F2 Team Bosses Look Ahead to Bahrain Season Opener

F2 Team Bosses Look Ahead to Bahrain Season Opener

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On the eve of the 2024 FIA Formula 2 Championship, two team bosses have shared their excitement for getting the season underway.

PREMA’s Team Principal Rene Rosin says the Italian team is ‘delighted’ to get back into action, while the boss at Invicta Racing, Andy Roche, said his team is “eager to get back to racing”.

The season starts in Bahrain, at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, with new Dallara-built cars set to be raced for the first time.

The new cars feature heavily changed aerodynamics and are now more akin to the current generation of Formula 1 cars.

Qualifying is on Thursday, followed by the Sprint Race on Friday and the Feature Race on Saturday, ahead of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Prema aiming high with strong line-up

Rosin’s Prema team are looking to go one better than 2023, after finishing runners-up to ART Grand Prix in the Teams’ Championship, saying the team wants to “continue the good work we did last year”.

The Italian team has arguably the strongest driver pairing in F2 this season, with Ferrari Academy driver Oliver Bearman returning to the series after an impressive rookie season with Prema.

Bearman scored four race wins in 2023 and is expected to be a title challenger in 2024.

The 18-year-old Brit is joined by the reigning FRECA (Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine) champion, Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Antonelli, 17, is backed by Mercedes and comes off the back of a FRECA campaign where he destroyed the opposition with the Prema team.

Of his drivers, Rosin said: “We have two young and highly competitive drivers, and both of them are coming from very impressive seasons.

“That will add some pressure, of course, but also a great deal of motivation, as it means starting from a solid foundation.”

Rosin said Bearman showed how dominant he could be with some of his performances in 2023 – most notably in Azerbaijan, where the then 17-year-old won both races and took pole position.

He added that Antonelli has made ‘incredible progress’ since joining the Prema team in 2021, although the teenage sensation says he’s not putting any expectations on his debut F2 campaign.

Rosin said the season is going to be an ‘exciting challenge’, declaring Prema is ‘ready to compete’.

New faces and a new team name

Over at Invicta Racing, Andy Roche has welcomed two new drivers after the team finished fifth in 2023.

India’s Kush Maini impressed in 2023 with Campos, while the reigning FIA Formula 3 Champion, Gabriel Bortoleto, makes the step up to F2.

They’ve replaced Australian Jack Doohan and Belgian driver Amaury Cordeel.

“Gabriel and Kush have settled into the team nicely,” Roche said, “we are keen to get our season off to a good start.”

The team has also changed its name, now just Invicta Racing, having been Invicta Virtuosi Racing last year.

Roche said he’s interested to see how the aerodynamic changes to the F2 cars impact the cars compared to previous visits to Bahrain, but feels tyre management will be key.

“Bahrain provides a huge challenge every year, with managing tyres something every team focuses on here.”

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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