Home Featured Campos drivers and team comment on Red Bull Ring radio drama

Campos drivers and team comment on Red Bull Ring radio drama

by Ida Wood

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

There was drama late in Formula 2’s Red Bull Ring feature race which played out on the team radio of Campos Racing drivers Isack Hadjar and Pepe Marti.

The latter made his pitstop during a virtual safety car period, which is not allowed in F2 regulations and earned him a 30-second penalty. While the penalty was not issued until post-race, Campos anticipated during the race it could come and adjusted Marti’s strategy to aid Hadjar since he was unlikely to finish in the points himself if a penalty was applied.

Post-weekend, a team statement described it as “the new goal for the Spaniard was to defend Hadjar’s position from Franco Colapinto, who was on a different strategy”.

They were running in sixth and seventh when Marti was asked to let Hadjar past, an instruction he executed on lap 27 of 40. Once the last drivers to pit had done so, the Campos pair were in second and third and still had eight laps to go.

Marti had kept within three seconds of Virtuosi Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto, who would cycle into the lead, while he was in front of his team-mate and once he was behind him the gap between Bortoleto and Hadjar went down to 1.661 seconds before Bortoleto began pulling away to claim his first win.

Hadjar’s inability to match Bortoleto’s pace prompted Marti to ask Campos over the radio if he could move back ahead to try chasing down the leader. That communication was passed on to Hadjar, who debated with the team and stayed ahead. However, focusing on keeping Marti behind him potentially proved costly, as MP Motorsport driver Colapinto went on to overtake both in the last two laps.

“Towards the end I felt quite fast, we had some discussions on the radio that didn’t allow me to go a little bit further up,” said Marti afterwards.

Hadjar provided his side of the story when he spoke to media including Formula Scout post-race, and said he “definitely” expects fellow Red Bull junior Marti to help him again in the future if similar team orders situations were to arise.

“I just follow the instructions from the team. And that was it. He let me by, and I haven’t been told to let him by again. So I mean there was absolutely no issue to them,” he said, also pointing to Marti’s illegal pitstop as the starting point of the drama.

“If there’s nothing you can do [while ahead and] my engineer tells me to do something, we must do it. It’s teamwork. So anything the engineer says, you must do. And there’s not much we can do about it, you know? So follow the instructions.”