Bearman’s Baku Blitz: Double Victory Catapults Him into F2 Championship Battle
In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Prema’s Oliver Bearman dominated the Baku circuit, clinching both Sprint and Feature race victories in a single weekend. This extraordinary performance catapulted the young Briton into the Formula 2 championship battle, igniting excitement and anticipation among fans and competitors alike.
In Baku, Prema’s Oliver Bearman experienced a flawless weekend, securing his first Feature race triumph following his Sprint race victory the day before, propelling him into the thick of the Formula 2 championship battle.
Bearman, the polesitter and Sprint race champion, had a smooth start, fending off Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi and maintaining his position at the beginning, while the entire pack successfully completed the first lap without any problems or accidents.
ART’s Victor Martins made significant progress, advancing five spots, while championship frontrunner Ayumu Iwasa encountered a slow start on the alternate strategy, falling four positions to 21st place on the medium tire compound.
Once DRS was activated, Theo Pourchaire passed Fittipaldi and then overtook Bearman for the race lead a lap later. However, the Ferrari junior reclaimed the top spot on the following lap and rapidly increased the distance between himself and the French driver.
Frederik Vesti and Jehan Daruvula were the first among the front runners to complete their mandatory pitstops, switching to medium tires on lap seven. Fittipaldi, Martins, and Jak Crawford all followed suit on the next lap.
On lap nine, both Bearman and Pourchaire pitted, with Dennis Hauger, Zane Maloney, and Richard Verschoor trailing the leading duo into the pit lane. This briefly handed the race lead to Campos’ Kush Maini before the Indian driver also entered the pits for fresh medium tires.
Hitech’s Isack Hadjar assumed the race lead when PHM’s Brad Benavides stalled, prompting the Virtual Safety Car, with Iwasa trailing in second place.
However, the Japanese driver received a five-second penalty for a Virtual Safety Car violation, which demoted him to P14 following his late-race pitstop.
During an attempt to overtake Verschoor, Daruvala missed Turn 1, causing the MP driver to fall back to P13 and receive a ten-second time penalty for unsafely rejoining the track. This ultimately led to him finishing P15 and out of the points.
In the meantime, net-race leader Bearman gradually widened the gap to Pourchaire, escaping the Frenchman’s DRS while steadily closing in on Hadjar and Iwasa, who remained at the front on their aging medium tires.
Towards the end of the race, Fittipaldi began pressuring Pourchaire and overtook the ART on Lap 24 to secure second place. Both Hadjar and Iwasa eventually entered the pits for a new set of supersoft tires.
In a heated battle that spanned several laps, Hauger and Maini faced off, with the Campos driver ultimately prevailing. Fittipaldi was locked in a struggle with Pourchaire until the end but managed to maintain his second-place position.
However, Bearman remained unchallenged in the final stages, completing a perfect weekend with nearly maximum points and thrusting the 17-year-old into the Drivers’ Championship contention.
Following Iwasa’s failure to score, Pourchaire reclaimed the championship lead, with Vesti moving up to second and Iwasa falling to third. Bearman’s flawless weekend propelled him into fourth, surpassing both Maini and Hauger.
Martins finished in fourth place, just over a second behind the podium, followed by Vesti, Maini, Hauger, Hadjar, Verschoor, and Crawford.
These are the results for the feature race, which consisted of 29 laps.
Pos Driver Team Time 1 Ollie Bearman Prema 57m23.163s 2 Emmo Fittipaldi Carlin +2.315s 3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +2.607s 4 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +3.811s 5 Frederik Vesti Prema +15.223s 6 Kush Maini Campos Racing +15.792s 7 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +17.301s 8 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +19.576s 9 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing +26.869s 10 Jak Crawford Hitech GP +27.541s 11 Arthur Leclerc DAMS +29.695s 12 Zane Maloney Carlin +30.390s 13 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +32.806s 14 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing +39.092s 15 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport +39.243s 16 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing +40.007s 17 Clement Novalak Trident +40.017s 18 Roman Stanek Trident +42.023s 19 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz +53.202s 20 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing +57.858s 21 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +1m01.267s Ret Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz (Did not finish the race)
The championship standings F2 2023
Pos Driver Points 1 Pourchaire 65 2 Vesti 60 3 Iwasa 58 4 Bearman 41 5 Maini 39 6 Hauger 36 7 Boschung 33 8 Leclerc 33 9 Daruvala 32 10 Fittipaldi 31
Oliver Bearman F2 Championship Battle 2023 Baku Oliver Bearman F2 Championship Battle 2023 Baku Oliver Bearman F2 Championship Battle 2023 Baku Oliver Bearman F2 Championship Battle 2023 Baku Oliver Bearman F2 Championship Battle 2023 Baku
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