Haas confirms Formula 1 contract for Oliver Bearman: Ferrari junior to arrive in 2025

19-year-old Oliver Bearman is currently the greatest hope in Ferrari’s junior squad. It is now finally certain that he has a Formula 1 contract in his pocket. On Thursday before Silverstone, Haas confirmed the Brit’s commitment from 2025. Even with a multi-year contract.

No one is surprised by this. The very young, very talented Bearman practically drove the Italian F4 into the ground in 2021 and was quickly pushed through the junior classes by the Ferrari Driver Academy. In 2022, he finished third overall in Formula 3 at his first attempt.

In his debut season in Formula 2 last year, he won three main races and took three poles, but he lacked the consistency to challenge for the title. His highlight of the application process, however, came this year in the Saudi Arabian GP, ​​when he had to fill the Ferrari F1 cockpit of the ill Carlos Sainz.

With only one practice session to prepare, Bearman qualified in 11th place and finished seventh in the race. This performance still outshines his disastrous second F2 season, in which he is in 14th place with just 28 points. Although his pace and race management continue to shine through. Most recently, he brought calm with a win in the sprint race in Austria.

Oliver Bearman at Haas: Much more than just F2 and F1 results

But it’s not just the results list that counts for Haas. Bearman has already completed four free practice sessions for the team since last autumn. He will be back in FP1 at Silverstone, and he will also be able to race again in Hungary, Mexico and Abu Dhabi. The team’s management is delighted with his ability to give feedback from the cockpit like an experienced driver and to always keep an overview. Despite his lack of experience, nothing seems to be too much for Bearman.

Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu talking to Oliver Bearman in the garage
Bearman has already trained for Haas, Photo: LAT Images

He underlined this again with his Saudi Arabian GP. “Under the guidance of Ferrari, he has developed into an incredibly mature driver,” says Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu. “We look forward to developing him further as a driver and benefiting from his talents in and out of the car.

“These are exciting times for our team,” said team owner Gene Haas. “Oliver’s signing shows that we continue to invest in talent, on and off the track, as we continue to compete at the highest level.”

Multi-year Bearman deal: Is Haas nurturing Hamilton’s successor?

The circumstances are actually perfect for Haas, Ferrari and Bearman. Haas is getting a young talent with potential from its engine partner Ferrari. Since Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton’s cockpits in the factory team are occupied by multi-year contracts from 2025, this also makes a multi-year Bearman-Haas arrangement possible. This is exactly what the customer teams behind the field want. Nobody wants to be a permanent rookie parking spot for a year.

But this way, Haas is keeping Bearman for the long term – and in return is doing development work for the future. Because at least for the 39-year-old Hamilton, the end of his career is foreseeable in the medium term. If Bearman can prove himself at Haas, Ferrari can move him up from the development phase to the old Hamilton cockpit in a few years.

Now a veteran in the second Haas cockpit? What’s next for the driver market

The remaining risk is that, especially in modern Formula 1 with its lack of testing, every rookie brings with it a risk. Under former team boss Günther Steiner, Haas once dared to take a step towards a rookie double in 2020 with Mick Schumacher (also once a Ferrari junior) and Nikita Mazepin. Satisfaction with this was limited. Young drivers make more mistakes, and in the tight midfield, where every point is gold, this can cost millions in prize money.

In 2023, Haas switched to the veteran track with Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. Steiner’s successor Ayao Komatsu remained vague on the subject of driver line-up, but with Bearman’s signing, the likelihood of an established driver in the second car seems to be increasing.

Carlos Sainz frustrated: Don’t trust anyone in Formula 1! (09:48 min.)

The name Esteban Ocon has been buzzing around the paddock for weeks. The Frenchman, who was fired by Alpine, is waiting to see how the open alternatives will develop with Carlos Sainz’s pending decision between Audi-Sauber, Alpine and Williams. Haas could also continue with Kevin Magnussen, although in recent weeks he has spoken quite openly about having no problem closing the Formula 1 chapter.

For Bearman, an established veteran would also be a good benchmark. Either way, the joy of having made it outweighs everything else. He can call himself an F1 driver. “To be one of the very few people who get to do what they dreamed of as a child is something truly incredible. Thank you to Gene, Ayao and everyone at Haas, thank you for believing in me and trusting me to represent your team. I have enjoyed working with you since our first meeting in Mexico and I can’t wait to enjoy this moment and hopefully many more in the future.”

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