Off the back of an impressive third victory of his rookie campaign in Barcelona, Oliver Bearman was as hungry as ever for another taste of glory – this time around the Red Bull Ring. However, the PREMA Racing driver learnt the hard way the Austrian circuit is notorious for its track limits.

Follow the Ferrari junior’s thoughts during a bumpy Round 8, as track limits bit during Qualifying and relegated him down to P19. Undeterred, Bearman put on a fightback, carving though the field to secure back-to-back points finishes.


“It was a decent session. I got the references that I was looking for and needed, but a bit unfortunate with the Red Flag. In the end, it’s only Free Practice and I feel like I’m ready for Qualifying and that’s the main thing. I’ve got a few things to work on from my side driving-wise, but also from what I want from the car. So, I’m feeling confident going into Quali.

“I don’t think it was a representative session, obviously not getting the second runs. I started probably a bit too slow, slower than I would have liked and was building up, but no doubt we can do a better job for Quali. I have the references, so I feel ready to go!

“Since we started putting things together from my side, but also after Bahrain, I felt really good confidence in the car, which is obviously super important. That’s just allowing me to keep pushing further forward and pushing each other forward which is important. Hopefully we can keep it up.

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“The first toughest thing about here is the fact that the lap is so close, you need a really clean lap. There are not enough corners to have a little mistake and make up for it. Also, there are a lot of corners where it’s really easy to get track limits and of course, that’s not ideal. You have to be careful of that and finding the line between pushing everything and staying within the track limits. The gaps are super close, so it’s going to be a tight Quali.”


“I got basically all of my laps deleted, which is of course really annoying. I was aware of that, but I didn’t think I was out. I knew it was close, but clearly it was just about over. That’s really, really, really because we had the pace to do better today.

“When you know you’ve only got one lap because all the others have been deleted, you can’t put the car on the limit and even when I did that, I still got track limits. Firstly, I want to apologise to the team because that’s not good enough. Let’s keep our head up and see what we can do tomorrow, but it’s going to be a tough one.

“I think we’ve got some rain on the radar tomorrow, so that could spice things up. Let’s hope for something special in the Feature Race because we’re going to need that to score some points.”

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“I had a lot of fun out there. It was a good race, we had good pace. Unfortunately, we started on the wet tyres, which at the time we all agreed on that decision, Fred also had the wets. From what we found on the reconnaissance laps and everything, they were the right call, but clearly the track evolved quite quickly. It was just a case of the slick tyres getting up to temperature and once they did, they were faster than us.

“I managed to box under the Safety Car, which was nice, as we minimised the time loss from the tyre change. Unfortunately, we ended up last, but we had some really, really quick laps after the second Safety Car. I managed to make some spots up, I was having some fun at Turn 3! I was having really good pace and I thought we could keep it up.

READ MORE: 2023 Round 8 post-Sprint Race press conference

“Unfortunately, I was pushing massively to overtake and in the last quarter of the race, I struggled a little bit more with the pace. I think as a team we have a little bit of work to do for tomorrow, but it’s just a small change which will give a big result and help us to carry on with better pace towards the end. Looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully with the pit stop and maybe something with the weather, we can do something interesting.”


“I think I went from P21 to P5 actually, I got pushed off in every corner on Lap 1. Sometimes when you're at the back, that's what happens. It's even more motivation to get it right in Qualifying. I just went backwards on the first couple of laps, which obviously hurt us a bit more. After that, I knew it was a long race and I was saying to my engineer ‘don’t worry, I’m saving my tyres. It’s going to come later.

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“Eventually, I managed to get the guys who were out of DRS without using too much of my tyres, then pick up the pace, start to pass them one by one and build a good prime stint. We boxed one lap early considering the Safety Car, but obviously we cannot predict the future, so a bit unlucky with that. Anyways, it was the right call at the time.

“I had Arthur (Leclerc) lose his wheel in front of me, which was really unlucky for him. I feel bad because obviously he did a good job. I felt like the option tyre didn’t perform very well, so that’s why I was pushing the team to stay out as long as possible on the prime. Even when they told me to box, I was like we can do a bit more. We got a little bit lucky with the Safety Car and managed to make the most of it.

READ MORE: 2023 Round 8 post-Feature Race press conference

“I think P5 was all we could have hoped for today after everything, so I’m quite happy. Just need to fix Friday, not that it's been a problem so far, but clearly Friday this weekend was out of character and a really stupid mistake. It’s no problem, I know I can fix it and we've shown really good pace this weekend and we can keep it up.”


“First of all, I love the track. Always go well there, so got to try to keep that up. The goal is just to have a good Friday, nothing crazy. This weekend maybe I tried a bit too much to do pole considering the performance we’ve had in the last few races.

“I just want a decent top five to seven performance to put me up there for the races and not make my life difficult. That’s what I did this weekend and we managed to get away with it, but we don’t want to do that again.”