Abu Dhabi 2023: The Final Chapter
As the desert sun shone on the Yas Marina circuit, the Formula 2 season finale got underway. While Ollie may not have seized the final race in a blaze of glory, his journey through the 2023 season has been impressive. With a string of impressive achievements, the young racer has carved his name into racing history.
Bearman’s season proved quite the ride. His double triumph in Baku, Azerbaijan and commanding Feature Race wins in Barcelona and Monza announced Ollie as a true contender in his first season of Formula 2.
Securing four pole positions, a fastest lap, five podium finishes and four victories, it is not surprising Ollie caught the eye of North Carolina-based Formula 1 racing team Haas.
Invited to compete in Final Practice 1 in Mexico, Ollie drove the fastest of all the rookies in the session and was keen to get behind the wheel again in Abu Dhabi.
Final Practice and Qualifying
Transitioning from the high of testing an F1 Haas car in Mexico, Ollie was back in the Haas in Abu Dhabi. Despite being the youngest driver in action at the Yas Marina circuit, he exhibited the racing prowess that has come to be associated with him throughout the 2023 season.
His foray into Nico Hulkenberg’s VF-23 added to his experience before jumping back into the Prema Racing car for the F2 qualifying session, where he achieved 17th place on the grid.
Ollie faced an uphill battle after failing to crack the top ten in Friday’s qualification. The Safety Car made an early appearance in the first lap.
By Lap 3, the Safety Car was in. Ollie was now 13th, climbing to 11th by Lap 8. With three laps to go, he battled to 10th place, where he crossed the finish line.
Beginning 17th, with the unpredictability of the season finale, Ollie catapulted himself up seven positions to P10 by Lap 7. However, only a handful of laps later, Ollie was forced to retire the car as his engine went into self-preservation mode.
Although he was able to recover the car to the pitlane, his stricken Prema came to a halt at the entrance to the pitlane, momentarily causing a closure. However, satisfied that his car was out of danger, the recovery action was delayed and the pitlane reopened for other drivers.
While the season finale may not have unfolded how Ollie had envisioned, his season performance is a true testament to his skill and determination. Closing the 2023 championship in sixth place in the driver standings illustrates his commitment and resilience in the face of challenges.
As the chequered flag falls on the season, the promise of future triumphs remains at the forefront of our minds. With post-season testing this week in Abu Dhabi, Ollie is back in the Haas F1 car.
Ahead of the testing, Ollie said; “The Young Driver Test is the last chance the team will get this year to work on things for 2024 and I’ll try to do a solid job. The team has made me very comfortable since we met in Qatar and I enjoy working with them."