The FDA’s 17 year old Englishman came third in the Feature Race. Arthur Leclerc was fourth and is third in the standings thanks to a good points haul.
Ferrari Driver Academy students, Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc had a strong weekend in Spielberg, especially in terms of their performance level. They were consistent front runners in qualifying and the races. Two fourth place finishes puts Leclerc on 91 points and third in the championship, just 8 behind the leader. Bearman secured his third podium finish of the season and stays sixth in the standings on 59 points.
Qualifying. Come the end of a busy half hour to determine the grid for the Feature Race, Bearman was third, one place ahead of Leclerc. The red flags came out with two minutes remaining, just as Bearman was on a quicker lap, but nevertheless, the 17 year old Englishman was pleased with the progress he has made in qualifying. Leclerc was less satisfied with having to settle for fourth.
Sprint. The reversed grid meant that Leclerc and Bearman started from ninth and tenth respectively. The Safety Car was required immediately for two laps and once racing resumed, the two FDA drivers set about moving up the order. On lap 9, Bearman took sixth, a couple of tenths ahead of Leclerc and the pair spent several laps circulating less than a second apart. At half distance, Arthur attacked Oliver going into turn 3, braking late and diving down the inside. At the exit, Bearman had Leclerc on his right and Zane Maloney to his left and as they all ran out of room, a collision ensued with Leclerc able to continue, Maloney retiring and Bearman dropping to ninth. Arthur moved up to fourth with a nice pass on Johnny Edgar, while Bearman dug deep to fight his way back to fifth. After the race, Oliver was given a 5 second penalty added to his race time for exceeding track limits, which dropped him to 16th place. “I’m happy with fourth place and also the fastest lap,” said Leclerc, “as we have picked up plenty of points.”
Feature. It was a wet Sunday morning in Spielberg and the race was started behind the Safety Car, the green flag for a rolling start coming after two laps. Bearman and Leclerc maintained their third and fourth place grid positions and the opening laps were run in tricky conditions with poor visibility a problem for all the drivers. The situation improved around half distance as a dry line began to emerge and after another Safety Car period following a crash, the pack was bunched up for the final five laps with no changes of position at the front of the field, with Bearman taking the flag in third and Leclerc half a second behind him.