The Monegasque was unlucky in the Sprint Race, but showed good pace in the Feature Race, finishing sixth. Bearman suffered from tyre degradation.
For Ferrari Driver Academy students Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman, their first outing in Formula 2 was one of highs and lows. Leclerc scored points on his debut, finishing sixth in the Feature Race. "It was a difficult weeekend, but apart from a few unforseen circumstances, my race pace was good," he said. "I was penalised in the Sprint, even though I didn't gain an advantage but those are the rules and they have to be respected. There was some consolation thanks to the points from the Feature Race and there are many positives to take away from this first round of the season." Oliver had a tougher weekend. "I suffered a lot with tyre degradation in both the Sprint and Feature races," he said. "We know that's one of the key aspects of this series and we'll have to work on it for the coming races."
Sprint Race. Leclerc started the first race from third on the grid, with Bearman on the sixth row. For the opening laps, Arthur matched the pace of the leaders, but on lap 5 he was given a 10 second stop and go penalty because some of his team were still on the grid after the permitted time. That dropped him to 21st, after which he fought back to take the chequered flag in 12th place. Bearman had to make an unscheduled extra stop because of the aforementioned tyre wear at half distance. That dropped him to last place but he worked his way up to 15th by the end
Feature Race. Leclerc and Bearman started from eighth and twelfth places respectively, with Oliver getting away really well and a good line through turns 1 and 4 saw him find his way up to fourth. Leclerc had excessive wheelspin off the line, dropping to 11th on the opening lap. Arthur was among the first to switch from Soft to Hard tyres on lap 11, with Bearman pitting on the next lap. The strategy worked well and after the run of pit stops, Leclerc found himself fourth, ahead of Oliver. But in the final third of the race, both of them had to deal with significant tyre degradation. Bearman dropped back to 14th while Arthur did a better job of managing the tyres and despite a brake problem, he crossed the line in sixth place. The next round is in Saudi Arabia from 17 to 19 March.