Jenzer Motorsport finished 18 points better off than in 2020, but owner Andreas Jenzer believes the biggest gains the team made this season were in the reliability of their cars, with the Swiss outfit experiencing “zero issues.”
Finishing ninth for the second season in a row, Jenzer took one podium through second year Calan Williams, and although the team boss was hoping for more, their dependability gives them a platform to build from moving forward.
“The car is in its third year, and I think that everything is sorted,” said Jenzer. “It is a great car to run and it’s not creating a lot of technical problems. There haven't been any issues.
“The team all season long never had any technical issues. They never stopped on the circuit. The group of engineers and mechanics in Jenzer Motorsport worked fantastically well.
“I also want to thank the organisation because I think the product we have, and the technical assistance from Bruno Michel's team, from the spare parts team, they are always on it.”
Jenzer are yet to reach the heights of 2019, when Yuki Tsunoda led them to seventh with three podiums, including a victory, but given the trajectory of the Alpha Tauri Formula 1 driver since departing the team, that was always bound to be a tall ask.
Tsunoda was the only Jenzer driver to score points in 2019, whereas in 2020, Williams and Hoggard took six top 10 finishes between them. And for Jenzer, that’s a step in the right direction.
“There are not many Yukis around,” said Jenzer. “There are not many drivers who are able to go through the categories as quickly as he did. He is really something special.
“You always expect more in terms of results, but we were happy. We had two rookie drivers, and when you have rookie drivers, you have to work with them a little bit more. You have to work a bit more on the data to help them to go faster, but you only have a short amount of time to take a step forward between practice and Quali.
“The podium from Calan (Williams) was very positive, and so was getting Jonathan (Hoggard) into the top 10. After his podium in Paul Ricard, we were expecting Calan to do a little bit better from there onwards, but Formula 3 is very, very competitive. If you are not in the right moment at the right time at the right place in Qualifying, or if you make a little mistake, then you are P15 or lower.
“Jonathan was very professional. He came in very, very late, without any testing, and the only track he knew on the calendar was Spa, but he managed to qualify in the top 10 in Spa and in the top three in Sochi. That made us really quite happy because it shows that the car is able to perform in the top 10.
“Filip Ugran made the jump from Formula 4 and that jump is a huge one. In terms of team performance, we were stable, so we are happy.”
Key for Jenzer and his team in the off-season will be building on that progress. They are likely to take on at least one rookie again in 2021 and he believes that with limited testing time, preparing them for the step-up will be where the team can make the biggest improvements.
“The main area we are targeting is driver preparation,” said Jenzer. “We see more and more with the small amount of driving that we do, that we need to spend even more time in preparation work. That means upgrading our home simulator, for example.
“You are working to prepare the drivers so that when they jump in the car in Free Practice, they get six to eight push laps of a Qualifying level so that they only have to make a small marginal step forward in Qualifying.
“Going forwards, we will work even harder in this sense, because I think the car is at a good level now. We will still go away and analyse the whole season, along with the two years before that, to see where we can take a step forward with the car. We are looking forward to the new challenge of 2022.”