Beary Brilliant Weekend in Baku as Ollie Does the Double
Early success set the tone for the rest of a weekend where Ollie was a force to be reckoned with on the track. Setting the fastest time in practice, Baku was Bearman’s for the taking and it made for a weekend of racing that did not disappoint.
Claiming his first Formula 2 pole position of the season in a tense qualifying session, Ollie turned a turbulent qualifying around in the final seconds. Utilising the slipstream from cars ahead, Bearman snatched pole position from the jaws of Fittipaldi by just 0.012s at the chequered flag.
With Pole safe for Sunday’s feature, attention turned to Saturday’s sprint race and all eyes were on Ollie. Despite several incidents on track, Ollie continued to showcase the impressive speed of the Prema, keeping his cool and avoiding collisions at the notoriously tight street circuit.
Lining up 9th on the grid, Ollie carved his way through the field, constantly pulling the fastest laps, fighting into 4th place by Lap 11. By the final three laps of the race, most of the drivers were struggling for grip, which resulted in multi-car collisions, wide runs, lockups and out-of-control spins for several drivers.
Ollie and his Prema teammate Frederik Vesti bypassed the chaos with Vesti sliding into the lead. However, Bearman quickly put Vesti under pressure as his teammate ran wide at Turn 4, enabling Ollie to seize the lead only seconds before the third Safety Car of the race was deployed.
From 9th on the grid to first at the flag, Ollie finished in a Schumacher at Silverstone circa 1998 style - behind the safety car, through the pitlane.
The cherry on top of a wild but brilliant weekend in Baku, Ollie demonstrated excellent control and precision throughout the Feature Race. Following a great start to Sunday’s race, could Ollie do the double in Baku?
With DRS enabled, Lap 3 saw Theo Pourchaire sneak into a short-lived lead past Ollie. However, by the time the two were heading into Turn 1 on Lap 4, Ollie snatched back his lead over the Frenchman.
Pitting perfectly on Lap 9, just five laps later, Ollie almost brushed the wall through Turn 15, narrowly avoiding significant damage. Back in control and managing to build a decent lead, Bearman played the rest of the race cool, calm and collected.
Crossing the line in first place after 29 laps, Ollie's presence in the battle for the championship was clear. Catapulting himself from 16th to 4th place in the championship, Ollie now heads to more familiar tracks as the season continues across Europe.
Going into Imola on an undisputed high, join us for Round Five of the season on 19-21 May for all the action.