Bearman Means Business in Belgium
Cleverly capitalising on his nearest rivals’ misfortune, Ollie Bearman’s Sprint Race victory in Spa-Francorchamps closes the championship gap to a single point going into Zandvoort.
After initial disappointment in qualification, Ollie wasn't disheartened, crediting Spa with some of the best opportunities for overtaking. He said, "I knew there was some potential there and I could fight for podiums in both the Sprint and Feature Races."
Sealing his first F3 victory of the season, Ollie started fifth on the grid, keeping out of trouble on the opening lap, narrowly avoiding a collision with Correa. From there, tyre management was key, behind an early safety car before a collision between Goethe and Maloney red-flagged the race.
Never losing focus, Ollie seized this opportunity for a rare, mid-race debrief. As racing resumed after 30 minutes of stoppage time to repair the barrier, Bearman held the lead while Benavides and Edgar battled for third place. After 15 laps of the Sprint Race, Ollie finished 4.7s ahead of his rivals to secure the win.
Later taking his second podium of the weekend, the Feature Race saw Ollie’s time to strike in the penultimate lap of the race. Taking 5th place from Edgar going into La Source on Lap 15, Ollie soon had Goethe in his sights. Backing out at Eau Rouge as the Monegasque driver went deep into Turn 1, one lap later Bearman was back in Goethe's mirrors and armed with DRS. Executing the overtake in the last lap of the race, Ollie finished fourth and was quickly promoted to third, and his second podium of the weekend, after Collet’s time penalty.
Ollie’s consistency has reignited championship hopes. With only five points separating the top four drivers in the championship, Bearman is now just one point behind championship leader Hadjar, going into Zandvoort.
Hungrier than ever for the Feature Race win, Ollie remains focused on scoring as many points as possible in the final two races of the season. Optimistic for the final stint of the 2022 F3 season, the Spa Sprint Race winner is looking forward to finishing the season on a high.