The third instalment of Chasing the Dream was released on F1 TV last week, showcasing the effort put in behind the scenes from the drivers and teams throughout the 2021 FIA Formula 2 season.
The show dives into the personal lives of some of the brightest talents on the grid over six episodes. This includes Formula 1’s latest recruit Guanyu Zhou and eventual F2 champion Oscar Piastri as well as Théo Pourchaire and Dan Ticktum.
Episode 1: Year of the Tiger
The first episode kicks off with Zhou, looking into his childhood and the impact that the Chinese Grand Prix had on single seater racing in China. Li Bing, a Chinese Formula 1 commentator, states that, “Formula racing in China started to grow rapidly” following the organisation of the Grand Prix.
We then see the grid in action at the first round of the season in Bahrain. Zhou and fellow Alpine Academy driver, Christian Lundgaard, battle for the first four points of the season which comes along with pole position.
The two of them were then joined by another fellow Alpine Academy driver in Sprint Race 2. Oscar Piastri incites an exciting last few laps going wheel to wheel to Zhou and Lundgaard to win his first Formula 2 race, later proclaiming over the radio, “If you don’t love F2, you do now”.
Guanyu Zhou follows up his podium finish with a win in an extremely dusty feature race. Piastri makes contact with Ticktum which puts him out of the points with Ticktum cruising to second place. After the race, Ticktum comments on the rose water,
“Nicer than champagne this. Just hasn’t got any alcohol in it which is a bit of a shame. But anyways…”
Episode 2: Street Fighters
The second episode of the season opens with a seventeen year-old Théo Pourchaire giving his mantra for the season, “Trust the process”. In the background of his team’s headquarters, ART Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s 2006 GP2 championship winning car is on display as motivation for the youngster.
We then head to the streets of Monaco for the second round of the season, which is seen as a home away from home race for Pourchaire, who lives just 45 minutes away. He dominates qualifying and takes pole by over half a second.
“If you have to win one race in your life, it has to be at Monaco”, said Théo’s sister, Pauline, after qualifying.
He goes on to win after keeping Robert Shwartzman behind for the forty-two laps of the circuit, becoming the youngest every winner in F2 and breaking Lando Norris’ previous record.
We then head to round three in Baku, where Liam Lawson is hungry for a result after a tough disqualification following his Sprint Race win at Monaco the week before. He describes it as, “One of the most painful things I’ve gone through”.
After taking pole position, Lawson’s Hitech Grand Prix team-mate Jüri Vips takes the win after the Kiwi gets a ten-second penalty. Pourchaire was also on the end of an unfortunate shunt where he broke his wrist at turn three.
Luckily, there was a six week wait until the next round which aided the Frenchman’s recovery.
Episode 3: F1 or Bust!
We start off with Dan Ticktum showing us his most prized possession, the Dallara F3/17 he won back-to-back Macau Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018. He then utters his intentions to do well this season, finishing with, “For me, it’s F1 or bust really”.
Ticktum was well aware that 2021 was going to be his last season in Formula 2, and Carlin team-boss Trevor Carlin backed that by saying, “He has to win the title this year”. He then talks about how passionate for motorsport Ticktum is, citing his previous radio antics as proof of passion.
We then meet the Brit at Silverstone for round four of the season which is also his home race. This round also marks the first F2 race with fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Richard Verschoor ends up taking the win in Sprint Race 2, we catch uo with a few of the drivers afterwards in the infamous Silverstone traffic jam.
Jack Aitken shows off his Oselli Edition Mini Cooper and is joined by Marcus Armstrong before Roy Nissany shows up on an electric scooter.
Next up is the Temple of Speed, Monza, and Dan Ticktum is given the bad news of his release as a Williams Development Driver.
It’s all smiles for his Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala however, with the Indian driver winning his first race of the season in the second of two Sprint Races.
Episode 4: Not Bad… For a Rookie
For the fourth episode of the season, we take a dive into the lifestyle of the eventual champion, Oscar Piastri.
He is compared to the likes of Charles Leclerc and George Russell by F2 and F3 CEO, Bruno Michel who then goes on to compliment his early season results with, “Winning as a rookie in F2 is outstanding.”
We circle back to the Silverstone round of the 2021 calendar, where Piastri took his first pole position of the season but lost out to Zhou for the win. It is the following round in Monza where Piastri capitilises on his second pole of the season to win his first Feature Race in F2.
He then shares a moment with his manager and long-time mentor, Mark Webber, who congratulates him with, “Not bad… for a rookie!”.
We also get a look in at the Enstone factory of Alpine F1 and more specifically, their group of development drivers which Piastri is a part of. He closes with saying about how much more there is to being a racing driver than actually racing.
Episode 5: The New Generation
The New Generation literally focuses, quite literally, on the next generation of Formula 2 drivers by looking into what’s happening in the 2021 F3 season.
PREMA Racing’s Dennis Hauger is at the top of the standings with Trident’s Jack Doohan in second place and the next round in the calendar is a soaking wet Spa.
After taking pole position, Doohan then goes on to win the Feature Race following a start behind the Safety Car due to the torrential rain. With it being his second win of the weekend, the Australian closes the gap to Hauger with two rounds left to fight.
We later meet with the two championship contenders in Sochi, the only round of the season where both F2 and F3 are supporting the F1 race weekend. A champion is crowned in the first F3 Sprint Race after a second place finish for Hauger seals it.
Back in the world of Formula 2, Piastri furthered his championship lead over the rest of the field following his second Feature Race win in a row as well as a third pole position. Leading Pourchaire and Daruvala, the PREMA driver called it, “One of the hardest races of my life”.
Episode 6: Destined for Greatness
Another great quote from Piastri opens up the sixth episode and season finale, “I quite like being in the position of the hunted because it means you’re doing something right”.
He is then announced as Alpine F1’s Reserve Driver for 2022, while championship rival and fellow Alpine junior Zhou is proudly announced as Formula 2’s latest graduate to Formula 1 for Alfa Romeo in 2022.
With the F2 grid heading to a new location for the first time, Jeddah, some talents we got a look at in the previous episode make their debuts in Formula 2 machinery.
Jack Doohan and Trident F3 team-mate, Clement Novalak, are among the names getting their first taste on the fastest circuit on the calendar. Novalak’s initial reaction to the circuit was, “It’s f***ing cool!”.
PREMA Racing retain the teams’ championship for the second year running after Piastri takes home yet another Feature Race win from pole position, as well as his victory in the second Sprint Race the day before.
He would have to wait until the final round of the season to wrap up the Drivers’ championship, however. The Australian’s podium in the first Sprint Race is enough to tie it up followed by another, you guessed it, Feature Race win from pole position.
All in all, the third season of Chasing the Dream is a great watch for fans of the series. By offering the in-depth look into the lives of the young talents across such a demanding season, we see a much different side to a lot of the drivers than we would do normally.