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Megan White

F2 Barcelona: Bearman wins feature race in Prema weekend sweep

Bearman bounced back after a tricky weekend last time out in Monaco to take another victory, having secured a clean sweep at the previous round in Baku.

It marked Prema’s second win of the weekend, with team-mate Frederik Vesti taking victory in Saturday’s sprint race.

Fighting off a challenge from Enzo Fittipaldi (Rodin Carlin) at the start, Bearman broke the DRS chain by lap six to hold a 1.6s lead as Fittipaldi fought ART driver Theo Pourchaire for second.

As the field cycled through pitstops, Bearman was able to hold out later than his rivals as he managed his tyres well before stopping for the hard compound on lap 13 and emerging in 12th.

He cut through those ahead who were yet to stop with ease, and took back control on lap 25 as Victor Martins, running on the alternate strategy having started seventh, pitted from the lead.

Bearman led by 4.4s from Fittipaldi by lap 30, with another six seconds to Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS), before Martins took advantage of his soft tyres to secure third with two laps remaining.

At the start, front-row man Fittipaldi attempted a move on Bearman at Turn 1 before running wide and heading around the bollard.

Fittipaldi and Pourchaire then tussled for second as Iwasa followed in their wake, having passed Jack Doohan who fell back from third to fifth.

The stops began on lap six, with Campos Racing driver Ralph Boschung the first to take new tyres.

Oliver Bearman, PREMA Racing (Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd)

Pourchaire and Iwasa stopped three laps later for hards, with the pair emerging in 17th and 18th.

Bearman was 1.2s clear by lap 10, with a further 5.2s back to Invicta Virtuosi driver Doohan, before Fittipaldi, Doohan and MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger all stopped.

Fittipaldi led those who had stopped from Pourchaire and Iwasa, and despite the Frenchman’s best attempts, he was unable to pass the Brazilian Red Bull junior.

Bearman pitted on lap 13 and easily maintained his net lead over Fittipaldi, Pourchaire and Iwasa.

Although Fittipaldi initially closed as Bearman built up tyre temperature, the Briton used traffic to his advantage and put several of those yet to stop between himself and Fittipaldi.

As the those on fresh rubber made their way through those yet to stop, Iwasa and Doohan made it past Pourchaire, with the Frenchman struggling on his hard tyres.

Bearman had a 2.7s gap to Fittipaldi by lap 21, with the traffic playing into his hands, while his team-mate Vesti, running on the alternate strategy, pitted for softs a few laps later.

The alternate strategy, run by Martins and Vesti, proved to work well, with both drivers making strong progress in the closing stages.

Martins pitted from the lead on lap 25, emerging in fifth. Vesti was soon on his tail, having come out ninth before making his way up to sixth by passing Pourchaire on the start-finish straight with DRS.

Enzo Fittipaldi, Rodin Carlin (Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd)

Martins passed Doohan on the following tour before Vesti followed suit around the outside of Turn 10 and the pair closed on the top three.

A fight for third ensued, with Iwasa and Martins tussling for several laps before the Frenchman took the final podium spot on lap 35.

Iwasa settled for fourth, with Vesti securing fifth after advancing from eighth on the grid.

Doohan and Pourchaire were sixth and seventh, with Hauger, Arthur Leclerc (DAMS) and Richard Verschoor (VAR) rounding off the top 10.

F2 Barcelona Race Results (37 laps):

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