MP Motorsport went from a previous team-best finish of sixth to winning both the F2 drivers’ and teams’ championships in 2022, and the man that oversaw this achievement is team principal Sander Dorsman. With the new F2 season only a matter of days away, Dorsman told Feeder Series about the challenge of repeating their success with their all-new driver line-up.
By Tyler Foster
The Dutch team have been a part of the second tier of the junior racing ladder since the days of GP2 in 2013. They have often competed as a midfield team in Formula 2, with their drivers fighting for the odd podium or win.
However, following the return of Felipe Drugovich to the team, alongside some excellent recruitment within their staff, MP Motorsport became a force to be reckoned with in 2022.
This resulted in a spectacular season of dominance that saw the Brazilian driver achieve five victories and 11 podiums on the way to being crowned drivers’ champion. Meanwhile, MP were able to also take their first ever teams’ title in F2.
From Prema to MP
For 2023, however, they will be without their Brazilian maestro, who graduates to an F1 reserve role. Drugovich’s teammate, Clément Novalak, also leaves the team in a switch to Trident.
This left the teams’ champions in a precarious situation of having two of the most sought-after seats on the grid needing to be filled.
Nevertheless, the abundance of interest from drivers led to a smooth transition, with Prema’s 2022 F2 pairing of Dennis Hauger and Jehan Daruvala soon becoming MP’s line-up for 2023.
“It didn’t really come as a package deal, to be honest,” Dorsman joked. “I think it’s just a coincidence, how it went. For us, it was the two best drivers who we could sign, so that’s the only reason.”
A somewhat disappointing year for Hauger and Daruvala saw Prema finish fourth in the teams’ standings, with neither driver meeting the lofty heights that were expected of them during their time with the Italian giants.
Regardless, it remains a big statement from MP Motorsport to snag both drivers from a rival team, and subsequently, the Dutch squad will offer their new duo the chance to start anew as they enter the upcoming campaign, where their target is equally as high.
It was the two best drivers who we could signDorsman on signing Hauger and Daruvala for the 2023 F2 season
Dorsman explained that while the team’s bond with champion Drugovich was great, “so is the relation now with Dennis and Jehan.”
It has only have been a few weeks since either driver signed with the team, so they “are still learning each other a bit,” but their preparations have “so far been good”.
They will need to start strong for MP in order to to repeat the team’s performance from last year.
From hunters to being hunted
As the reigning champions, MP Motorsport will step into the 2023 season with a newfound target on their backs. Dorsman is well aware of the challenge that they will face this year against a highly talented grid.
He made it clear that while this is a unique position for the team to find themselves in, the environment within the team will see them start afresh without any added pressure.
“Everybody realises that we all start from zero, teams and drivers. Not really an extra pressure, just perhaps a motivation.
“Winning is like an addiction, isn’t it? So, everybody is super motivated to try to get the same results again. I wouldn’t say pressure, but more motivation.
“Biggest challenge I think, in F2? Actually, each year is always a challenge. I think this year the field is super competitive.
Winning is like an addiction, isn’t it? So, everybody is super motivated to try to get the same results againDorsman on MP Motorsport’s goals for the 2023 F2 season
“Of course, we have a lot of drivers with some good experience but also a lot of very talented rookie drivers. The level in the field is super high.
“We all start with a blank page this season again, so [we] just need to do our best and see what we can do this year.”
Header image credit: James Gasperotti
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