How do you improve a team that have just enjoyed their best season and won a title for the first time in their history? That’s the question currently facing Trident Team manager Giacomo Ricci.
The Italian helped Trident to the 2021 Teams’ Championship, as well as second and third in the Drivers’ Championship, with Jack Doohan finishing as runner-up to PREMA Racing’s Dennis Hauger.
It follows consistent year-on-year improvement for Trident, who finished fourth in 2019 with 134 points and second in 2020 with 261.5. They were 119.5 points better off in 2021, beating PREMA to the title in a tense season finale.
“I am extremely happy about what we have achieved this season,” said Ricci. “The feeling was absolutely amazing. It was very special because we have been fighting hard for the title for a long time. We’ve finished second plenty of times both in F3 and the old GP3, but finally, we have won the Teams’ title.
“It’s the first title in the history of the team and the first is always unique and special. We have shown good progression since 2019, but the most important thing now will be to keep working hard to try and do even better.”
Ricci will be tasked with recruiting a line-up that can not only match but better the achievements of Doohan, Clément Novalak and David Schumacher.
The trio took two poles and 13 podiums between them, including three wins, and will prove to be a tough act to follow.
“This is a challenge,” said Ricci. “Clément (Novalak) and Jack (Doohan) have done an amazing job right from the first round of the season. David Schumacher caught up with them both very well in the second half of the season, he became very competitive.
“We tested the three of them in post-season last year and we noticed that they all had really good ability, and once they signed with us, we worked really hard with them. It will be hard to replicate this, but that is our job now. We showed very good consistency with all three drivers last year and we will try to replicate that again this season.”
Work on the new campaign is already underway with Ricci underlining the impact of the team’s work during the off-season last year as key to their success.
They are yet to announce their driver line-up for 2022, but they got their first look at potential talent during post-season testing at Valencia, where they ran Red Bull junior Jonny Edgar, F3 podium finisher Roman Stanek and Formula Regional European race winner Zane Maloney.
And whoever ends up signing for the team has a busy winter ahead of them.
“We will never stop working,” said Ricci. “It is important that you use the winter period properly and build up an extremely strong relationship with your new drivers. What we achieved this season came from the job that we did in the previous winter period.
“When you win a title, it gives everyone extra motivation. Seeing my people today, they are even more motivated and happy. We know that the competition is extremely high, one moment you can be on top and the next you can find yourself at the back.
“If you want to avoid this, then you really, really need to work hard over winter. You need to be sure that the structure of the team is ready and prepared for the new year. Every season, the level steps up again, teams and drivers, and it will always be like that. You can never think that you are the best.”