FIA Formula 2 Championship rookie Ollie Bearman endured a tough debut weekend in Round 1 in Bahrain, coming away with zero points as both of his races unravelled.
The British driver started both races at the Bahrain International Circuit 12th after a challenging qualifying. He finished the sprint race 15th after pitting for new tyres partway through.
A lightning start in the feature race put him eighth after Turn 3. He then profited from a multi-car incident at the exit of Turn 4 to rise to third, which became fourth as he locked up into Turn 10 and eventual second-place finisher Ralph Boschung got past him down the inside.
That incident involved PREMA teammate Frederik Vesti, who had to retire in pit lane at the end of Lap 1 “because the steering was off.”
Bearman switched from the hard to the soft tyres on Lap 11 of 32. He remained in fourth until Lap 27, when Zane Maloney passed him, before dropping to 14th at the flag as his tyres lost performance.
In a post-race PREMA press release, Bearman said, “I had a good start, so I managed to get quite at the front and avoid collisions. The first stint was quite OK. I had a bit of a flat spot from the first lap, which held me [back] a bit.”
“Then on the option tyres, I was massively struggling for pace, and I was just managing my position for the rest of the race. Eventually, I reached the tyre performance cliff.”
Entering Round 2 in Saudi Arabia in two weeks’ time, Bearman is 19th in the drivers’ standings. With Vesti also failing to score points, PREMA leaves the opening round 11th and last in the teams’ standings.