FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Bearman Baku F2 PREMA

F2’s Bearman on the jump to F2 and igniting his championship challenge with ‘double win’ in Baku

Ollie Bearman is the second youngest F2 race winner after a dominant weekend in Baku

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Oliver Bearman of PREMA Racing ignited his Championship challenge in F2 this weekend as he topped every session taking pole position and two race victories in Baku. 

Bearman Pourchaire F2 Baku PREMA
Race winner Oliver Bearman celebrates on the podium during the Round 4:Baku Feature race of the Formula 2 Championship. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

The Formula 2 grid this year consists of nine rookies, who graduated from F3 for 2023. Coming into the fourth round of the F2 season, Red Bull Junior driver Ayumu Iwasa was leading the championship. However, after this weekend in Baku, Théo Pourchaire of ART Grand Prix is in the lead.

Ahead of the 2023 season, Pourchaire was named a championship contender, having finished P2 in the Driver Standings last year behind Felipe Drugovich. But F3 graduate Oliver Bearman has thrown his hat in the ring.

Across the first three rounds of the season, Bearman’s best finish was P7 in the Sprint Race in Melbourne. His highest qualifying result was P2 a round earlier on the streets of Jeddah, which was Bearman’s first time on a street track.

However, after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, Bearman has shown what he can do and sits fourth in the championship. The British driver almost achieved maximum points last weekend.

Bearman began the weekend topping the timesheets in the free practice session on Friday. He then took pole position, despite an issue with his steering column, and went on to achieve the win in both races, dominating around Baku.

After the Sprint Race, FormulaNerds spoke to Bearman about his maiden F2 win. Bearman remained coy about his victory and said: “If I knew, I’d be doing it every weekend.”

FormulaNerds also spoke to Bearman after his Feature Race win, along with other selected media, about his jump to F2 and his dominant weekend.

An enjoyable challenge

Last year in 2022, Bearman was close to winning the F3 championship. In the end, the British driver finished in third on 132 points, seven points behind the champion, Victor Martins.

Throughout his Formula 3 campaign, Bearman secured seven podium finishes plus a sprint race win in Spa. As he moved up to F2, Bearman has remained with PREMA Racing, which he said has helped him in making the move to higher junior formula.

Last weekend, Bearman looked very comfortable in the No. 8 car, so FormulaNerds asked him how he’s finding the jump up to F2. Bearman said:

“Yeah of course jumping into a new car is   challenge but I stayed with the same team so at least that makes the jump feel a bit smaller. The people around you are familiar, which definitely helps.”

Baku was a new track for Bearman, just like the previous two rounds: Jeddah and Melbourne. Whilst he has raced on European circuits that are on the calendar, such as the Barcelona and Monza, Bearman has yet to race around the Monaco street track and the Yas Marina circuit.

Bearman told FormulaNerds that all the new tracks are an aspect of F2 that he enjoys. He said: “It’s really cool to go to some new tracks. I really enjoyed it in Jeddah, also Australia and here.

“It was my first street track in Jeddah and also here, it was an interesting track. I think F2 allows you to do that, go to a lot of cool tracks. I’ve been really enjoying it so far and finally the results have started to come, so it’s going well.”

A dominant drive with a ‘double win’

The earlier rounds of the season didn’t represent the pace that Bearman had in terms of his finishing positions. But after almost a month off from race weekends, Bearman came back proving himself.

In the post-race press conference, Bearman told the media, including FormulaNerds, about his pole to race win victory in the Feature Race. The PREMA driver said:

“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.”

Throughout the race, Bearman had a good battle with Pourchaire. Speaking about the battle, Bearman said he “couldn’t see how fast Théo [Pourchaire] was catching” but he knew that Pourchaire “was going to be close.”

In the race, once Pourchaire took the lead, Bearman “followed him for a lap” before picking up the pace and “got [Pourchaire] back”.  Bearman told the media that whilst overtaking Pourchaire straightaway wasn’t “a deciding point of the race”, it was “critical” for him to be “in clean air” to be “in a good position to have a clean stint.”

Once Bearman retook the lead from Pourchaire, he was then able to turn his pole position into a race victory. The young British driver scored his best results in Baku and is hoping to “fight for victory” in the rest of the races this season.

F2 have a break in race weekends until Imola at the end of May. But the championship will be in Barcelona for three days of testing from May 10th-12th. After his weekend in Baku, it’s likely we could see Bearman stand on the top step of the podium again this season.

Headline Image: Twitter @Formula2

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top