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Formula 2: Prema Racing and the Bahrain disaster

The first weekend of our favourite feeder series just took place in Bahrain. While in Formula 3 we had Arvid Lindblad and Luke Browing on the highest step on the podium, in Formula 2 Zane Maloney dominated both races.

But what about Prema? Because of the new line-up, everyone had really high expectations for them, but things didn’t go as expected and soon the weekend became pretty much a disaster.

Quali and Sprint Race in Bahrain

The issues started during quali. Prema didn’t manage to get the full potential out of the car, with both divers struggling in the runs on new tyres. Antonelli and Bearman ended up P18 and P19 respectively.

First qualifying session for the year and obviously not what we expected, we didn’t perform really well especially with the second set of tyres as we didn’t expect such a change in grip“, said Antonelli after the qualifying session. “Not where we want to be but we are working hard to get there and we’ll continue pushing for the races.”

The tough session meant a difficult Sprint Race, too. The two drivers were on different strategies but this didn’t translate into different results. Antonelli managed to climb up to P14, while Bearman remained in P16.

Interestingly enough, Antonelli was on the spotlight for a series of overtakes that let him gain some positions: one of those was at the expense of his teammate.

Prema Racing driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli during the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Bahrain
Andrea Kimi Antonelli on car #4 during the Sprint Race in Bahrain. Source: premaracing.com

Feature Race

The Feature Race is when things got interesting. Bearman had yet another bad day at the office, with a stall at the start and damage caused by contact with another driver.

On the other hand, the Italian got a top-10 finish and his first point in the category. What really helped Antonelli was tyre management and speed, two elements that will definitely come in handy in Jeddah.

The different outcomes are highlighted by the statements of the drivers.

There is a lot of work to be done before the next weekend because today we were not competitive enough“, Bearman said.

Antonelli, while saying that the car struggled on Option tyres and that a deeper look at this is needed, seemed much more hopeful and excited about the weekend ahead.

PRema Racing Ollie Bearman during the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Bahrain
Ollie Bearman during the Sprint Race in Bahrain. Source: premaracing.com

So, what’s going on with Prema?

Well, we don’t have the answer, obvsiously. Prema has one of the most exciting and talented line-up of the last few years and in general has always been a team capable of fighting on the front. Seeing them struggling to get a point finish was unexpected, to say the least.

The new Formula 2 car is deeply different from its predecessor and clearly Prema had some issues to make it work at its full potential, especially in terms of speed.

Is this the end for the Italian team? Of course not! Bahrain was just the first round and we still have thirteen to go. But to recover positions it’s important for them to make changes as soon as possible, making sure they help their talented drivers to go fight for the title.

Marianna Duca

Appassionata di arte, moda e motorsport, cerco sempre di trovare dei nessi tra questi tre mondi apparentemente lontani.

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