PREMA’s Oliver Bearman has bemused “an average” weekend in Hungary in a huge blow to his title dreams.
Bearman entered the weekend sat 47 points off the championship lead held by teammate, Frederik Vesti but struggled to match the Dane’s pace from the get-go as he finished Practice in 14th position with a 0.625 second deficit, whilst he reduced to 0.334s in Qualifying as he qualified seventh and four positions behind Vesti.
Speaking post Qualifying, Bearman described his Qualifying as “average” despite being “happy” to have reduced his deficit to Vesti compared to Practice, which he put down to failing to “maximize” his running which left him feeling “always kind of one lap behind everyone else.”
Bearman however enjoyed a positive Sprint Race as he made a strong start from fourth position to pass Campos’ Kush Maini for third, only for the Indian to repass him on Lap 3 then found himself controversially overtaken by ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire on a Virtual Safety Car restart on Lap 13.
The 18 year-old Ferrari junior however bided his time and made a late lunge on Pourchaire into Turn 1 on Lap 26 which he hailed as “a really nice move” to clinch a third placed podium finish, which cut his deficit to Vesti down to 41 points after the Dane failed to score points.
His third-placed podium also marked Bearman’s first F2 podium outside of the winner’s position which he described as a sign that “consistency is coming.”
Bearman’s Feature Race however proved much more difficult as he lost two positions at the start after opting for the alternate strategy, which failed to pay off with the soft tyre proving much more durable than anyone anticipated as he ultimately finished 12th and fell 59 points adrift of the title as Vesti finished second.
Reflecting upon a frustrating Feature Race, Bearman commented: “Tough day today, we didn’t really have the pace on the primes, which kind of made our race a long one. We also didn’t expect that the options would last so long, so already the prime-option strategy wasn’t going to work.”
Bearman nevertheless was keen to “regroup” as he eyes a fightback at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium across 28-30 July in order to revive his fading title dreams, ahead of three further rounds to come after the summer break.