Campos Racing ready to regain top form in Baku

The Azerbaijani street circuit will be another challenge for Campos Racing and their drivers Boschung and Caldwell. Boschung expects to be in good shape after being treated by specialists to relieve neck pain

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Campos Racing will contest the sixth round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship season in Baku, the home of the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix, this weekend. The ultra-fast street circuit made its debut on the international calendar in 2017, with a single absence in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and marks the third urban challenge after Jeddah and Monaco. Unlike the slow Monegasque streets, the nature of Baku is completely different and turns into a high-speed battle but with identical narrow margin for mistakes. In fact, it’s called a mix of Monaco taking place at Monza’s speed.

The Spanish-based racing team will enter their two Dallara F2 cars for Ralph Boschung and Olli Caldwell. The best possible new is that Boschung is back in better shape conditions after receiving medical treatment by specialists to relieve neck pain. The Swiss racer finished third on the rostrum during Imola’s feature race but from then onwards his season turned into a nightmare as he was absent in Barcelona and Monaco rounds due to neck issues. Following a MRI scan earlier this week, he was cleared to race in Baku. Boschung will get back on track with his sights set on returning to podium contention. Briton Caldwell has been recently working on the simulator ahead of his debut in the streets of Baku. Caldwell continues making progress at the wheel of the Dallara F2 machinery and feels optimistic for his first outing in Azerbaijan.

It’s important to underline as competitive Campos Racing has always been in Baku since 2017 with their drivers always making it into the points-paying positions. Back in 2019, Jack Aitken scored a win and a third place finish in his Campos Racing-run Dallara and Boschung also delivered a strong performance finishing in the top-6 twice last year.

As mentioned above, the Baku City Circuit is a challenge of its own. It features the classic characteristics of an urban track but at the same time its top speeds are those reached at Monza. The surface is one of the less aggressive in terms of asphalt roughness, so tire wear and degradation aren’t particularly bad despite usual hot temperatures hitting the Azerbaijani capital around this time. From a driver’s point of view, Baku is a technical circuit combining long straights and low-speed, narrow sections. As a result, the drivers and engineers usually choose a medium downforce set-up. Last but not least, Baku is well-known by variable windy weather, and it regularly affects both settings and race strategy.

Free practice and qualifying sessions will take place on Friday at 10.35 and 14.30 respectively. Saturday’s sprint race is scheduled at 11.30 with Sunday’s main race, which includes a mandatory pit stop for tire change, taking place at 09.55. All times are CET.

Adrián Campos (Campos Racing Team Principal): “Baku has been always a fertile ground for Campos Racing. We want to bring back our strong form after experiencing some less positive weekends as a result of Ralph Boschung’s neck issues. Now his problems look to be certainly relieved, our target is to be back in podium contention and make it into the points on a regular basis. Olli (Caldwell) will have another hard task ahead but I feel confident he will able to overcome.”

Ralph Boschung (Campos Racing Driver of FIA Formula 2); “I’m looking forward to making my comeback and racing in Baku. It’s a very challenging circuit with a good number of very-high speed sections and feels cool to race there, close to the walls. I feel pretty optimistic that we will be able to bring some good results home. The main goal is to score some big points after missing the last two rounds. Besides, hot temperatures could affect tires and we could need to nurse them to the end. I can’t wait to see my Campos Racing friends on track once again.”

Olli Caldwell (Campos Racing Driver of FIA Formula 2): “I’m looking forward to heading to Baku, it’s once again another new circuit for me to learn. Most notably, Baku is the layout with the highest speed in F2, so it will be interesting as well. It looks like a very technical circuit, with a lot of hard braking and medium speed corners, so I'm looking forward to be heading there and, once again, learning a new circuit and add to my skill based in my F2 car.”