2023 F2 Grid: Everything you need to know
Updated: Nov 9, 2022
Written by Olivia Eyeson, Edited by Simran Kanthi
Despite the final F2 race in Abu Dhabi yet to occur, the 2023 grid is starting to take shape. Following Dennis Hauger's MP Motorsport move being announced this week, this is everything you need to know.
Felipe Drugovich and the team were crowned champions this season after their second campaign together. As a result, Drugovich has been signed to the Aston Martin development programme in F1 and will be taking over the reserve role from Nico Hülkenberg.
Hauger will be joining the Dutch team. This follows a disappointing rookie season with the usually victorious Prema Racing, with whom he won F3 in 2021. His move to MP was highly rumoured, though he also had links to Carlin. According to the F1 website, Hauger said, “I am really excited about joining MP Motorsport for another assault on the FIA Formula 2 Championship. MP have been the revelation of this season, consistently producing a great car for every round of the season.”
Alpine Academy driver, Caio Collet - who finished P8 in F3 with MP Motorsport - has been associated with the secondseat. However, he is said to be focusing on his career in Endurance Racing. Another driver rumoured is Hauger's current Prema teammate, Jehan Daruvala. He has also had talks with ART Grand Prix and will be going into his fourth season in the junior category.
ART Grand Prix
ART's 2022 season was successful with four wins and several podiums. However, with Frederik Vesti rumoured at another team and Theo Pourchaire's claim to be leaving, a new lineup looks set to occur.
The front-runner for an ART drive is F3 champion, Victor Martins. The 21-year-old sealed his victory with the French outfit, and would likely continue with the same team to make his F2 rookie appearance.
Though Pourchaire said to France Racing, “This is my last season in FIA F2 for sure… Financially, it won't be possible”, there has been speculation that the 2023 Alfa Romeo reserve driver will stay for another season. Other drivers rumoured are the likes of Daruvala, Arthur Leclerc, and Juan Manuel Correa.
The 2022 Carlin pairing will be leaving at the end of this season. Logan Sargeant has the Williams F1 seat, warranting he gets enough Super Licence points. Whereas the reserve driver for Red Bull and AlphaTauri, Liam Lawson, is focusing on a 2024 F1 drive.
So who will drive for Carlin? Well, Enzo Fittipaldi is heavily rumoured to leave Charouz Racing System to join the British team. The Brazilian-American is currently having a strong season - this, plus Carlin's car makes him a strong contender for the title. Rumoured to be pairing with him is the 2022 F3 runner-up, Zane Maloney. The 'Boy from Barbados' won British F4 with Carlin, so he would be reunited with the team. Another driver rumoured earlier was Zak O'Sullivan, but he's confirmed to be staying for a second season in F3.
The usually victorious Italian team failed to impress this season. As a result, it seems both Daruvala and Hauger will be leaving.
Instead, Mercedes junior driver Frederik Vesti seems to be returning to Prema after winning FRECA (Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine) and finishing 4th in F3 with them. Oliver Bearman is reckoned to be promoted to the second seat after a tight F3 title fight, although Arthur Leclerc might have preferred to stay with the team. However, his performances compared to Bearman's make him a less likely candidate.
Hitech Grand Prix
Both Hitech boys are looking to race in Indycar next season. Marcus Armstrong was called a "very good candidate" for the Dale Coyne Racing team, whereas Jüri Vips has taken part in Indycar tests after being dropped from the Red Bull Academy due to offensive comments.
Isack Hadjar, who came 4th in F3 with Hitech, is likely to get the seat. The French-Algerian driver is held in high regard with Dr. Helmut Marko (Red Bull Advisor) who said, “Isack Hadjar could be seen in F1 in 2024”. To make a fully Red Bull-backed rookie team, Jak Crawford (who finished 7th in F3 with Prema) is set to join Hitech.
At Virtuosi, it's been a successful rookie campaign with Jack Doohan, the Australian winning three races so far, making him a title favourite for the next season. Alongside Marino Sato, who had his strongest season to date, the driver pairing will remain for next season, with Doohan entering his second season and Sato entering his fourth.
Ayumu Iwasa has impressed during his rookie season, with him currently 9th in the standings, so it's no surprise that he will stay with DAMS for a second season.
His teammate Roy Nissany could also stay for his 5th season, but the likelihood of that is low. Another name being thrown around is Ido Cohen, although the 21-year-old only finished 26th in F3, so this is also unlikely. The most likely candidate is Arthur Leclerc who was in the F3 championship fight this year but finished 6th.
Charouz Racing System
Though the team has had four drivers this year (Cem Bölükbaşı, David Beckmann, Enzo Fittipaldi, and Tatiana Calderón), it seems that none of them will be staying. This leaves both seats vacant, with Olli Caldwell being linked with the Czech team.
Though Clement Novalak was successful in F3 with Trident, his rookie season in F2 with MP Motorsport hasn't been as successful, hence there is speculation that he will return to Trident for his second season. Alongside him will allegedly be Roman Staněk who finished a respectable 5th in his third F3 campaign.
Ralph Boschung has brought the team the most success thus far and is expected to remain in the team for his 6th season. Alongside him, Indian F3 driver Kush Maini is speculated after finishing 14th with MP Motorsport. Another driver rumoured is Trident's Richard Verschoor, who currently sits 14th in the standings.
Van Amersfoort Racing
Amaury Cordeel, currently sitting 20th in the championship, is expected to remain for his 2nd season with the team alongside Juan Manuel Correa. If this were to happen, it would be JMC's first time in F2 since his life-altering crash in Spa 2019. Other drivers rumoured are Caldwell, Verschoor, and Russian F3 driver Alexander Smolyar, but these are unlikely.
With many F1 drivers' contracts currently set to expire in 2023, a multitude of rookies joining the F2 grid, and a new continent to be raced in, the 2023 FIA F2 championship is looking to be fascinating.