PREMA’s Oliver Bearman blamed brake temperature problems as he failed to convert pole position into Feature Race victory for the first time in his FIA Formula 2 career.
Bearman took his third pole of the year in a dash to beat the rain on Friday, but the 18-year-old said he struggled to get brake temperature following the late race Safety Car on Sunday.
By the time the Safety Car came out on Lap 16, the British driver had already lost track position to ART’s Théo Pourchaire.
“Tough race overall,” the Ferrari Driver Academy driver said, who ended up finishing seventh on a difficult day for PREMA.
PREMA Racing has challenging day at Spa-Francorchamps
— PREMA (@PREMA_Team) July 30, 2023
Bearman’s brake warm-up issues meant he was under pressure from drivers behind, while Invicta Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan snatched a second straight Feature Race win after the Safety Car.
As a result, ART’s Victor Martins was able to pass the Briton, although there was contact, for which Bearman was slapped with a five-second time penalty, which cost him a place on the podium as Martins also had a time penalty, for speeding in the pit lane.
Bearman said there were some positives to take from Sunday though.
“The positive is the big step in pace from yesterday (Saturday),” he said.
PREMA had struggled for pace on the medium compound Pirelli tyre during Saturday’s Sprint Race, won by Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi.
But despite the pace improvement from Saturday to Sunday, PREMA slipped to 30 points behind Teams championship rivals ART.
It was over before it even began ?
— Formula 2 (@Formula2) July 30, 2023
As a result, PREMA have lost the lead in both championships as Pourchaire’s second-place finish sees the Frenchman take a 12-point lead over the Dane.
Image: PREMA Racing