THE FERRARI DRIVER ACADEMY STUDENT WON TODAY’S SPRINT RACE IN AZERBAIJAN, HAVING STARTED FROM NINTH ON THE GRID. HE STARTS TOMORROW’S FEATURE RACE FROM POLE.
Oliver Bearman has had a perfect start to his very first visit to the Baku circuit. The 17 year old Englishman secured pole yesterday and converted it brilliantly into his maiden Formula 2 win. It was an exciting race, with Bearman having to fight his way up the order, showing he has really got to grips with the car in only his fourth Formula 2 round. “It was a very busy race,” commented Oliver. “I immediately started to move up the order and then, towards the end, in the chaos at the first corner after the restart, I managed to get through without getting caught. Then I was second behind my team-mate and I was being careful not to make any mistakes. But then I got a really good exit out of turn 4, pulling off a clean pass which took me into the lead. I’m very happy with this result because it has come thanks to a lot of hard work with the Ferrari Driver Academy and the team. But now, it’s time to focus on tomorrow’s race which I will start from pole and we have everything in place to get another good result. Arthur Leclerc was out of luck, his race ending in the chaos at the restart after the Safety Car, having been just outside the points for all the race up until then.
The race. The top ten on the grid for the Sprint start in reverse qualifying order, which meant Bearman was ninth and Leclerc 13th for the start. Bearman dropped one place at the start but then immediately started passing those ahead so that he was already up to fourth by lap 10. The Safety Car came out on lap 18 because of an incident involving Roy Nissany. The restart was very chaotic, with the two leaders, Dennis Hauger and Victor Martins, running deep and hitting the barrier at the first corner, which began a domino effect with other cars following suit. Frederic Vesti and Ollie Bearman were the only ones in the lead group to get through the carnage with the Englishman running behind his Danish team-mate. Then the FDA driver attacked coming out of Turn 4 and passed Vesti to take the lead before the Safety Car came out once again, meaning the positions did not change. Leclerc, who had got up to ninth, got caught out in the chaos at the first corner at the restart and his race ended with the car in the barrier, even though it was not damaged. Tomorrow, Ollie starts the Feature Race at 11.25 local time (9.25 CET) from pole position.