Formula 2 - Weekend report of the first race of the season

The Prema team struggled quite a lot on the first weekend of the season, with both Formula 2 drivers Kimi Antonelli and Ollie Berman qualifying in P18 and P19, respectively. But even with that, Antonelli achieved the team's first point for the Formula 2 2024 season.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli at the Bahrain International Circuit - Feature Race
Andrea Kimi Antonelli at the Bahrain International Circuit - Feature Race

Free Practice

On Thursday with Free Practice, we saw Antonelli test different tire compounds and setups, but the performance didn't look the best as expected since Prema Racing struggled in Bahrain in previous years as well. Even though we seemed to struggle, those 45 minutes of FP were crucial to understanding the car better and putting together a setup that could bring us a good result.


We knew Qualifying wouldn't be easy with what we experienced in Free Practice. At some point, it seemed better than we expected with Antonelli putting Prema in P4, but that didn't last long with the final lap where nearly everyone could improve. The Prema duo ended up in P18 and P19, with Kimi outqualifying his teammate Ollie.

Qualifying in P18 meant that the Sprint and Feature race wouldn't be easy since we would have to climb the field from the back of the grid with a car that was definitely struggling in Bahrain.

Sprint Race

Since we were starting at P18, the team and Kimi focused on getting experience with different tire compounds, and due to that, with a pitstop in a race shorter than the Feature Race, Kimi could only climb up to P14.

The pace on the Prime compound was good, and it was even better with the Options compound once we pitted. Pitting for option tyres was a gamble that would have paid off if there was a safety car, that didn't happen though, so the best we could take out of it was the learning experience with the different tyre compounds for the race.

Feature Race

With a turbulent start where Kimi was hit in the back while trying to avoid an accident, he was able to come back and climb up to P10 and keep a good pace that was matching the front runners. Once we pitted for Options, we started struggling with tyre degradation, but Antonelli was able to manage the Options to finish at least in P10 and get the first point for the team in the 2024 Formula 2 Championship!

After starting in P18 it was good to get at least one point and finish the first race in P12 on the standings, but also we could have climbed even more the field if we didn't struggle that much with the Options compound, that is something we as a team need to look into and figure out so can fight at the top.

As Kimi said, we're happy with the performance and look forward to Jeddah! 

Overall I'm quite happy with my performance, especially on how I managed the race. We now have a few days of rest before heading to Jeddah. It's going to be a great challenge, my first city track, but I think it's going to be good fun!

Kimi Antonelli getting ready for the Feature Race
Kimi Antonelli getting ready for the Feature Race
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