Written by Ellie Nicholls, Edited by Mara Simion
The Formula Two feature race at Monza caused mixed emotions for Prema Racing, with one driver on the top step of the podium and the other crashing out of the race.
Oliver Bearman claimed the Italian team’s second win of the weekend after a very impressive and mature drive amidst what turned out to be a very chaotic race. Starting in second place on the grid, Bearman quickly passed Theo Pourchaire for the race lead, managing to keep the French driver, along with the rest of the field, behind him all the way to the chequered flag.
Speaking after the race, the young British driver said it was “tough, especially with all the safety car restarts”. But, despite everything that was thrown at him, Bearman drove a great race with a great car underneath him, pulling away from the rest of the pack with ease at every restart and, most importantly, keeping himself well out of trouble.
Despite the chaos elsewhere in the field, Bearman held his nerve, and was rewarded with a victory, his fourth of this season so far, putting him just one point behind fellow rookie Victor Martins in the championship standings.
“What a race!”, as Bearman described it. “Just mega!”
With just one round left in the Formula Two 2023 season, Bearman said that he “can’t wait for Abu Dhabi”, looking to end his fairly tumultuous rookie season on a high note. If he is able to extend this good run of form, Bearman could take fifth place in the standings from Victor Martins, or even overtake Jack Doohan for fourth.
While this race weekend really helped Bearman’s chances in the championship, things were a different story on the other side of the Prema garage.
It was a Sunday to forget for Frederik Vesti following his victory in the sprint race on Saturday. After a great start that saw him move up into P5 from P8, Vesti took a chance to overtake Roman Stanek, but was pushed off the track and into the barriers. This incident caused Vesti to retire and saw Stanek pick up a 5-second time penalty.
“Tough way to end the weekend” said Vesti after the race, “nothing more to say than that”. Despite his sprint race victory, Vesti was unable to get the points he needed to close the gap to Theo Pourchaire in the standings. For Vesti, it ”was a devastating feeling to end the race like that”: retiring from the race on lap one while his championship rival finished on the podium.
Going into the final race weekend of the year at Abu Dhabi, Vesti is 24 points behind Pourchaire, the current championship leader, but the season is far from over yet. With everything to play for and the championship still undecided, Vesti vowed to “do his best to fight back” and claim the title for himself.