Following Frederik Vesti and PREMA Racing’s victory on the streets of Monte Carlo, FIA Formula 2 headed to Barcelona for Round 6 of the 2023 campaign where it was a similar story once again. This time though, Oliver Bearman was Sunday's victor, taking his second Feature Race win in three race weekends to lift himself up the Standings and extend PREMA’s advantage at the top.

Things remained closely contested between Vesti and Théo Pourchaire in the Drivers’ Standings, but the Dane was able to further his slender advantage over the Frenchman by the time the chequered flag fell in Spain.

In Qualifying, Bearman made it three PREMA poles in succession, narrowly beating Rodin Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi to the top spot by just 0.077s. MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger led heading into the final runs having opted to run in the gap before the majority returned for one last attempt.

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Fittipaldi bettered that time with over eight minutes left to run to take provisional pole and title contenders Pourchaire and Iwasa got to within two-tenths of that effort heading into the final three minutes. Nobody could stop Bearman though, as he set a 1:23.546 to secure pole.

Glorious sunshine had been replaced by heavy rain ahead of Saturday’s Sprint and Amaury Cordeel led the field from a rolling start through the spray. Eager to make up ground quickly, Vesti tried a move on Jak Crawford at Turn 1 but the pair made contact, leaving the American driver out of the running with suspension damage.

READ MORE: Monte Carlo Flashback: Vesti beats Pourchaire to take Championship lead

The Dane continued on his way and was through for the lead on Lap 2, clearing Cordeel out of Turn 10 after the Belgian ran wide. Victor Martins was through on the Invicta Virtuosi driver on Lap 4, late on the brakes into Turn 1 to take the place.

Running wide at Turn 7, Cordeel dropped further on Lap 12, falling from fifth to sixth as teammate Doohan took advantage.

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A spin into the gravel for Juan Manuel Correa on Lap 20 brought out a late Safety Car and wiped out Vesti’s six-second advantage over closest challenger Martins. It did provide everyone the change to switch back to soft tyres, with the track now dry enough for slicks.

Vesti held onto the lead at the restart but title rival Pourchaire was on the move. Able to fire his tyres up immediately, he passed Hauger for third into Turn 1 before moving ahead of teammate Martins at Turn 4 to set his sights on the Championship leader.

With just three laps remaining, Vesti held firm to take back-to-back wins following on from his Monte Carlo Feature victory, with the ART duo rounding out the podium.

Saturday’s rain was well clear come Sunday and Bearman just about held off Fittipaldi from Feature Race pole through the opening corners. The fast-starting Pourchaire was up to third by Turn 4, challenging the Brazilian for P2 having started fifth.

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The ART Grand Prix driver was the first in for a mandatory pitstop on Lap 10, rejoining 17th on the road. Fittipaldi pitted the following lap to prevent an undercut, rejoining ahead of the Frenchman by less than a second to remain ahead.

Bearman remained on track until Lap 14 when he finally pitted to replace his soft tyres for the hard compound. He came out four seconds clear of Fittipaldi, leaving Victor Martins and teammate Vesti in first and second, running the alternate strategy and heading the pack in first and second places respectively.

READ MORE: The pressures of racing in Formula 2: expectation versus ambition

That remained the case until Vesti finally came in on Lap 25 to fit the softs, filtering out in ninth just behind Hauger. Martins stayed out one lap more, and it paid off as he rejoined ahead of teammate Pourchaire and crucially, clear of Vesti as he battled by Hauger and a yet-to-pit Zane Maloney. One lap later and Vesti made the pass on title rival Pourchaire to take sixth position.

Having cleared Doohan, Martins moved himself onto the podium with a pass on Ayumu Iwasa at Turn 1 on Lap 35. Vesti was glued the rear wing of the DAMS driver but couldn’t find a route through for fourth before the end.

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Up in front, Bearman was peerless as he cruised to victory ahead of Fittipaldi, who had to fend off Martins’ late charge to keep hold of second. The Briton’s win was PREMA’s third consecutive Feature Race win in a phase of the season in which they looked unstoppable on Sundays.

The team left Barcelona with the lead of both Championships extended, as Vesti moved clear of Pourchaire by 11 points, 110 to 99 respectively while the team’s advantage over ART grew to 36.