Ollie Bearman says his pole position and double race victory in Baku “get our championship started” after he barely scored in the first three rounds of the Formula 2 season.
The Prema driver entered the fourth weekend of the championship with just three points to his name. Now, having scored 38 points out of the 39 up for grabs in Baku, he sits fourth in the standings just 24 points behind new championship leader ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire.
“From the outside, it looked like a flawless weekend, [it] was far from it. But really happy to take home almost maximum points and get our championship started,” Bearman said after achieving his first F2 feature race win on Sunday.
“I don’t know if you saw my pole lap, but I was turning right for the entire time. I made my life a bit difficult and it could have been much worse. Especially with these tracks with walls, I need to give a bit of margin. But anyway, maximum points almost this weekend, so really good results.
“It’s the moment I started scoring points,” he followed about his weekend. “I think I entered the round with three. So we start to join the championship. Now we are heading to Europe, where I know the tracks, so hopefully that’ll help me out a bit as well.”
After claiming pole on Friday with a bent steering due to a tap with the wall, the Ferrari Driver Academy member benefitted from other drivers’ mistakes to win Saturday’s sprint race from ninth on the grid. On Sunday, he led away from pole. He was overtaken by Pourchaire on lap three but quickly reclaimed first place one lap later commanding the race to the end.
Speaking on Saturday, Bearman told Formula Scout: “In the early stage of the season, I was just pushing as much as I could. And sometimes that was not working for me, a few too many mistakes from my side. This is the start of a driver who’s not trying to go over the limit. And it seems to be OK. I’m just going to try and keep going like this.”
After his Sunday victory, he added: “I think a double win is not something that I could do consistently or anyone could do consistently, but we need to keep up this good pace and good results.
“Compared to Australia, I’ve kind of changed my approach a bit to driving this car, which is a bit less forgiving, I would say, than the F3. Because I made quite a few mistakes in the early part of the season, so I’m trying to keep on this trajectory and hopefully we can keep up some solid results.”