RaceFans’ guide to the 2023 Formula 2 grid

Formula 2

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There’s 22 drivers across 11 teams on the Formula 2 grid this year, and a lack of rule changes suggests a similar pecking order to 2022 will arise. But could someone spring a surprise?

MP Motorsport

1. Dennis Hauger

By driving for the reigning champion team every year since 2021, Hauger goes into his third season of racing with the number one on his car. The first time he did was in Formula 3, where he became champion, then he won two races when he stepped up to F2 with Prema in 2022. He plans to continue his form of winning titles in his sophomore campaigns in series with his move to MP.

2. Jehan Daruvala

It took a while for Daruvala to commit to a fourth season in F2, as he lost his Red Bull backing but also found a new opportunity by becoming Mahindra’s Formula E reserve driver. But joining F2’s top team puts him in a better place than ever before to win the title. The race pace is always there, but he needs to improve in qualifying.

Rodin Carlin

3. Zane Maloney

Recently signed as a Red Bull junior – despite his favourite Formula 1 team being Mercedes – Maloney was one of the standouts of the FIA F3 season. Now one of Barbados’ highest-profile athletes, he steps up to F2 after winning the final three F3 feature races of 2022 to be championship runner-up.

4. Enzo Fittipaldi

The grandson of two-times F1 world champion Emerson and younger brother of Haas reserve Pietro, Fittipaldi is another Red Bull junior. He went on an incredible run to eighth in 2022 with an unfancied team, made even more remarkable after undergoing brain surgery in late 2021 following a horrible crash in Jeddah.

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ART Grand Prix

5. Theo Pourchaire

In 2021, Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver became the youngest ever winner in F1’s primary feeder series when he was just 17. That raised expectations for 2022, but they were not met despite two wins and second place in the standings. It’s the title or bust this season as Pourchaire approaches his third campaign.

6. Victor Martins

Reigning FIA F3 champion Martins is simultaneously a student, as a member of the Alpine Academy, and also a teacher through his own Victory Lane karting team and management company. He knows ART well, having become Formula Renault Eurocup and F3 champion with the team, and impressed in testing.


Frederik Vesti, Prema, 2023
Frederik Vesti, Prema, 2023

7. Frederik Vesti

Vesti has a history of success with Prema, dominating the Formula Regional European Championship in 2019 and coming fourth in F3 with the team in 2020. His last two years with ART GP have resulted in wins in F3 and F2, but not consistency. That may change given the race pace he has shown in 2023 pre-season testing.

8. Ollie Bearman

Ferrari junior Bearman arrives in F2 after winning two Formula 4 titles and a GB3 race in 2021, then coming just eight points short of being F3 champion as a rookie in 2022. The 17-year-old has the ability to emulate Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri, who became F2 champions as rookies with Prema.

Hitech GP

9. Jak Crawford

Crawford, just 17-years-old, has always pushed age barriers while racking up impressive results. His Euroformula debut was delayed by a day due to being underage, but he was already winning from pole by his second race and won in F3 last year. He is the most exciting of the three Americans on the 2023 F2 grid.

10. Isack Hadjar

The Franco-Algerian is part of the Red Bull Junior Team and another swift mover up the single-seater ladder. Third in French F4 in 2020, fifth in FREC in 2021 and fourth in F3 last year. Ticking off F2 in one year will be far more difficult, but he’s shown growth as a driver with each step up.

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11. Ayumu Iwasa

Red Bull’s F1 engines will return to being labelled as Honda units for 2023, and the Japanese marque is also present on the F2 grid with Iwasa. The 2020 French F4 champion claimed two wins and two poles in his rookie F2 campaign with DAMS, and the improvements the team has revealed to RaceFans it is making suggests he might have a title-capable car underneath him in 2023.

12. Arthur Leclerc

Leclerc, like his older brother Charles, is part of the Ferrari family but he also used to be a development driver for the Venturi FE team. He was FRegional Asian champion last year, but a messy F3 season meant his title attack there ended with sixth place in the standings. He should not be expected to replicate his brother’s famous F2 accomplishments in 2017.

