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Oliver Bearman celebrates his F2 win in Baku
Oliver Bearman celebrates his F2 win in Baku

F2: Oliver Bearman’s impressive start to 2023 shouldn’t come as a suprise

The young Brit is enjoying his start with the Prema team in 2023, but more is still to come

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After an impressive F3 rookie season for PREMA, the team’s newest F2 drivers performance has shocked the paddock

Oliver Bearman celebrates his win at the 2023 Baku Feature Race (Image Credit: Joe Portlock via Getty Images)
Oliver Bearman celebrates his win at the 2023 Baku Feature Race (Image Credit: Joe Portlock via Getty Images)

Oliver Bearman, a rookie to the Formula 2 paddock, has had a strong start for the PREMA team in 2023.

The young Brit currently sits P4 in the driver’s championship after Barcelona, where he took his 3rd win in the Sprint Race. He is currently P1 in the standings for all rookies in the category.

His impressive performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix caused puzzled looks throughout the Formula 2 world, and the addition of a 3rd win in Spain simply added to his already impressive resume.

While he is currently being beaten out by his veteran teammate, Frederick Vesti, the PREMA team appears keen on the talent of the youngster.

Bearman spent the 2022 season with the Italian team in Formula 3, finishing third in the category in his rookie year. He finished only behind Victor Martins and Zane Maloney, his current F2 counterparts.

Oliver jumped out of the gates during the first sprint race of the season in Bahrain after starting second on the grid. It only took 5 laps before Bearman took the lead in his inaugural F3 race. He would go on to dominate the field and build up a gap of just over 3 seconds to Isack Hadjar.

However, as he crossed the line to take his first F3 victory, the FIA awarded the rookie a 5-second time penalty, slotting him into P2. He would go on to win the Belgian F3 Sprint Race, one of his 8 podiums during the season.

The jump to F2
Oli during F2 pre-season testing in Abu Dhabi (Image Credit: Joe Portlock via Getty Images)
Oli during F2 pre-season testing in Abu Dhabi (Image Credit: Joe Portlock via Getty Images)

After the 2022 F2 season wrapped up, Bearman was given the chance to take his new drive out on track during F2 testing in Abu Dhabi. From the moment he stepped into the car, the young Brit was ready to soak in all the information that he was able. Coming out of the sessions, he said,

“My head was kind of confused at the start, but now it’s all a bunch of new things and I would say I took away everything, at least as much as I could.”

Oliver’s unmatched consistency during the second half of his Formula 3 season was brought to a halt during his first F2 weekend in Bahrain. A scoreless Sprint and Feature race would see him sit at the bottom of the championship.

It wasn’t until the Feature Race in Saudi Arabia that Oli was able to take his first points scoring occasion, securing a P10 finish.

However, an unfortunate luck of form struck again in Melbourne as he was able to only take two points out to the weekend.

The weekend of his life

When it came to qualifying in Azerbaijan, it seemed as though Bearman’s session was all but over after he grazed the wall on the exit of turn 2. This caused a bend in the steering wheel, and forced a difficult driving condition for the remainder of the session.

Nonetheless, with his immense skill and qualifying pace, Bearman was actually able to demote Fittipaldi out of P1, and take his first F2 Pole Position of his career.

The skill displayed on Friday would not slow down Bearman and the PREMA team. After fixing up the steering issue for the Sprint Race on Saturday, Bearman was able to navigate the carnage ahead and take his first win of the season, followed shortly by his second win during the feature race on Sunday.

The impressive results would take a one week break, after Bearman was unable to score points, however, the performance was still there. Oliver was able to make up 5 positions during the Sprint Race to finish P11 in Monaco.

His most recent hardware

The story of Oliver Bearman’s impressive 2023 F2 season does not end with a tragic 0 points finish. In the most recent Sprint Race during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Oliver was able to clinch his third win of the season, and the third in a row for the PREMA team.

To say that Oli Bearman does not have the talent to be in Formula One is an inaccurate statement. The remainder of the 2023 season will hopefully feature more of the same from Bearman and the PREMA group.

For now, we can sit back and watch a talented young driver compete with a field of equally talented young drivers.

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