Martins, Bearman Relish Jeddah’s ‘No Risk, No Fun’ Approach

Martins, Bearman Relish Jeddah’s ‘No Risk, No Fun’ Approach

Victor MartinsMartins Fastest in Qualifying With Sensational Lap

ART Grand Prix rookie Victor Martins took a dominant pole position at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for Round 2 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, finishing 0.744 seconds ahead of fellow rookie Ollie Bearman of PREMA Racing.

With a lap of a 1:41.326 set on his second run, Martins took the second largest pole margin in modern Formula 2 history, just seven thousandths behind the gap that ART teammate Théo Pourchaire had over him at the last round in Bahrain.

The 2022 FIA F3 champion’s result is additionally impressive considering he has not raced on a street circuit since 2019, when he secured a victory and a second-place finish at the Circuit de Monaco in his second season of the Formula Renault Eurocup.

Four of the next five races in Formula 2 are on street or semi-permanent street circuits, with Jeddah hosting Round 2, Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit hosting Round 3, the Baku City Circuit hosting Round 4 and Monaco hosting Round 6.

“I think the important thing on a street circuit is to not think about the walls, even if they are here, and to know what is the approach to get in the corners,” Martins said.

“I always try to push a lot from the beginning to get the confidence. Théo said, also, when the car moves, just to trust the car that it will stay on the track and stay planted on the ground and then doing lap after lap, going to the limit.

Ultimately, Martins said he maintains the same fundamental approach regardless of the circuit type.

“I don’t feel like I do a complete different approach. It’s just I try to get also the technique right in every corner and think about the next one and what to do … step by step towards the end of the session.

“It’s what I like, street circuits. You go to the limit. I also like the tracks like Zandvoort where you have straight away some gravel and where the mistakes doesn’t forgive, so that’s what I like and love to race on.

Bearman, who topped practice before qualifying second, is racing on a street circuit for the first time in his career. That makes him one of just two drivers in the field, along with Trident’s Roman Stan?k, to be new to the discipline.

“I really wanted to give this answer since it was my first street track! Being Jeddah as well, one of the fastest street tracks, it’s a good first one to do,” he told InsideF2.

“I really enjoyed it – a little bit different to a normal track, but in the end in qualifying, you need to give everything. Just a bit more risk, but no risk, no fun!”

Bearman’s risk-taking nearly yielded disastrous consequences when he tapped the wall on the exit of Turn 27 on his first flying lap. But having sustained no damage, the British driver was able to laugh it off.

“It was really just a touch. I’m sure they moved the wall a bit!” he joked. “I was just widening the track for the second set of tyres. It worked well.”

Martins replied in kind with a ‘thank you’.

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Victor MartinsMartins Fastest in Qualifying With Sensational Lap