Beyond the Storm: Ollie’s Zandvoort Resilience

As the Formula 2 season roared back to life after the summer break, all eyes were on the Zandvoort circuit for a weekend of high-speed drama and of course those famous Dutch downpours.


Ollie hit the ground running during Free Practice - running fastest in Friday’s session, 0.396s ahead of his closest rival. Ollie’s Prema teammate Fredrik Vestisecured third. The Prema seemed to promise pace for the weekend ahead, but this is Zandvoort - nothing is ever that simple.

As qualifying unfolded, Ollie was poised to make a statement. However, the qualifying session proved a challenging affair, marred by bumps, spins and three red flags.

Despite the obstacles, Ollie secured sixth position in the starting grid. Reflecting on the session, Ollie expressed a hunger for success and the desire to build on his earlier momentum. He said, “We finished for the summer and we wanted more, especially considering our pace in the previous rounds.”

Sprint Race

The Sprint Race brought its own challenges, with rain and reduced visibility causing delays and yet more red flags. However, Ollie quickly made his mark, climbing to third position within the opening lap before the race was red-flagged.

The worsening weather conditions added that extra layer of unpredictability. As the race restarted behind the Safety Car, there were just 22 racing minutes left on the clock. With several drivers reporting severe aquaplaning, even behind the Safety Car, the Sprint Race was red-flagged once more.

As conditions showed no signs of improving, the Sprint race did not restart. None of the drivers received any points for Saturday’s washout.

Feature Race

The forty-lap feature began behind the Safety Car and Ollie was ready to make his mark. However, the race took an unexpected turn, quite literally, going into Turn 1 as a series of incidents unfolded.

Prema teammate Vesti spun 180° going into the first corner and chaos ensued. As Juan Manuel Correa’s rear tires locked, sending him into the back of Ollie’s Prema, Ollie careered into the gravel with Jack Doohan. With cars squirming for position and a Safety Car deployed, Ollie rejoined the track in 14th position.

With the Safety Car in by Lap 4, Ollie climbed back up the ranks - reaching 7th place by Lap 9. When a freshly pitted Pourchaire left the pitlane and almost went into the back of Crawford, it was America versus France for track position. But not for long. Pourchaire skidded into the wall at Turn 7 of his out lap, rendering him out of the race.

Ollie seized the chance to pit before the Safety Car neutralised the race. Drivers struggled to get their tires to temperature at a chilly track that hovered around 16°C. As the race restarted, Victor Martins raced wheel-to-wheel with Ollie, forcing him wide and off the track at Turn 3, sending Ollie into the barrier.

Unfortunately, Ollie sustained significant damage and had to retire the car.

While Zandvoort might not have yielded the desired results for Ollie or the Prema team, with neither of their drivers collecting any points this weekend, Ollie remains focused on the remaining races of the season. Next up, Monza.

Join us for the penultimate race of the 2023 season in Monza, Italy, 1-3 September.