Left: Roy Nissany smiles while looking slightly to the left. Right: Ralph Boschung stares ahead while looking slightly to the right.

F2 CEO Bruno Michel defends older drivers: ‘They are part of it as well’

Though the 2022 Formula 2 season only finished a couple of weeks ago, it has already been announced that some of the most experienced drivers in recent F2 history will return for another season in 2023. F1 Feeder Series and selected media discussed this and other topics in junior series racing with F2 CEO Bruno Michel ahead of the new year.

By Tyler Foster

Swiss racer Ralph Boschung, 25, will participate in his fourth campaign with Spanish team Campos, having made his debut in the series back in 2017. Despite suffering from facet syndrome symptoms throughout 2022 that caused him to miss almost half of the season, Boschung managed to score two podiums in a disrupted campaign.

Israeli driver Roy Nissany, 28, will also be back for his fifth F2 season, having joined the newly rebranded PHM Racing by Charouz. Nissany – who previously raced with Campos, Trident and most recently DAMS – will play the role of the experienced driver at PHM alongside Brad Benavides. The German team competed in both the Italian and ADAC F4 Championships in their first season of racing in 2022 and challenged for wins despite their lack of experience. They have acquired Charouz’s assets in F2 and F3 for 2023 before they fully take over the team in 2024.

While both Boschung and Nissany have made gradual improvements, they are arguably at their relative peaks in terms of performance in their F2 careers. With the both of them already confirmed for 2023, there are two fewer seats available to younger drivers from the lower tiers of the feeder series ladder.

There is an argument that retaining veteran drivers reduces the series’ effectiveness at providing a perpetual wave of new talent. F1 Feeder Series asked Bruno Michel whether he felt their presence would hurt or help the series in the long run.

“The only rule we have in Formula 2 is that the winner cannot repeat, and I think everybody understands why we do that because otherwise, it would be a major issue. For the rest, we’re always quite happy to welcome drivers like Roy or Ralph. They love the series. They are doing something generally which is quite good in the series. They do quite good racing and they are quite experienced. It’s good for the young drivers arriving in the category to compare themselves to those guys as well,” Michel said.

They do quite good racing and they are quite experienced. It’s good for the young drivers arriving in the category to compare themselves to those guys as well

Bruno Michel on Roy Nissany and Ralph Boschung

“It’s always quite an interesting challenge. We have 22 seats in F2, so if there are 22 drivers who are coming from F3, then in that case it might be different. Ralph came to me to ask, ‘Is it a problem for you if I continue next year?’. As long as he enjoys it, the team enjoys it, he’s got the proper funding to do it.

“Obviously, the drivers who have been in F2, they love F2. I was talking to Tatiana [Calderón] as well. [She] was so happy to be back in Formula 2 after a few years. It’s a championship that they really enjoy, so I’m not going to say, ‘No, leave space to the young people’. I think it’s good to have a little bit of everything in the category, and they are part of it as well.”

Header photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency (Nissany), Formula Motorsport Limited (Boschung)

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