Richard Verschoor has opened up on the process behind the scenes to arrange the sponsorship that enabled him to compete in the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship for Van Amersfoort Racing.
Verschoor, who enters Round 8 at Spielberg sixth in the standings on 50 points, is in his third season in Formula 2. The Dutch driver has historically struggled for budget, but he managed to buck a trend of late confirmations to race seats by confirming his seat with Dutch squad Van Amersfoort on his birthday on 16 December, two and a half months before the 2023 season got underway.
As he told InsideF2 during a media roundtable ahead of Spielberg, this early announcement, which came just three weeks after post-season testing for 2022 at Yas Marina concluded, belies the true difficulty he faced in raising funds.
“It might have looked a bit better from the outside than it was from the inside, I can tell you that!
“I’m doing everything myself. I don’t have a manager to organise anything for me, so I did sign early, but I still had to find everything, even afterwards,” he said.
“In the end, I found 17 partners that paid for my seats, so I’m super grateful for that, but it was definitely not as easy as it looked.”
In 2021, Verschoor drove on a round-by-round basis for MP Motorsport, with whom he had competed since his single-seater debut in 2016. He made it through the first six of eight rounds before his budget dried up and he was replaced by Jack Doohan.
He then returned for the final round with Charouz Racing System in place of Enzo Fittipaldi, who was injured in an accident at the Jeddah round that Verschoor missed. He ended 2021 11th in the standings on 56 points, with a Sprint Race win at Silverstone to his name.
Eight days before pre-season testing for 2022 kicked off in Bahrain, Trident announced that Verschoor would be competing for the team for the 2022 season. Verschoor triumphed in the opening race of the season at Bahrain and stood on the top step of the podium again at the Feature Race in Austria before being disqualified for having insufficient fuel.
He ended last year 12th on 103 points, with nine points finishes from the final nine races helping him to the biggest points haul for an individual Trident driver in the second tier since Luca Ghiotto took 111 points in the 2016 GP2 Series.
Though Van Amersfoort have competed in single-seaters for nearly 50 years, Verschoor has spent one more year in F2 than the team has.
“I could help them quite a lot with the experience I had,” he told InsideF2 about developing the series’ newest outfit.
“I can explain my experience, but also you have to put it [so] that it actually works for the team. Every team works differently. I think with our way of working, we have some very strong points and some weaker points, which we are trying to cut out a bit.
“I enjoy it so far, the work we put in, but we are definitely not there where we want to be.”
Despite scoring in each of this year’s six Feature Races and in the last two Sprint Races as well, Verschoor has not yet taken a podium. As for the team, he contends that their lack of experience remains a setback.
“I think that sometimes, we still miss a bit the experience from the team’s side. Of course, I have my experience, but it’s not for me. I’m struggling in certain tracks more than others, let’s say, to not go too much in detail!” he said.
“Apart from maybe Silverstone – I’m not so sure – [at] all the other tracks, I think we will be very strong.”
Verschoor did not elaborate on his concerns about Silverstone, which follows Spielberg in the calendar. Van Amersfoort endured a difficult weekend there last year, taking only one point courtesy of Jake Hughes as Amaury Cordeel was suspended for the round and replaced by David Beckmann.
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