Home Featured The free change that has made VAR more operationally efficient in F2

The free change that has made VAR more operationally efficient in F2

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

At the start of this month, Van Amersfoort Racing claimed its first podium and win in Formula 2.

The Dutch team is in its second season competing at the top level of junior single-seaters, having spent 47 years prior to that racing in Formula 3, Euroformula, Formula Regional, Formula Renault 2.0, Formula 4 and Formula Ford 1600.

It only took four races for VAR to record a top-four finish in F2, but in the following 24 races of the 2022 season they only made the top five three more times.

At the halfway point of the 2023 campaign the team had already surpassed its 2022 points tally, with a fifth and three fourth place finishes preceding the breakthrough win with Dutch driver Richard Verschoor at the Red Bull Ring.

VAR’s founder Frits van Amersfoort admitted that feature race victory “was basically unsuspected”.

“We started P11 and P12, and we didn’t expect anything at all, basically. And then I saw Richard coming up through the feature race and I was so ‘what’s happening? what’s happening? what’s happening?’.

“Then at the end, we got this little bit of luck, and he won it. It was unbelievable. Obviously we want to continue [that success], but as Dutch, we are pretty down on earth. So I’m not going to suggest that we are on it yet.

“There’s still some time to gain. Some few tenths which we still need, and we are working all hard to achieve that. But as you as well as I know, it takes time, and time is something which is really not around in F2.

“So each weekend, it’s a complete challenge. And let’s see. I mean, gradually step-by-step we will get there, but F2 is not easy. Actually, it’s very difficult. It’s really nice to see. It’s an incredible championship.”

A week after winning, Verschoor qualified 17th at Silverstone and team-mate Juan Manuel Correa was 22nd. They finished 18th and 19th in the sprint race, then Correa climbed from the back to 11th in the feature race. It marked VAR’s first points-free round since racing at the Hungaroring last July.

Verschoor is in his third F2 season and Correa is in his second, and their experience has helped the team’s development “basically in every aspect”. But it is actually another detail specific to Verschoor that has made VAR more operationally efficient this year.

“Building up a team is a challenge because building up a team means you have to put people together, which in the end didn’t choose each other. So it’s very hard to make a team out of those people,” van Amersfoort explained.

“So a driver with experience is of course very, very important. And we specifically chose Richard also. I’m speaking English now, but you maybe already found out that it’s not my native language. And so to take every problem, every little detail out of the communication is important. And that’s, of course, still always the best in your own native language. And that plays an important role in our success we have now.”