Home Featured Bearman survives contact with wall to take dramatic F2 pole in Baku

Bearman survives contact with wall to take dramatic F2 pole in Baku

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Prema’s Ollie Bearman took a dramatic pole position for Formula 2’s feature race in Baku, as the top spot changed hands four times within the space of 10 seconds at the end of the session.

The Ferrari junior, who had set the pace in free practice earlier in the day, looked to have lost his shot at the top spot after hitting the wall at Turn 2, damaging the steering.

On being told that he had qualifying first, an incredulous Bearman told his team over the radio: “No way, that was the scariest lap of my life!”

Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi took second ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire and Prema’s Frederik Vesti, the top four covered  by only 0.071 seconds.

After a lengthy red flag caused by PHM Racing by Charouz’s Ben Benavides hitting the Tecpro barrier on the exit of Turn 1, the field jostled for track position and to maximise any possible tow on the Baku circuit’s long final straight.

At one point, Fittipaldi almost brough half the pack to a complete standstill as he backed off completely.

It was Vesti who set the immediate pace, jumping to the top with a 1m53.271s lap, with Pourchaire slotting into second.

With the chequered flag already flying, MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger went fastest before being immediately demoted by Vesti. However, it was Fittipaldi who seemed to be on track to take honours with the fastest time in the first sector.

The Red Bull junior’s lap was enough to beat Vesti’s time by 0.059s before Bearman, the next car to cross the line, pipped them both by just 0.012s.

Isack Hadjar was forced to miss most of the session, having been another to clip a wall, this time on the inside of Turn 5, damaging his car’s suspension.

Rejoining the session after the red flag, he was the first to set a flying lap, briefly jumping up to 10th before the late improvements throughout the field dropped him back to 18th at the close.

DAMS’ pairing of Ayumu Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc were caught out by the late traffic and failed to cross the line in time to start a final flying lap, leaving championship leader Iwasa in 17th, four places behind his team-mate.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m52.652s 12
2 Emmo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m52.664s +0.012s 13
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1m52.705s +0.053s 13
4 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m52.723s +0.071s 12
5 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m52.878s +0.226s 13
6 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m53.066s +0.414s 13
7 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m53.139s +0.487s 12
8 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 1m53.213s +0.561s 13
9 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m53.297s +0.645s 13
10 Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 1m53.459s +0.807s 13
11 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m53.637s +0.985s 11
12 Roman Stanek Trident 1m53.639s +0.987s 11
13 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m53.750s +1.098s 11
14 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m53.920s +1.268s 10
15 Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 1m53.965s +1.313s 13
16 Jack Doohan Virtuosi Racing 1m54.150s +1.498s 13
17 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m54.217s +1.565s 11
18 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m54.291s +1.639s 9
19 Clement Novalak Trident 1m54.409s +1.757s 11
20 Roy Nissany PHM by Charouz 1m54.683s +2.031s 12
21 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi Racing 1m55.548s +2.896s 12
22 Brad Benavides PHM by Charouz 2m25.091s +32.439s 2