Franco Colapinto led the Monza Sprint Race in FIA F3 from start to finish, but Ollie Bearman stole the spotlight by climbing from seventh to second with a series of moves around the outside entering Turn 1. He nearly stole the win on the final corner by drawing alongside Colapinto, but ultimately the Argentinian held on to first place.
By Michael McClure
Bearman held position for the first two laps and began his charge on Lap 3 by passing Jak Crawford for sixth. He got by William Alatalo the next lap in a similar fashion, albeit with the Jenzer driver aggressively moving over in an attempt to defend fifth place. After a nearly five-lap safety car period, the race resumed on Lap 9, and Bearman slipped past Martí for fourth on Lap 10, likewise around the outside of Turn 1.
The pair waged a battle over the next lap and a half until Martí ran wide at Turn 7 on Lap 11. Bearman lost another place to Crawford on Lap 12, but he quickly took it back and then set off for the podium places. It didn’t take him long to secure second place with a beautiful double-overtake on Caio Collet and Jonny Edgar around the outside of Turn 1 on Lap 15.
Bearman closed on leader Colapinto and got within DRS range in the final laps, but he opted not to fight too hard for first place. The Prema driver attributed that conservativeness to a misunderstanding wherein Bearman thought there was still an additional lap of the race beyond the 18 laps already completed.
Thrilling the Tifosi
Bearman joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in November 2021, meaning this is his first visit to Monza with Ferrari colours. F1 Feeder Series asked him whether the presence of the Tifosi added any pressure for the weekend.
“I wouldn’t say it adds any pressure. If anything, motivation to score well in front of the Tifosi is a big motivator for me, so I was a bit disappointed not to win today. But I think it’s really nice to go down to the wire in Monza. It’s a cool place to do it. As I said, it didn’t really add any pressure, just more networking and determination.”
Coping with the pressure
As for the championship fight, Bearman improved to third overall by dint of his second-place finish in the Sprint Race. He now sits on 114 points, 13 behind championship leader Victor Martins, who starts two places ahead of him for the Feature Race.
Bearman is the reigning Italian and ADAC F4 champion, having won both titles with Van Amersfoort Racing in a historic double. Though that recent experience of fighting for championships – which none of the other current contenders have – is a ‘confidence booster’, Bearman says it’s not crucial to his success this season.
“It doesn’t change much. Maybe I cope a bit better with the pressure, but I think anyway I’m quite strong on that, so I don’t think it helps, let’s say.
“[F3] is quite a different championship to the F4 championships I drove in last year, so it’s not a massive help. Obviously l had some good results here in Monza last year, which is a nice confidence booster, but the races are much more of a mess this year.
If I won the championship, it would mean the world, but if I don’t, it’s also not the end of the worldOllie Bearman
“Of course if I won the championship, it would mean the world, but if I don’t, it’s also not the end of the world. There’s been a lot of race weekends – two in particular, Imola and Zandvoort – which were really poor, so we can put it down to that if it’s not the outcome we hoped for.”
Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd
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