Jake Hughes has secured a permanent step up to Formula 2 for 2022, being called upon by the debuting Van Amersfoort Racing.
The Briton has made four F2 appearances over the past two years with HWA Racelab, which sold on its assets and entry for this season and were bought by VAR after it also purchased HWA’s FIA Formula 3 Championship cars.
Hughes is VAR’s first signing for its move up to Formula 1’s primary feeder series, and has a best finish of fourth from the 10 races he has previously contested. He drove for VAR on its first two days with the F2 cars in post-season testing last month.
“I’m overly excited to be racing with VAR in 2022,” said Hughes.
“During the post-season test at Abu Dhabi it became clear to me that VAR takes this new challenge extremely serious. We are very much on the same level when it comes to vision and drive for success, making it a very pleasant environment to work in. I’m just very thankful to the team for putting their trust in me and providing the opportunity to work together.
“The F2 car is incredible to drive, and I look very much forward to compete in it for the full season. It will be a long and tough stretch, but I am eager to kick off the season soon in Bahrain.”
Hughes, who last year was the reserve driver for the Venturi Formula E team and is also a simulator driver for Mercedes in both F1 and FE, has spent a long time waiting for his chance to move up to F2 full-time.
He has raced at the F3 level since 2016, taking two wins in GP3 with DAMS before moving to FIA European F3 with Hitech GP and also becoming a winner there. He returned to GP3 for 2018 and won a race with ART Grand Prix, and then spent two seasons in its successor series FIA F3 with HWA. Another three race wins were claimed during that time.
Before that he was BRDC British Formula 4 champion in 2013, Formula Renault 2.0 Alps runner-up in 2014 and just missed out on the 2018 Formula Regional Asian Championship title as he took nine wins from nine races but missed two rounds.
“It is exciting to be able to make this first FIA F2 driver announcement,” VAR’s chief executive officer Rob Niessink said.
“We are extremely happy with Jake joining us for the FIA F2 championship. We are standing on the brink of a great adventure for which we very much welcome the experience and maturity that Jake brings along.
“During the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Jake showed to be a highly motivated and professional team player. Jake’s accurate input and feedback already made an impact during testing, which helped the team to progress already in a very short time. His drive and dedication match ours, giving us great confidence for the season ahead!”