Oliver Bearman Wins F2 Sprint: Azerbaijan Pileup Shakes Race
In a breathtaking Formula 2 Sprint Race filled with chaos and drama, Oliver Bearman emerged victorious in Azerbaijan as a spectacular late safety car restart triggered a massive pileup. Amidst the turmoil, the British Ferrari academy driver showcased exceptional skill and resilience to secure his first Formula 2 win, setting the stage for an electrifying feature race.
Oliver Bearman claimed victory in the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Azerbaijan after a stunning late safety car restart led to a massive pileup of cars.
The race began with chaos as Victor Martins and Zane Maloney collided just moments after the start. The stewards took note of the incident, but decided no further investigation was needed.
Starting alongside Richard Verschoor, Maloney’s car was hit when Verschoor slid on the dirty track in Turn 1, causing both drivers to fall behind in the race. Verschoor eventually retired, while Maloney also withdrew on Lap 18 after completing several laps.
Dennis Hauger skillfully avoided the surrounding incidents, surging from sixth to first by the end of the first sector.
Ralph Boschung grazed the inner wall in the castle section while in sixth place, stopping his Campos car soon after. This prompted the deployment of the safety car on Lap 3 to clear the track.
Racing resumed on Lap 6 after the safety car period. Hauger made a late start to avoid becoming an easy target in Turn 1. Instead, Martins faced pressure from Jehan Daruvala, but the field remained stable for the moment.
As DRS was enabled, competition heated up. Oliver Bearman, driving a Prema car, was the first to capitalize on DRS, overtaking Theo Pourchaire for seventh place in Turn 1.
Bearman, who secured pole position for the Feature Race, demonstrated impressive skill on the Baku street circuit. He quickly overtook Crawford for fifth place and was the fastest driver on the track, closing in on teammate Frederik Vesti.
The fight for third place ensued with Daruvala falling behind the leading duo of Hauger and Martins. Vesti managed to pass, but Bearman had to wait for another half lap before seizing his opportunity.
Championship leader Ayumu Iwasa was forced to retire on Lap 11 after encountering a hydraulics issue that kept his DRS open, prompting him to enter the pits.
On Lap 15, Roy Nissany crashed into the outer wall at Turn 15, resulting in another safety car deployment.
The race continued on Lap 19, allowing for a thrilling three-lap sprint to the finish. Due to rule changes related to DRS usage, it could be activated after just one lap, putting more pressure on Hauger.
However, Hauger’s restart was less successful this time. Both he and Martins lost braking performance, leading them to collide with the outer wall in Turn 1. Daruvala, attempting to go around Turn 1, crashed into Martins’ damaged car, causing it to go airborne before landing on top of Daruvala’s vehicle. Both Martins and Daruvala walked away from the incident unharmed.
Arthur Leclerc and Theo Pourchaire also ended up in the Turn 1 outer wall, experiencing unexpected braking issues. Amidst the turmoil, Jack Doohan retired after spinning out.
The Prema drivers navigated through the chaos, with Bearman overtaking Vesti before another safety car was deployed.
The race concluded without resuming, and Bearman emerged as the victor amid the late drama, also earning a bonus point for the fastest lap. The British Ferrari academy driver celebrated his first Formula 2 win, and he is set to start in pole position for the feature race.
Vesti secured second place, while Crawford completed the podium with a third-place finish.
Sprint Race Outcome (21 Laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap 1 Ollie Bearman Prema 51m27.274s 2 Frederik Vesti Prema +0.870s 3 Jak Crawford Hitech GP +3.090s 4 Kush Maini Campos Racing +6.485s 5 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin +7.879s 6 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing +10.405s 7 Clement Novalak Trident +11.090s 8 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +13.602s 9 Roman Stanek Trident +15.065s 10 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing +16.232s 11 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz +18.140s 12 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +3 laps 13 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport +3 laps 14 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +3 laps 15 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +3 laps 16 Arthur Leclerc DAMS +3 laps 17 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing +3 laps Ret Zane Maloney Carlin Ret Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz Ret Ayumu Iwasa DAMS Ret Ralph Boschung Campos Racing Ret Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing
Bearman Wins F2 Sprint 2023 Azerbaijan Bearman Wins F2 Sprint 2023 Azerbaijan Bearman Wins F2 Sprint 2023 Azerbaijan Bearman Wins F2 Sprint 2023 Azerbaijan Bearman Wins F2 Sprint 2023 Azerbaijan
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