I’ve proven that I have Formula 1 caliber!

Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman was the sensation at the Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. With just one training session as preparation, the 19-year-old Brit drove flawlessly to an impressive seventh place as a replacement for Carlos Sainz. In Imola he is now facing his next F1 appearance. This time he is driving the first training session for Haas. Now that Nico Hülkenberg’s departure to Sauber has already been confirmed, there is at least one place available there for 2025. Bearman leaves no doubt that he wants this one.

Oliver Bearman: I have to earn a Formula 1 cockpit at Haas

“Of course I see it as my chance. But just because there’s a place available now doesn’t mean I’m entitled to it. I have to go out there and take it with good performances in Formula 2, but also in the six FP1s, I have to show good performances and prove that I’m ready to be in Formula 1 next year,” Bearman clearly states his goal. It is clear that Ferrari sees potential in him. It is not for nothing that Maranello has arranged six FP1 rides with customer team Haas. According to the regulations, only two would be mandatory.

Haas replacement driver Oliver Bearman in an interview with Damon Hill
On Thursday Oliver Bearman met former Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill, Photo: LAT Images

And that’s not the only way Bearman is being prepared for Formula 1. He was also allowed to test the 2022 Ferrari in Fiorano. “Every time I drive an F1 car, my experience increases. I still don’t have many laps in Formula 1 compared to the other guys here. I want to keep improving,” he says. And he doesn’t lack self-confidence either: “Right from the start, I never had any doubts about my abilities. I always knew that I was good enough to compete. Whenever I started a new racing series, I was immediately competitive. That was it “It’s never a question for me. I have great confidence in my abilities.”

Bearman’s Formula 2 season has been a disaster so far, but there are reasons for that

Just jump in and convince yourself? That’s exactly what happened in Jeddah, and Bearman knows it: “During the weekend in Saudi Arabia, under very difficult circumstances, I proved to everyone that I have what it takes to be a Formula 1 driver.” Nevertheless, there is still more evidence to be provided for F1 suitability. And it’s not just about training performance, but also about his current main racing series: “Of course, these six training sessions are a great opportunity to prove my talent and show what I can do. But I don’t give them any more weight than Formula 2 “Because you also have to show that you can compete in the race. It’s not just about doing fast laps. So I see it 50:50.”

Prema driver Oliver Bearman
Bearman has had the disease in Formula 2 so far in 2024, Photo: LAT Images

So far in 2024 things haven’t worked there at all. In the Formula 2 overall standings, Bearman is currently in 19th place with two meager points. But the good thing is that there are obvious explanations for this: “Bahrain is a bit of a problem track for us, we had a hard time there last year. I was on pole in Jeddah [bevor der Anruf von Ferrari kam und er Formel 1 statt Formel 2 fuhr, Anm. d. Red.] and in Australia I was on the front row of the grid, then my engine revved. So there were some aggravating circumstances that threw us out.”

Ban threatened: Oliver Bearman soon as Magnussen’s replacement in Formula 1?

Despite the false start, the youngster still believes in his chance of winning the title in Formula 2. But he could soon be driving his second race in Formula 1 again. As is well known, Kevin Magnussen is about to be banned from racing. Bearman is of course aware of this: “I’ll be a replacement for Ferrari, but that also means I’m a replacement for Haas. So of course I’m ready. I proved in Saudi Arabia that I’m ready for it. So yes, if I have this If I get a call, I’ll be happy to step in. But of course that’s not the way I want to get a racing assignment. But if that’s the case, then I’ll be happy to do my duty.”

In 2025, Bearman could replace the Dane permanently, or become his new teammate. Either way, he’s already giving roses to the Haas team, especially the new team boss Ayao Komatsu: “I got along really well with Ayao from the start, he’s a really positive influence on the team. I spent some time with him, for example at the seat fitting at the start of the year and everyone seems really motivated. The team is having a great season so far.” On Friday it is important to give another recommendation for the Haas cockpit not only through kind words, but also through performance.

Kevin Magnussen is far from the first Formula 1 driver to face a ban. We looked at his predecessors and how they went off the rails:

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