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Formula 2 Driver Takes Pole With Bent Steering Rack

formula 2 championship round 4baku practice qualifying
Formula 2 Driver Takes Pole With Bent SteeringJoe Portlock - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Ferrari academy driver Oliver Bearman's fourth-ever Formula 2 qualifying session got off to a rocky start when he clipped the turn 2 wall at the narrow Baku street circuit. In most cases, that would mean a disastrous start from the back of the grid. Bearman, though, stayed out on track and ran a full-speed lap with a front suspension knocked out of alignment. He took pole.

A spectacular on-board posted by the Formula 1 feeder series shows Bearman holding the steering wheel at an angle on straightaways, flat out. Despite the steering issue, Bearman was able to navigate the quick-but-tight course at full anger over the course of a lap at 1:52.652. That was enough to take pole by just over 1/100th of a second in a session where the entire top four was covered by less than a tenth of a second. All of those drivers, of course, had correctly aligned front suspensions.

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Bearman, the third-place finisher in the 2022 Formula 3 season as a rookie and a Ferrari Academy driver, is one of the more significant prospects in this year's Formula 2 field. Today's pole is the highlight of his short career at this level, which has been a disappointment through three rounds that have yielded just two points-paying finishes. He sits just 16th in the championship, but 22 races remain and he suddenly has a signature moment that ended in his first career pole.

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