Home Formula 2 Baku feature race victory is Bearman’s “next goal” after sprint race win

Baku feature race victory is Bearman’s “next goal” after sprint race win

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Ollie Bearman has his eyes on a Formula 2 feature race win after claiming his maiden series victory in the sprint race in Baku.

The Prema driver admitted that he wasn’t expecting to stand on top of the podium on Saturday starting from ninth on the grid. However, a strong pace and staying out of trouble made it possible.

“[The expectations], they weren’t to win,” he remarked. “But we said before the race that you can do anything in this track, so, you know, don’t discount yourself.

“I just wanted to prepare for tomorrow and make sure we had good pace and it seemed like we did. So I think we ticked that box.

“It was a bit of a crazy race, to be honest. Like they always are here. Opening laps, I was just trying to keep my nose clean, which was kind of the goal. I just wanted to do the race and prepare for tomorrow really. Once it kind of opened up and everyone pulled a gap, we saw I had quite strong pace. I was able to come through a bit.

“And the final safety car, we saw what happened there. Nice to come away with a win. 

“Everyone was deep in turn one. It happened in the past. It’s really tough to keep temperatures high in the safety cars. So, it was kind of expected. I just saw guys flying and I managed to avoid, so that was nice. And I found myself in P2.

“I was fighting with Fred [Vesti] on the sector one. He is my team-mate and it’s only a sprint race. I didn’t want to risk everything, but I managed to get a good exit out of turn four and just get ahead. And the safety car helped me a bit by coming out just then.”

Asked about the meaning of the result, the Ferrari junior didn’t hesitate: “It’s just a sprint race, but it was nice to win. Next goal is the feature.”

Bearman claimed pole for Sunday’s feature race, with Vesti starting from fourth. The latter was happy with his sprint race result despite a small mistake at turn four that lost him the lead he had inherited moments earlier.

“It’s a good race, first of all. It’s a one-two for Prema, which is huge,” he said. “It’s only a sprint race, but it’s still a very good result. I think we can all take a lot of confidence going towards tomorrow.

“From my perspective, obviously it was annoying to be in the lead and then losing the lead just before the safety car, but it’s racing. We were very close and in the end it’s about staying out of trouble and scoring points. P1, P2 made mistakes and I was able to get the lead and then I was just trying to defend. And I had also a bit cold tyres and just a bit of understeer.”