Ollie Bearman secured his second FIA Formula 2 Feature Race win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to spring three places up the championship standings.
Like his victory in Azerbaijan, the British driver started from pole position, but he still had to fight for his winner’s trophy.
The battle for the win came on the opening lap, and Bearman detailed to insideF2 how his defending against a front-row starting Enzo Fittipaldi secured the trip to the top step of the podium.
“It was tight on the first lap. You have to be there for the track position.
“I didn’t get the start that I probably need, but it was enough to be side-by-side into Turn 1. [I was] strong on the brakes, and that was it.
“We knew it would be won there, and we went long on the option, which was also good. After that, it was a fairly unchallenged prime stint. [I’m] super happy.”
Even though Bearman was unchallenged directly, he did face the outside chance that the alternate strategy runners of Victor Martins and Frederik Vesti would catch him.
However, the Ferrari Driver Academy racer kept a watching brief over the pair of them lap-by-lap to ensure he did enough to win, thanks to Barcelona’s timing tower.
“Every time I was going down the [pit] straight, I could see the gaps on the board.
“It was on the radio, but I was also looking for myself at the gaps, the difference in lap time.
“Even before they boxed, I could see what their lap time was, so that’s quite nice to have.
“I was doing my best, but, of course, if there’s a safety car, you need to have a bit of tyre left to fight. In the end, they were not fast enough to get me.”
One day prior, Bearman spoke of his confidence coming into the European rounds and familiar circuits. We asked if his Feature win was proof of that.
“Yeah. I mean, pole was an amazing feat on Friday. And now, to win the race, I’m super happy.
“We struggled in Bahrain when there was some degradation. Now it’s a similar degradation track, and we did a really good job as a team.
“I’m super happy where we are in the championship and where things are looking for the next races. I’m looking forward to getting going again.”
With three wins in the past six races, the season has dramatically improved for the young Brit, whose misfortune cost him points in the opening trio of races.
Bearman reflected on how different things were in the springtime break as we asked if he would believe he’d be in his current position just six weeks ago.
“No. Not at all. Since Jeddah, I’ve been fast. Since the beginning, I’ve been fast, so it’s annoying that I haven’t brought the results.
“But now I feel like I’m starting to do a decent job, so let’s keep going like that and hopefully in another six weeks I won’t believe where I am.”
Image: PREMA Racing