VAR’s Verschoor: ‘Difficult but not impossible to get a podium’ in Sakhir sprint

It might have been Théo Pourchaire who stole the spotlight after Friday’s Formula 2 qualifying session under the lights in Bahrain, but Van Amersfoort Racing’s Richard Verschoor stepped up to qualify third, the team’s best qualifying result. The Dutch driver told Feeder Series and selected media after the session about Van Amersfoort’s potential for this year as well as his chances in Saturday’s sprint race.

By Tyler Foster

Van Amersfoort had an impressive rookie season in F2 last year. Despite finishing tenth in the teams’ championship, they made their mark with a variety roster of drivers. For 2023, they acquired the services of returnee Juan Manuel Correa, who appeared with the team in the 2022 season finale, and Dutch hotshot Richard Verschoor. 

Verschoor has had a mixed first two seasons in Formula 2. The 22-year-old has achieved two sprint victories and two feature race podiums, but a limited racing budget meant that he had to leave MP Motorsport partway through the 2021 season. Entering 2022, he could only confirm his plans with Trident a few weeks before the season started. 

Now, however, he finally has a secure seat with Van Amersfoort and has joined a team looking to highlight the pace they showed on occasion in 2022. Having qualified on the second row at the first time of asking, Verschoor was full of praise for his new squad.

“I think the team has a lot of potential. I still feel like there is more to reach. Also, a bit inside the team, I think there is more things we can improve. But like today, I think we showed that we are capable to be in the top and our race pace is also looking quite good. So I am looking forward to extracting more [from] the team and from the car.”

We showed that we are capable to be in the top and our race pace is also looking quite good

Richard Verschoor

While the focus for the Dutch team and driver will be on Sunday’s feature race, the sprint on Saturday gives them another opportunity to grab some early points. For the reverse-grid race, Verschoor will start eighth, with Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung starting on pole.

While at Trident last year, Verschoor took the first victory of the season in the Bahrain sprint. His task will be harder from seventh on the grid, but he nonetheless hopes to achieve the team’s first podium in F2.

“Last year was good. I started P2. I was leading straight away actually, so of course then it’s a bit easier if you don’t have any cars in front. You can manage your own pace, so I think definitely with six cars in front of me it will be a lot harder to get 23 laps in with the softs. I think it’s going to be difficult but not impossible to get a podium.”

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