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Bearman dominates Barcelona feature race for third Formula 2 win

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Prema’s Ollie Bearman converted pole into a commanding Formula 2 feature race victory at Barcelona.

The Ferrari junior finished 2.8 seconds clear of Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi, who scored his second feature race podium of the season, while ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins used an alternate strategy to snatch third in the closing stages.

There was a three-way battle for the lead at the start, with poleman Bearman challenged by Red Bull juniors Fittipaldi and Ayuma Iwasa on the approach to turn one. Fittipaldi ran off at the exit and rejoined to attack Bearman on the outside into turn four but could not find a way by.

ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire rose from fifth on the grid to pass Iwasa for third, while Virtuosi Racing’s Doohan recovered from a slow start to wrestle fourth from Iwasa before lap one was done.

MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger tried to pass for Iwasa for fifth in turn one on lap two, but ended up off the road and remained in sixth.

Bearman pulled out a two-second advantage early on, with Fittipaldi reducing the gap to 1.4s before making his mandatory pitstop at the end lap 10 of 37, with Doohan and Hauger following him in.

Fittipaldi emerged ahead of Pourchaire, who had pitted one lap earlier, with Pourchaire then challenging Fittipaldi into turn one but conceded by running off the circuit.

Iwasa’s earlier stop enabled him to jump Doohan, and he soon moved ahead of Pourchaire too.

Bearman took his soft compound tyres a further three laps before switching to the hard compound, and he emerged from the pitlane 0.5s ahead of Fittipaldi to retain the net lead.

The Briton then edged clear of Fittipaldi as the pair negotiated their way through traffic, while Doohan snatched a net fourth from Pourchaire.

Having both started on the hard compound, Martins led from Saturday’s sprint race winner Frederik Vesti, the latter eventually making his mandatory stop with 13 laps to go, with Martins coming in one lap later.

Bearman regained the outright lead with a 3.5s advantage over Fittipaldi and he controlled the remaining laps for his second feature race triumph.

Martins rejoined from his pitstop in fifth, with Vesti in ninth, and the pair soon used their soft tyres to move forwards.

Vesti made a double overtake on Carlin’s Zane Maloney and Hauger into turn one before taking seventh from Pourchaire. Martins passed fellow Alpine junior Doohan for fourth with Vesti soon sweeping around the outside of Doohan into fifth.

As the pair caught Iwasa for third, Vesti dived to the inside of Martins in turn 10. Having remained ahead of Vesti, Martins then used his DRS to sweep past Iwasa into third into turn one and quickly pulled clear as Iwasa fended off Vesti until the chequered flag.

Doohan was sixth ahead of Pourchaire, who lost ground to Vesti in the title race. Hauger was eighth ahead of DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc, while Richard Verschoor was the final points-scorer in tenth for Van Amersfoort Racing. Verschoor’s team-mate Juan Manuel Correa recovered from an early excursion through the gravel at the final corner to finish 11th.

Race result (37 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman Prema 56m56.729s
2 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin +2.844s
3 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +3.478s
4 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +9.023s
5 Frederik Vesti Prema +9.615s
6 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing +17.091s
7 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +20.415s
8 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +21.283s
9 Arthur Leclerc DAMS +21.883s
10 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing +34.613s
11 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing +42.034s
12 Roman Stanek Trident +42.887s
13 Jak Crawford Hitech GP +43.492s
14 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport +45.553s
15 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +58.287s
16 Zane Maloney Carlin +1m00.653s
17 Kush Maini Campos Racing +1m02.686s
18 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz +1m04.283s
19 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing +1m21.096s
20 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +1 lap
21 Clement Novalak Trident +1 lap
21 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz +1 lap
Fastest lap: Novalak, 1m27.474s

Championship standings
Vesti 110   2 Pourchaire 99   3 Iwasa 82   4 Bearman 70   5 Hauger 57   6 Verschoor 50   7 Fittipaldi 49   8 Maini 49   9 Maloney 48   10 Martins 45