We had so many issues on the car. I don’t want to say them all but there were a lotRichard Verschoor
“Only in Silverstone we really didn’t have the pace, whether that was me, could be, but for the rest we had so many issues on the car. I don’t want to say them all but there were a lot, especially in Monaco was the worst because we were flying in Monaco and the car stopped working in qualifying.
“So, it’s one of those things. Many things happened this season which is a shame because I really think that we could have easily had over one hundred points, of course with the win in Austria. It’s a shame but I cannot change it now and we have to look forward. We know that the issue was there and that’s why I’m so happy that now in Spa and Zandvoort we had the consistency and not many mistakes. Hopefully we can continue like that.”
Formula 2 returns next weekend in Monza alongside the F1 weekend and the F3 season-finale, where Felipe Drugovich will have the opportunity to wrap up the title with a round to spare.
Header Photo Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd
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