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Five drivers to watch during the 2022 Formula 2 season

There is plenty of talent on the F2 grid in 2022

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Rookie driver Oscar Piastri surprised many by romping to the 2021 Formula 2 title, beating the likes of current Formula 1 incumbent Guanyu Zhou and highly regarded teammate Robert Shwartzman.

Piastri raced for the dominant Prema outfit and won six races in what was an extremely competitive grid. While the season ultimately proved to be a blowout, The 2022 season should be a little more competitive, with a field stacked with talent all the way up and down the order.

Here are five drivers to keep an eye on as the season begins in Bahrain

Jehan Daruvala

Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvla, who will now race for the mighty Prema squad, should be one of the favorites for the title in 2022. The Indian is in his third season in the series and will be expected to lead Prema’s charge as they attempt to complete a hat trick of driver championships.

Daruvala, a member of Red Bull’s famed driver academy, could be well placed for a Formula 1 seat, especially if Pierre Gasly decides to leave the Red Bull stable or if Yuki Tsunoda fails to perform in 2022.

Theo Pourchaire

Theo Pourchaire made history last year when he became Formula 2’s youngest polesitter and race winner, aged just 17. The Sauber junior finished fifth overall in last year’s Drivers’ Championship, and he was the series’ second-highest rookie, behind Piastri.

Pourchaire will be racing for ART Grand Prix, the same team that propelled a certain George Russell to the title, and the teenager should be in the running to make his Formula 1 Free Practice debut if he can deliver on his enormous promise.

Juri Vips

Estonian driver Juri Vips will remain with the Hitech Grand Prix team in 2022. Vips had a rather understated 2021 seasonwith back-to-back victories in Baku proving to be the highlight of his year as he eventually finished sixth in the championship.

Vips is a highly regarded driver, but he lacks the pedigree of a championship-winning team, unlike the two aforementioned drivers. Nonetheless, Red Bull has demonstrated their faith in the Estonian by confirming that he will participate in free practice throughout the season, and he is well placed to secure a future in F1 if he can bring home some solid results.

Liam Lawson

In 2021, Liam Lawson dovetailed his rookie year in F2 with a campaign in Germany’s DTM Championship. Despite losing the title in heartbreaking circumstances, the Kiwi won the praise of fans from around the world and ended his year behind the wheel of an AlphaTauri AT02 at the season-ending Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi.

Lawson, like Vips, is a Red Bull junior who will make a few FP appearances throughout the season. With his move to Carlin, Lawson could be a dark horse for the championship in 2022.

Dennis Hauger

Being the reigning F3 champion and entering F2 seems to be a good omen for drivers these days. In recent seasons, drivers such as Charles Leclerc, Russell, and Piastri have won both the F3 and F2 championships in consecutive years, and Dennis Hauger could do the same.

While Hauger needed two attempts to win the F3 Championship, the Norwegian will be racing for the Prema team, meaning he will inevitably be in contention for podiums and wins. But whether he can sustain a serious championship charge will come down to how quickly he can adapt to the demands of the F2 car. 

Hauger, the fourth Red Bull junior on this list, has the potential to dethrone his more established stablemates if he can conjure up a bit of magic like his predecessor, Piastri, did last year.
 

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