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Autosport Prime 50 of 2023: #40 Frederik Vesti

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Frederik Vesti completed a detailed second to Theo Pourchaire in Components 2 after an outstanding sophomore yr within the sequence on his change to Prema.

Regardless of six wins and 4 additional podiums, the Mercedes junior trailed his constant ART rival by 11 factors, however Vesti put in some champion-worthy drives, together with a last-round cost to win the Abu Dhabi dash.

The Dane cruised to victory in a dramatic Jeddah characteristic race, transformed pole within the Monaco characteristic, and picked up additional dash wins at Barcelona, Silverstone and Monza throughout his title chase. There have been some torrid lows alongside the way in which – a reconnaissance-lap crash at Spa amongst them – however Vesti’s class shone all through.

Learn Additionally:

Why Vesti beats F2’s champion into Autosport’s prime 50

Readers could also be questioning why a spot within the prime 50 was given to Vesti because the F2 runner-up, and never champion Pourchaire. There are clear arguments for each to be included. The Frenchman was extra constant and in the end received the title, making his a compelling case.

PLUS: The top 10 performers on F1’s undercard in 2023

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However with six wins to Pourchaire’s one – the identical as sequence journeyman Ralph Boschung – Vesti’s peaks have been increased. And the 21-year-old’s relentless willpower, even within the dying moments at Abu Dhabi when the championship was realistically out of attain, proved him an admirable title contender.

Picture by: Components Motorsport Ltd

Vesti received probably the most races within the 2023 F2 season, together with dominating the Monaco characteristic race from pole

The aforementioned Spa shunt on his strategy to the grid might have appeared amateurish, but it surely shouldn’t cloud the truth that different moments maintain up as actually good performances. He received by 13.4s within the moist at Silverstone, and led 146 laps throughout the season, a full 62 excursions greater than next-highest Ollie Bearman. Pourchaire in contrast led simply 36 laps.

Main the standings after his managed Monaco exhibiting, the Prema driver held his benefit all the way in which till Spa. Finally, have been it not for the fluke incident at Zandvoort when each his rear wheels fell off after a double-stacked pitstop, Vesti would doubtless have been topped champion, given Pourchaire had crashed out of the identical race.

Pourchaire matched his tally of 10 podiums, together with six second-places, to take the title however his characteristic race win in Bahrain (the yr’s most dominant, with a margin of 19.6s) was the Sauber junior driver’s solely go to to the highest step of the rostrum.

There have been loads of excessive factors for Pourchaire, with two runner-up finishes at Spa the place Vesti faltered – proving pivotal within the title battle. He got here near a second victory in Melbourne, and would have nonetheless led the standings with dash races discounted.

However one can’t assist however assume he ought to have completed extra profitable, particularly when his rookie team-mate Victor Martins additionally scored one victory. The reigning F3 champion additionally took extra pole positions (three, joint highest with Bearman) than Pourchaire’s two and Vesti’s one.

Pourchaire’s title was a lot deserved, and the 20-year-old put in some robust drives, however extra dominance ought to be anticipated of a third-year driver: the type seen in 2022 from Felipe Drugovich, who received 5 occasions to actually put his stamp on proceedings.

Vesti likely would have been crowned champion without his freak incident in Zandvoort

Picture by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

Vesti doubtless would have been topped champion with out his freak incident in Zandvoort

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