Virtuosi Racing

14. Jack Doohan

Doohan – son of five-time MotoGP champion Mick – has starred in F4, FRegional, F3 and F2 and has been backed by F1 teams ever since his single-seater racing debut. He made a well-timed move in 2022 to leave Red Bull’s books for Alpine, earning two F1 practice appearances and now the reserve driver role for 2023.

15. Amaury Cordeel

Cordeel was given eight penalty points last year just for track limits violations, and his other breaches of the regulations led to a race ban. But he somewhat redeemed himself with a burst of end-of-year pace that made him the sixth-highest scoring driver over the last three races. An enigma of a driver.

PHM Racing by Charouz

16. Roy Nissany

The 28-year-old Israeli, a former Williams junior, has started 146 races in the secondary tier of single-seater racing and the last of his three wins at this level came in 2017. In the current-spec F2 car with its 18-inch tyres, he has two top-five finishes and a race ban from three seasons.

17. Brad Benavides

In stark contrast to Nissany’s experience, Benavides had never done a full season of car racing until F3 last year. He holds three nationalities – American, Guatemalan and Spanish – and the best result of his car racing career is sixth place in a 2021 Euroformula race.

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20. Roman Stanek

The former Sauber junior thought he was going to race in F2 back in 2020, his second year of car racing, but behind-the-scenes chaos meant he ended up in F3 instead. He spent three years in that series, and his unsuccessful title bid last season – which did include a win and a pole position – actually saved his racing career and convinced his backers to provide the funding to enable an F2 move.

21. Clement Novalak

Novalak raced as a Brit for several years before switching to a French licence in 2021. The 2019 GB3 champion’s rookie F2 season in 2022 rarely included points – despite being with champions MP – as he struggled to adapt to the car. He enjoys the atmosphere at Trident and wants to implement what he learned at the end of last year with his new team.

Van Amersfoort Racing

22. Richard Verschoor

The Macau Grand Prix winner of 2019, Verschoor joins VAR to make an all-Dutch driver/team combination after two seasons with teams where he has been fast but not had the machinery to be a consistent frontrunner. He said during the recent Bahrain test that he was struggling on race runs, but then set the fastest lap and was fourth fastest on long-run pace.

23. Juan Manuel Correa

The fairytale return of Correa is a dream achieved for the driver who ended up in a coma following his 2019 crash with Anthoine Hubert, which tragically claimed the latter’s life. After relearning to walk and then drive, Correa made his racing comeback in F3 and made the podium in the second year of his return. He started working with VAR at the 2022 F2 season finale.

Campos Racing

24. Kush Maini

The protege of Formula Ford legend Joey Foster was runner-up in BRDC British F3 (now known as GB3) back in 2020, and has picked up a podium apiece from campaigns in FRegional and F3. Although Campos came last in the 2022 teams’ standings, Maini could be a dark horse with the team and was fast in testing.

25. Ralph Boschung

A neck injury heavily disrupted Boschung’s 2022 season, but he still stood on the podium twice and demonstrated impressive pace on multiple occasions. However, in the last seven years, he has only run a full season in a championship without missing races through budget issues or injury once.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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4 comments on “RaceFans’ guide to the 2023 Formula 2 grid”

  1. I honestly have high expectations from both Daruvala and Maini this season, although I still believe Daruvala should have left F2 and Maini should’ve done another year in F3. I hope I am proven wrong though! Indians need an F1 driver.

    1. If you compare the two jehan is light years away compared to the Maini brothers, and jehan has a third overall in F3 and 2nd overall in F2 asia championship, he has the pace but worse in qualifying he’s not in the level of Oscar piastri or the durgovich but a decent Indian driver, but can’t say the same for the Maini brothers

  2. Lots of great talent here. Hauger, Pourchaire, Bearman, Iwasa, and Doohan I think are the best positioned to fight for the title, but there’s at least 4 or 5 more drivers that could impress as well.

  3. Enzo Fittipaldi was the standout star for me last year. He outperformed what was expected of the Charouz team. I predict he might be a major contender this year for Carlin. The other one is Jack Doohan – who seems to have tons of one lap pace.

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