What’s Behind Campos Racing’s Resurge? Exclusive with Adrian Campos Jr.

What’s Behind Campos Racing’s Resurge? Exclusive with Adrian Campos Jr.

What’s Behind Campos Racing’s Resurge? Adrian Campos Tells All

There once was a time when underdog was the perfect word to describe Campos Racing in FIA Formula 2 and 3, but that is a moniker the Spanish outfit is rapidly shaking off.

A win for Ralph Boschung, frequent points for rookie F2 Kush Maini, and multiple top-step visits for F3’s current second-placed racer, Pepe Martí, have all come in the opening rounds of 2023 to show this is a new era for Campos.

F2’s Spanish round is a home race for the Valencia-based squad, and it is the bustling F2 paddock where insideF2 spoke with Team Principal Adrián Campos Jr.

Kush Maini is the first topic of conversation after the Indian racer’s impressive start to the season saw him sitting P4 in the standings at the time of the interview — the top rookie in the championship. Did Adrián expect him to be so high up?

“It’s difficult to say that at this point. I had big hopes, because last year, he showed a lot of potential. A lot of bad luck sometimes, but a lot of potential.

“We knew that working hard with enough time before the start of the season would make a difference, and I think he got involved with the team really, really well. 

“He’s now living next to our facilities. He’s spending a lot of time working with the team, training very hard, and we make a great team together.

“This is what is making the difference. We are giving him the stability he was not having in the past, [allowing] him to regularly be scoring points almost in every race.

“This is why he’s now on the in the top spots.”

Consistency at Campos

Stability is hard to find across motorsport, especially in F2 and F3, where drivers often spend a season at a team before switching out for new colours in the next year.

Boschung is in his third consecutive season and fourth overall with Campos, and F3’s Martí has spent all of his three seasons in cars with the team.

Both racers’ results have improved the longer they’ve spent with the team instead of using them as a stepping stone to jump to higher-budget squads, so Campos’ strategy seems to be working.

“That [stability] is the thing that we know how to do better. We believe, in these championships, there is always more time to find on a driver than the car.

“If the driver feels like [he is] in his family, and he feels like everyone around him is working very hard for him, and that he believes and trusts everyone around him, he will perform at his maximum. That is what we are sure about.

“Of course, the car must be good. But the driver is the main thing, the main element. He’s the one driving. So, he needs to be at his 100%. And for this, he needs to feel like [he is] in a family.

“This is what we believe that we do well and what we did very well with Kush. He believes that everyone around him works as hard as they can for him. He trusts everyone around him. 

“He just needs to drive as fast as possible, work hard with his engineer, and then the results will come. When he believes that, then the results come. So, this is our main philosophy.”

Rallying around Ralph

While Maini is frequently flying high, Boschung’s season started with him P1 in the standings before a slow descent to the rear of the grid.

Adrián Campos details his time working with the experienced Swiss racer that won his first F2 race in March wearing Campos Racing overalls.

“It’s been difficult with Ralph, to be honest. The first year was very good. The first year was 2021. It was difficult for everyone because it was the year that my father passed away. 

“We really appreciated him keeping the trust in all the team, and it was a very positive year for him. He’s a driver with a lot of experience, but 2021 was his first season ever that he finished the whole season. 

“He had the [financial] support. And this allowed him to deliver and focus only on driving, not finding the sponsorship or the budget to race.

“So, he finished in the top 10 in the championship. He made some podiums — the first podiums of his career in F2. 

“And then the following year, everything started well. But then he had the neck injury, and he missed half of the season with the neck injury.

“This completely stopped the evolution that we were having. We had to withdraw from some race weekends, only racing with one driver.

“Then he didn’t show up in some other races because of the injury, and we needed to find a replacement with Roberto (Merhi).

“Then this year, everything started really, really well. I think we are getting back there. We will get back to the top spots during the year, but it’s been very difficult.

“The year was looking very good, even more after the Bahrain race. But now we need to work hard and give everything that he needs to bring him back where he was at the beginning of the year.”

Wherever the Spanish team do head from here, it’s hard to think that the P11 finish they suffered last season will repeat in 2023.

With seven rounds remaining, Campos sit P6 in the Teams’ Championship standings, just 15 points from the P4 slot 2022 champions MP Motorsport currently occupy.

But after speaking with Adrian and seeing how he and the management interact with their drivers, it’s not where they sit now that is relevant. It’s where they’ll sit in years to come on their current trajectory.

Image: Getty

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