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ART: Martins has 'all the maturity needed' for rookie F2 season

Reigning Formula 3 champion Victor Martins has “pretty much all” the maturity he needs heading into his rookie Formula 2 season, says ART Grand Prix boss Sebastien Philippe.

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix

The 21-year-old Frenchman will graduate to F2 in 2023 having clinched the F3 title in a dramatic season finale at Monza, winning the championship amid a red-flagged feature race that wasn't restarted.

The Alpine Academy member partners 2022 runner-up Theo Pourchaire, who finished third in the teams’ standings last year.

Martins has had a slower path to F2 than Alfa Romeo reserve Pourchaire, spending two years in Formula Renault Eurocup before a further two years in F3, winning both titles in his sophomore years.

Pourchaire, meanwhile, only spent one year in each series before graduating to the next. The 19-year-old finished second in his rookie F3 season in 2020 behind Oscar Piastri before moving to F2 in 2021, finishing fifth.

Philippe says Martins had a “completely different philosophy” to many modern drivers, and by taking a slower approach is “much more prepared as a rookie” than someone who is “stepping up very quickly”.

Asked whether Martins’ approach would benefit him in the long-term, Philippe said: “Yeah for sure, I think Victor had a completely different philosophy to step up, an old-type philosophy.

“We all see that drivers now want to step up very quickly and sometimes they are P5 in a championship and they think it’s enough to go to the next step.

“I think the good thing for Victor is that on the first year of F2, he has pretty much all what he needs in terms of maturity and knowledge, because he has been always stepping up only after clinching the title in the category before.

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Dutch Photo Agency

“So for sure he took time, but I think he is much more prepared as a rookie with what he has done in the past than someone who is stepping up very quickly.

“We all know that Formula 2, it’s good if in the first year you can have the best chance as possible, because in the second year it’s the money time for the drivers, with a lot of pressure.

“So I think the rookies in F2, when they are well prepared, it’s an advantage, clearly.”

Two of the drivers Martins beat to the F3 crown, Zane Maloney and Ollie Bearman, also graduate to F2 this year with Carlin and Prema respectively.

ART last won an F2 title in 2019, with Nyck de Vries clinching the drivers’ crown.

It was the team’s second drivers’ title in as many years after George Russell's triumph the previous season. It has yet to win the teams’ championship in F2’s current era.

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