Adrián Campos Jr. is putting prospective new drivers through their paces at post-season testing in Valencia. It will be his first season in sole charge of selecting the Campos’ line-up and this is his first opportunity to see four of the potential options.
That’s not to say that the Spaniard will be on his own though, having retained the structure and team his late father, Adrián Campos, put together during his years as Team Owner, before his passing earlier this year.
He’s leaned on them heavily during his first season in charge of the team, crediting those around him for continuing the work his father did, while helping him to learn on the job, as he attempted to manage teams in Formula 2, Formula 3 and Spanish Formula 4.
“My father was surrounded by really good people, really experienced people and that was key,” says Campos. “My father has always been trusting the same people, almost since day one of the team.
“All of these people have stayed and together we have managed to continue to do the same job, working in the same way that we always have, and I think this has been key to keeping the good work going, even without my father.
“I have learned a lot, I could have never imagined that this was so hard. Sometimes, I was looking at my father and he was quite relaxed, it looked like everything was quite easy, but it is not even close to that.
“Leading a whole structure like this, because we are quite a big team, there are a lot of people and a lot of families depending on this team. It is a lot of responsibility, and you can feel it. It is a lot harder than I was expecting, but I do feel that we have had success.”
It is a lot of responsibility, and you can feel it. It is a lot harder than I was expecting, but I do feel that we have had success.
That Campos were able to win a race during his first season in charge is a credit to the hard work of both himself and the team. They’d previously taken podiums at this level, but never victories.
Lorenzo Colombo’s win in a rain-hampered Race 1 at Spa was an emotional moment for the team – especially as the Italian was denied a maiden win by a time penalty in the previous round at Budapest.
“This year was the first year that we have also had an F4 team, on top of F3 and F3, which were on separate weekends this season,” he explained. “So, I spent a lot of time away from home and it was very difficult. We worked very hard.
“I knew that it was going to be very challenging and very tough, but it was even more than I was expecting. We had some good results, winning one race and crossing the line first twice, but it was very hard. At some points, certain things didn’t go as we expected, but I think by the end of the season, we were getting there.
“I think we’re back to where we should be. I cannot say that I am 100% happy with the season, but I think we did a good job to improve on the difficult situation that we had at the beginning of the year.”
Before his passing, Campos Snr. had already put the pieces in place for the team’s 2021 line-up, but for 2022 that decision rests with Campos Jnr.
David Vidales, Hunter Yeany, Reece Ushijima and Josep María Martí were all given the chance to impress in Valencia. The latter was a two-time race winner with their F4 team, finishing third overall.
“It is going to be a completely different season,” he continues. “We will probably have three different drivers to this year. It’s looking like they are going to be young drivers, so we will need to work very hard and work to improve them.
“It will be difficult if we have three rookies, but we think that we will have strong rookies, with a lot of potential and a lot of room to improve, so we really think that we can do a better job than last season.
“There will be a lot of work to do, a lot of hours on the simulator. The rookie drivers will have to work harder than the drivers who already have experience in this championship. It is very challenging as you have limited testing available, and we need to make the most of it. We’ll try to help the drivers as much as possible.”