Oliver Bearman made it two wins out of two in Formula 2 at Azerbaijan with a controlling drive in the feature race.Baku City Circuit, winning both the sprint and feature races as well as claiming pole position and topping practice.
He crossed the line 2.8 seconds ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi in today’s feature race, with Theo Pourchaire joining them on the podium.
Following his stunning victory from ninth on the grid in yesterday’s sprint race, Bearman lined up alongside Fittipaldi on the front-row. Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti were then immediately behind.
The Prema driver enjoyed an excellent start and thwarted a late lunge from Fittipaldi at turn one to keep the lead. That was all Fittipaldi could offer in the fight for first, as he was immediately in defence mode on lap two.
Pourchaire started his attack on the Carlin driver down the start-finish straight, and completed his hunt around the outside into turn three. The ART driver had strong pace and soon after he was applying pressure to the leader.
With DRS down the start-finish straight, Pourchaire overtook Bearman down the inside of turn one on lap three. However, Bearman returned the favour the following lap with a similar manoeuvre to re-take the lead.
Bearman then extended his advantage to 1.1 seconds, before both drivers pitted on lap nine. They came in immediately after Brad Benavides brought the yellow flags out when he skidded into the run-off area at turn 15.
Benavides made another mistake moments later at turn four on lap 10. After locking up, he used the run-off area then hit a wall as he tried to turn his PHM car around.
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A Virtual Safety Car period was called, and ended the following lap. At the restart, Bearman was in third but held the net lead behind Isack Hadjar and Ayumu Iwasa who were yet to pit.
Following the drama of the sprint race, which included 10 retirements, this was a much calmer affair. However, one driver picked up a penalty. Already running outside of the points on lap 14, Jehan Daruvala went off at turn one but re-joined in the immediate path of Zane Maloney, which earned the MP driver a 10-second time penalty for returning to the track unsafely.
Further ahead, Bearman extended his advantage over Pourchaire to over two seconds. The ART driver had dropped so far back, he came under pressure from Fiittpaldi on lap 24. Eyeing up his opportunity, Fittipaldi started the move around the outside of turn three and got his front wheels slightly ahead, before finishing the overtake down the inside of the following corner.
That move gave Fittipaldi fourth position on track, which became second over the next laps as Iwasa and Hadjar finally made their mandatory pit stops. Pourchaire pursued Fittipaldi closely, hoping to re-gain his position. However the ART driver was unable to strike.
Bearman was cruising ahead and crossed the line with a 2.8 second advantage. Fittipaldi and Pourchaire joined him on the podium, while Victor Martins finished in fourth.
Behind the Alpine junior was Vesti, with Kush Maini, Dennis Hauger, Hadjar, Richard Verschoor and Jak Crawford then rounding up the points.
Pourchaire now takes the championship lead on 65 points, five points ahead of Vesti with Iwasa a further two behind in third. But with his two victories this weekend, Bearman has now jumped up to fourth on 41 points. The last driver to do the double in this way was Felipe Drugovich in Spain last year, on his way to the title. The series continues at Imola in three weeks’ time.
Formula 2 Azerbaijan race two results
|2||4||Enzo Fittipaldi||Rodin Carlin|
|9||22||Richard Verschoor||Van Amersfoort|
|12||3||Zane Maloney||Rodin Carlin|
|14||23||Juan Manuel Correa||Van Amersfoort|
|19||16||Roy Nissany||PHM Racing by Charouz|
|DNF||Brad Benavides||PHM Racing by Charouz|
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