Blue, pink and black F2 car pointing to the right with blue runoff behind and red and beige runoff near to the camera

Jeddah poleman Martins awaits battle ‘with pleasure and with respect’ against Bearman

ART Grand Prix rookie Victor Martins gave the French outfit their second consecutive pole position in Formula 2 after a dominant display in qualifying at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The 21-year-old spoke after the session about his achievement and the potential threat posed by Prema rival Ollie Bearman, who will alongside him on the front row for the feature race on Sunday.

By Tyler Foster

Following in the footsteps of his teammate Théo Pourchaire, who took pole by 0.751 seconds in the opening round in Bahrain, Martins excelled in qualifying at Round 2 in Jeddah, finishing 0.744 seconds ahead of Ollie Bearman, who was a further thousandth in front of Pourchaire.

This all stemmed from Martins’ strong preparation in free practice earlier on Friday, in which Martins finished third. The Frenchman said that heading into qualifying, he was extremely assured in his pace in the car.

“I went into qualifying with high confidence in myself, knowing what to do and where to gain the time with the supersoft [tyre]. I didn’t think; I just pushed, used the tyres well. I did a good [tyre] warmup, we did a good strategy also. Then, it ended up by doing my first pole, so that was an enjoyable lap,” he said in the post-qualifying press conference.

“I would have liked to wear a heart-rate monitor to see how high I was during the entire lap. It’s like you are on the limit every time. You don’t have time to think. You just go instinctively into the corner and see where you end up.

“Of course every corner that you do, you are like ‘One more, then one more,’ and then you finish with the last corner after the long straight where you are just like ‘Oh, I need to finish this lap and not overpush the corner to get a good lap’. It’s always trying to manage your emotions because you need to go to the limit, and that’s not easy.”

Martins’ sizeable gap atop the timing screen after his final flying lap could be attributed to his unique pace in the first sector.

“It’s not really a secret,” Martins explained. “When you look at the times in Sector 1, I found something. Even since this morning, I felt really, really good and really comfortable with the high-speed corners section. When I went out of Turn 10, I was just like ‘You need to just be calm and finish the lap’ because that was feeling like a good Sector 1. So let’s see. Now I’m already focused on the races.”

‘Firm but clean racing’

After scoring a maiden F2 podium during the sprint race at Bahrain, Martins retired from the opening feature race of the season. Though he has no experience of a full F2 feature race distance, he is determined to go for the victory on Sunday given his promising start to the weekend.

The reigning Formula 3 champion will have more than just his third-placed teammate to contend with, though, as Bearman starts alongside him on the front row. The 17-year-old Briton, who is the youngest driver on the 2023 F2 grid, battled with Martins for last season’s Formula 3 title, finishing third behind the French champion.

Speaking to Feeder Series, Bearman summarised their 2022 battles as ‘firm but clean racing’. Polesitter Martins said he expected a similar attitude of on-track respect between him and Bearman should the two rookies fight for victory on Sunday.

“We know each other from last year. I think if we were fighting for the title until the end, it means that we were good enough to fight with the top drivers and we have the respect between each other,” Martins said.

“I hope that I will get a good start and then I will pull away in front, obviously, but if he wants to fight and I need to, that will be with pleasure and with respect. … The target is still to do a good start and look in front and then go for the win.”

Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Donate like Mahaveer Raghunathan

We run on donations, so thank you for your contribution!


Donate like Arthur Leclerc

We run on donations, so thank you for your contribution!


Donate like Dennis Hauger

We run on donations, so thank you for your contribution!


Donate like Theo Pourchaire

We run on donations, so thank you for your contribution!


Donate like Andrea Kimi Antonelli

We run on donations, so thank you for your contribution!


Wish to donate a different amount? You can donate any amount directly to our PayPal page here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s