Family is not just a part of racing, it is vital to Campos Racing’s identity. The past two years have been an emotional journey for the Spanish team following the passing of Adrián Campos ahead of last season. Stepping into the role of Team Principal, his son Adrián Campos Jr has showed why the team’s family atmosphere is the making of it, as it goes from strength-to-strength in 2022.

Fielding the youngest line-up on the Formula 3 grid, Campos was set to encounter obstacles along the way. Heading its all-rookie charge is 20-year-old David Vidales alongside the duo of Hunter Yeany and Josep Maria Martí, both 17, but Campos Jr is satisfied with the progress the trio have made during the opening three rounds.

“It’s been a very challenging season for us because we started with three rookies,” he admitted. “We’re expecting them to grow a lot during the season. The results should improve during the year and I think that’s happening. David’s experience has allowed him to deliver from the beginning, he’s already won one race.

“We still have some more room for improvement. We’re going to be there; I am sure about that. I am expecting the two other young drivers to reach the front of the field very soon.”

One of the major difficulties they’ve faced so far is the drivers’ lack of familiarity with the circuits on the calendar, putting them at a disadvantage compared to their more experienced rivals. Having seen the potential in his young stars, Campos Jr is determined to give them the tools needed to develop themselves and reach their potential.

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Martí and Yeany were both only 16 years old when they joined F3 this season
Martí and Yeany were both only 16 years old when they joined F3 this season

“It’s always challenging to work with drivers that are so young and with less experience but I think we are capable of making them understand what they need in a challenging Championship like F3,” he explained. “They are improving and we are working together very well. They trust us and we trust them and this always makes the work easier.

“For them, almost every track is new – Yeany has come from America and only did two rounds in F3 last year, while Martí has moved up from Spanish F4 and he only knows Spa outside Spain. The biggest amount of work we are doing is in the simulator. We have them here to prepare for every race, learn the tracks and to arrive there with everything more or less clear, so in the 45-minute Free Practice session they can get the job done for Qualifying.”

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Their approach appears to be paying off – Vidales’ maiden win in the Sprint Race last time out in Barcelona catapulted him into the top 10. Soaking up the joy of victory on home soil for both the driver and team didn’t last long, as Campos Jr refuses to rest on past success and is already focusing his attention on future silverware.

“That victory was very special, we knew he could do it. We need to keep doing it and now the next goal is to win, but in the main Feature Race.

“The result is always a boost for the team, but we go race by race. We know that everyone will only remember the last race, so we need to be in front every weekend. The team is very motivated, we want to keep doing the same and keep the hard work up.”

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Whilst the drivers are learning lessons on-track, their team boss is gaining a new understanding and setting targets of his own off it. Stepping into his father’s shoes hasn’t been the easiest of changes for the Spaniard. Fortunately for him, he’s been able to rely on the support network around him in the team and credits them for the upturn in form Campos is experiencing this season.

“This is difficult because of course I am very proud to continue his legacy but obviously I wish he was still here. I work very hard to keep the legacy going. We have almost 25 years of history so it’s a big responsibility, but I still want to do my best and keep going for another 25 years if we can. I will always be here working as hard as I can to deliver for them because we have a lot of people that have stayed and they trust us and Campos.

“Everything’s been a big change for me. I’ve been in the team for the last 10 years, but I have more responsibility now. My biggest goal is to get used to this responsibility that I now have. With the help of all the team, I think we are doing good.”

He added: “We still have the same personnel here who worked with my father over the last 25 years, not all of them but some people have been here since day one. They are people to trust in and I’m very happy to have them still here. They’ve made my job easier and without them, we don’t know where we would be, but we are doing better than ever – or at least better than in the last few years. We keep improving as we haven’t found our limit.”

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Vidales victory secured Campos second win in the category.
Vidales' victory secured Campos' second win in the category.

Whilst the legacy continues on in Campos’ leadership, it’s clear how those family ties also extend to their programmes throughout the FIA pyramid. During the mid-season break, Vidales joined their Formula 2 team trackside in Monte Carlo to get hands-on experience of what qualities a driver needs to climb up the ladder on the Road to F1.

READ MORE: Vidales’ trackside lessons from F2’s Monte Carlo weekend

It’s precisely that home away from home atmosphere that he believes is fundamental to harnessing the talents they’ve got behind the wheel.

“I think the best aspect of our team is that we make sure the drivers feel like they’re part of the family and at home. We believe this is important for them to be able to deliver the best performances,” Campos Jr explained.

“This is why the drivers want to spend time here with the team. They feel good here and working together and if they have the chance to go to a teammates’ race to support each other after they’ve trained together here, they always do it.

“In David’s case, he’s always here or in Monaco where he lives – so his home race, he was with us supporting the team and just in case he had a chance with Ralph (Boschung) not being able to race, he could jump in the car and he was ready for it,” he joked.

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Sitting seventh in the Teams’ Championship with six rounds remaining, Campos Jr isn’t ruling his team out yet. As F3 heads back to the demanding Silverstone circuit after a year away, he’s being realistic about the uphill battle ahead but believes that anything is possible.

“At the beginning, our goal was to fight for the Championship, at least with David,” he noted. “Also, with Marti and Yeany you never know, even if you are 16/17 years-old, you can always be a surprise and be at the front fighting for the title.

“Now that we’ve already had three rounds, we know this is going to be very challenging, but we still want to fight for it and at least try to be in the top five at the end of the year with Vidales and for Marti and Yeany to start scoring good points and to have them fighting to be in the top five in some races would be a good and realistic goal.”