The chequered flag has fallen on the 2022 F2 championship but there is still plenty to unpick after a great finale.
Coming into the weekend there was still plenty on the line and battles to be decided even if Felipe Drugovich had been crowned in Monza. The two biggest stories were of course who would win the Teams Championship? And would Logan Sargeant do what was required to make the step up to F1?
1 – Pressure? What Pressure?
Probably the biggest story was whether or not Sargeant would get the required points to take his position with Williams F1 in 2023. At a glance, he started the standings in third and finished in fourth so simple enough? Not exactly.
At the start of the Sprint Race, he was overrun with other drivers battling and knowing he needed to stay out of trouble. The pressure must have been enormous on him. Coming into turn 6 he was being smothered and looked to be losing a lot of places.
For Sargeant, the red flag for the lap 1 crash with Daruvala came at the perfect time as he regained a few positions. That allowed him to maintain his position on the rolling restart and he came back sixth. This put one hand on that F1 seat for Sargeant who had one more race to survive.
In the Feature, Sargeant had a much better start and was staying out of trouble. However, a slightly slow stop and a Roy Nissany undercut put Sargeant into a world of pain. He couldn’t make the pass as didn’t want to risk a no-score with a late lunge.
You could hear the stress in his voice as he saw drivers closing behind and maybe his dream would be lost. With a couple of laps to go, a brave move around the outside for Sargeant got him that place as he finished in fifth. That was more than enough to guarantee we will see the young American on the F1 grid in 2023. If that wasn’t quite enough, the result means Sargeant becomes the top F2 rookie for the year as well!
2 – Our Champion
Anyone who expected Drugovich to have a relaxing weekend and take his foot off the gas really doesn’t know the Brazilian. A pair of double podiums over the weekend reinforced what a good season this has been for him. Winning the F2 title and being named an official Aston Martin F1 Reserve Driver.
In the Sprint he took advantage of other people’s misfortune to find his way up to third on the road in what was a relatively lonely race.
The Feature is where his talents came to the front. Jumping Theo Pourchaire at the start he was already on the podium and possibly in victory contention. While the DAMS fought out front, Drugovich closed in and managed to pass Nissany for second.
Ayumu Iwasa had him covered out front and the champion started to manage his tires to extend the stint. This worked to perfection as with Iwasa pitting earlier, Drugovich had better tire life.
Phwoaaar, we need to sit down again after watching this! 🤯
— Formula 2 (@Formula2) November 20, 2022
With only a few laps to go, Drugovich was all over the back of Iwasa and was hounding him to make a mistake. There were lunges down the back straight and wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the lap but somehow Iwasa held on. Taking his second Feature win of the year.
3 – A New Team Crowned
With the performance of their main driver, MP Motorsport took the F2 Teams Championship to complete the double!
Despite MP relying almost solely on Drugovich for points, it was enough. Pourchaire fought all he could in the race to try and get the place for ART but it wasn’t enough. Any issues could have swung the title decidedly though and in F2 anything can happen.
However, in the end, the issue came for Pourchaire and ART whose failure ended their slim hopes. Bringing to a close a season that started so brightly for Pourchaire but ended rather dismally.
4 – The Wheels Come Off
The Feature Race looked to be a walkover for all of those drivers starting on the softs as the alternative drivers couldn’t hold a strong enough pace to be in the fight. That is, except for Jack Doohan….
Having started on the harder tires he knew he had to go long and hope the gap wasn’t too large after his stop to fight back. A challenge that Doohan seemed to relish. Taking the lead while others pitted off of the softs, he needed to maintain a reasonable pace. He didn’t…
No, he didn’t just maintain a reasonable pace he actually was lapping the same pace as those who’d pitted after their tires had done a few laps. It was an incredible drive from Doohan who has to be one of the favorites for 2023.
After he pitted, he came out with approximately an 8-second gap to the leader and enough laps to go hunting for the win. It looked like a grandstand finish. That was until he came through the right kink of turn 2, and his tire went left. The wheel nut hadn’t been tightened enough and the entire wheel fell off!
With only 3 tires on, his race was over, and we were deprived of what could have been an epic end to the season.
5 – 2023 Looking Healthy
Even drivers without anything to battle for put on a good show over the weekend. The series might be losing two top drivers in Drugovich and Sargeant but with new drivers coming up from F3, and some exciting drivers returning, 2023 is looking like a vintage year for F2.
Jack Doohan is expected to return with a point to prove. He has impressed Alpine with his work with them and was probably the quickest driver over the weekend if not for the tire falling off. Add in several exciting rookies already announced coming up from Formula 3, including Arthur Leclerc, and next season’s grid is shaping up nicely.
With the season over, here are the final standings of the F2 Championship, with the full standings available here.
- Felipe Drugovich – 265 points
- Theo Pourchaire – 164 points
- Liam Lawson – 149 points
- Logan Sargeant – 148 points
- MP Motorsport – 305 points
- Carlin – 297 points
- ART Grand Prix – 281 points
- PREMA Racing – 241 points
What a season it was! We will keep you up to date with all the news from the F2 off-season.