Home Featured Bearman holds off Marti to win F2 sprint race at Red Bull Ring

Bearman holds off Marti to win F2 sprint race at Red Bull Ring

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Prema

Prema’s Ollie Bearman scored his first Formula 2 win of the season in the Red Bull Ring sprint race.

The Ferrari junior withstood race-long pressure from Red Bull junior Pepe Marti, while Hitech GP’s points leader Paul Aron held off Virtuosi Racing’s Gabriel Bortoleto to finish third.

Bortoleto’s team-mate Kush Maini lined up on reversed-grid pole, but it was Bearman who made the better start from the inside of the front row to take the lead into turn one. A three-wide battle ensued behind him with Campos Racing’s Marti finding himself sandwiched between AIX Racing’s Taylor Barnard and Maini, and Marti lost a front wing endplate after making contact with the latter.

Despite the damage, Marti claimed second as Maini and Barnard ran off track at turn three before slotting in behind him. The squabble allowed Bearman to gain an early two-second lead but Marti halved that gap by the end of lap six and continued to edge closer, with Maini keeping pace behind.

Aron snatched fourth from Barnard at turn three on the next tour, and then caught up to the lead trio. Barnard continued to lose places and was eventually shuffled out of the top 10, while Bortoleto made it a five-way lead train at the race’s halfway stage.

Maini started to struggle as the race entered the final 10 laps and lost out to both Aron and Bortoleto in the space of two corners, while the front two pulled clear.

Marti’s victory challenge faded in the closing stages, allowing Bearman to break clear and triumph by 1.751 seconds. Bortoleto made a few attempts to snatch the final podium spot from Aron late on but had to settle for fourth.

MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger spent several laps trying to pass AIX’s Joshua Duerksen for sixth, eventually getting by at turn three with five laps to go. He then fought his way past his team-mate Franco Colapinto for fifth on the last lap, but a feisty battle between the pair ended with Colapinto spinning down to 11th.

That allowed Jak Crawford to finish sixth ahead of Maini, the DAMS driver having recovered from 14th on the grid, with Duerksen coming home close behind. ART Grand Prix duo Zak O’Sullivan and Victor Martins both made up three places to finish ninth and 10th. 

Aron’s closest championship rival Isack Hadjar made a poor start from fourth on the grid and finished out of the points in 13th for Campos.

Race results (28 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman Prema 37m22.959s
2 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +1.751s
3 Paul Aron Hitech GP +3.003s
4 Gabriel Bortoleto Virtuosi Racing +3.655s
5 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +11.030s
6 Jak Crawford DAMS +11.677s
7 Kush Maini Virtuosi Racing +13.703s
8 Joshua Duerksen AIX Racing +13.887s
9 Zak O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix +15.866s
10 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +19.852s
11 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +21.546s
12 Taylor Barnard AIX Racing +22.305s
13 Isack Hadjar Campos Racing +22.857s
14 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing +23.629s
15 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +23.728s
16 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS +26.445s
17 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport +27.184s
18 Amaury Cordeel Hitech GP +27.597s
19 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +28.250s
20 Richard Verschoor Trident +29.804s
21 Roman Stanek Trident +29.884s
22 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport +46.914s
Fastest lap: Miyata, 1m18.708s

Championship standings
Aron 107   2 Hadjar 91   3 Maloney 75   4 Crawford 65   5 Hauger 62   6 Bortoleto 60   7 Colapinto 56   8 Maini 52   9 Antonelli 48   10 O’Sullivan 40