Ralph Boschung takes double fourth-place result home in Sakhir

The Swiss driver was in close contention for podiums in FIA Formula 2 curtain-raiser event and finished fourth in both races. Caldwell ran in top-ten but racing incidents hampered his chances, particularly during Sunday’s Feature race

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Campos Racing completed a brilliant opening round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship season with Ralph Boschung securing two fourth places at the Bahrain International Circuit. The Swiss driver showed strong pace both in qualifying and race conditions at the wheel of his Campos Racing-run Dallara F2 car. Briton Olli Caldwell made good progress but unfortunately racing incidents prevent him from converting into results.

On Friday morning, Caldwell posted a lap time of 1m45.241s, which was 9th- fastest in the free practice session. Boschung clocked a lap time of 1m46.200s after completing 14 laps in preparation of qualifying session in the afternoon. Ayumu Iwasa brought an early red flag out after spinning out in the first minutes of the qualifying session. Boschung’s first qualifying effort produced a lap of 1m41.944s to take third place in the timesheets. At the same time, Caldwell’s best lap was a tour of 1m42.593s. On his second sets of tires, Boschung lowered his previous best lap time and posted a 1m41.000s to start from fifth on the Sunday’s Feature race starting grid. Caldwell also improved to clock a time of 1m41.752s and the Briton set to start from ninth row.

Boschung lined up 6th on Saturday’s reverse starting grid. When the lights went out, Boschung made a superb start gaining four positions and moved up to second. After a safety car period, as Marcus Armstrong spun out following a collision with Jake Hughes, Boschung was in second place yet running nose-to-tail with race leader Richard Verschoor. The Swiss driver was all over the back of Verschoor’s car until lap 14 when a safety car was deployed after Hughes stopped on track. As Jehan Daruvala was right behind Boschung’s Campos Racing car within DRS range, the Indian driver took advantage of it to pass Boschung. The Swiss driver still briefly retook second place with a magic move on the outside. Unfortunately, Boschung struggled with an issue cutting on his engine at exits of the corners. As a result, he dropped to third firstly and a couple of laps later to fourth when Liam Lawson also passed him. Mastering in such difficult conditions, Boschung took the checkered flag in fourth place. Caldwell couldn’t take the checkered flag due to an engine issue in the closing moments of the race.

On Sunday, Boschung and Caldwell had another shoot for points. Boschung was the eye-catcher of the start and took second place behind Juri Vips. Similarly, Caldwell also gained several places and the Briton moved up to tenth. The safety car came out on lap 2 as Frederik Vesti stopped on track. At the restart, Boschung drops two places as Jack Doohan and Théo Pourchaire took advantage of DRS zone to overtake him. Despite Boschung chose to start on the hard compound, Campos Racing and the Swiss driver pitted very soon on lap 12 as the soft compound was working much better. When the pit window closed, Boschung was running in fourth place behind Pourschaire, Felipe Drugovich and Lawson. Despite Vips moved past Boschung, another safety car in the closing stages packed the field again. At the restart, with just one lap to go, Boschung sent his Campos Racing past Drugovich and finished 4th after 32 laps. Caldwell couldn’t keep his fight for points due to exceeding track limits. The British driver showed very good pace at the end and finished in 17th place.

After Sakhir, Boschung sits fourth on 17 points in the drivers’ standings with Campos Racing also fourth in the teams’ standings.

The second round of the FIA Formula 2 will take place in Jeddah this weekend.