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Race report

F2 Baku: Bearman does the double from pole

Oliver Bearman has done the double in Baku, taking a commanding win from pole in Sunday’s Formula 2 feature race.

Oliver Bearman, PREMA Racing

Formula Motorsport Ltd

The Prema driver held the lead off the line and despite briefly dropping behind Theo Pourchaire on lap three, recaptured the front spot on the following tour.

From there, it was a straightforward cruise to victory for the Ferrari Academy driver to take his second win of the weekend.

Enzo Fittipaldi finished second for his first podium with Rodin Carlin, having passed Pourchaire just five laps from the end around the outside of Turn 3, with the ART driver completing the rostrum and taking the championship lead.

An uncharacteristically sedate feature race saw the order remain much the same around the first lap, with the only big mover Victor Martins, climbing to fifth having lined up eighth for ART.

Pourchaire, who started third, took second from Fittipaldi the following lap on the run down to Turn 3 with the help of DRS, before capturing the lead from Bearman down to Turn 1 at the beginning of lap three.

It wasn’t to last though, as Bearman regained the lead the following time round by replicating Pourchaire’s move.

He quickly built a gap over one second to the Frenchman before pitstops began on lap six, with team-mate Frederik Vesti the first to stop.

The leading pair pitted on lap eight, with Bearman retaining the advantage ahead of Pourchaire and Fittipaldi.

Enzo Fittipaldi,Rodin Carlin

Enzo Fittipaldi,Rodin Carlin

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

The only pause in action came on lap 10, with a virtual safety car deployed after Brad Benavides ended up in the barriers while trying to escape the Turn 14 run off in his PHM Racing by Charouz car.

As the field pitted for medium tyres, the only two drivers left yet to pit were Isack Hadjar, who inherited the lead for Hitech, and DAMSAyumu Iwasa, who held the championship lead entering the weekend.

Racing resumed on lap 11, with Vesti clearing Dennis Hauger for eighth the following tour having suffered from an early stop, eventually making it past Kush Maini on the run down to Turn 1 two laps later for seventh.

MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala almost ended up in the Turn 1 barriers after running wide on lap 14, emerging into 13th and receiving a 10-second penalty for rejoining unsafely and causing Zane Maloney (Rodin Carlin) to take avoiding action.

Heading into the closing stages, Fittipaldi made it past Pourchaire around the outside of Turn 3 to take second, with Hadjar finally pitting from the lead and emerging in eighth.

Iwasa was the last to pit just three laps from the end, emerging into 14th and leaving Bearman clear to cruise home for victory 2.3s ahead of Fittipaldi with Pourchaire in third.

Oliver Bearman, PREMA Racing

Oliver Bearman, PREMA Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Martins took fourth for ART, but was disqualified for a technical infringement after a post-race inspection found that the floor fins of his car were 3.4mm below the reference plane.

This promoted Vesti to fourth and Maini to fifth for Campos. Hauger was promoted to sixth, with Hadjar, Richard Verschoor (Van Amersfoort Racing), Jak Crawford and Arthur Leclerc (DAMS) completing the top 10.

Pourchaire now leads the standings with 65 points, five clear of Vesti, with previous leader Iwasa dropping to third ahead of Bearman and Maini.

F2 returns in Imola from 19-21 May.

F2 Baku - Feature race results (29 laps)

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