Oliver Bearman preparing for Australian Grand Prix after Ferrari F1 test

Oliver Bearman preparing for Australian Grand Prix after Ferrari F1 test

Oliver Bearman has already returned to piloting a Formula 1 car following his remarkable debut with Ferrari last weekend in Jeddah.

Ferrari has been keeping Oliver Bearman prepared while Carlos Sainz isn’t yet confirmed to be in the driver’s seat for the Australian Grand Prix.

After missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix media day, Sainz got back on track for Thursday’s practice, which turned out to be his only appearance of the weekend as the Spaniard underwent a successful appendix surgery the next day.

With Sainz out of the picture, Ferrari’s 18-year-old backup driver Bearman took over, going from qualifying his Prema on the Formula 2 feature race pole to securing a seat in the Ferrari SF-24 while knowing that he would only have an hour of practice before making his F1 qualifying debut.

Bearman performed exceptionally, almost missing out on a top-10 starting spot before putting in a brilliant performance to take P7 on race day.

Sainz was already back in the paddock to watch the Jeddah race as he is anticipated to return to his seat for the Australian Grand Prix later this month. Bearman, however, is still on standby to step in incase of any last-minute calls.

Furthermore, he hasn’t even had to wait that long to get behind the wheel of an F1 car once more. Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday that Bearman was testing the F1-75 car, which was raced in the 2021 world championship, at the team’s Fiorano circuit.

The fact that a 2024 F1 challenger built in this ground effect era can be used at this point as part of a team’s previous testing program is a significant advantage to young drivers building F1 experience.

Bearman is now very much in the running for a racing seat on the 2025 grid after his impressive debut. However, Ferrari has a full driver lineup with Hamilton expected to join Charles Leclerc; but the team’s relationships with other teams may result in the teenager getting placed with one of their clients.

Bearman is most certainly going to end up at Haas, given he has already participated in practice sessions with the American squad. But for the time being, veteran drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, whose contracts expire at the end of the year, have received the backing of team principal Ayao Komatsu.

“Amazing – this circuit is not the easiest circuit to jump in from FP3,” the Japanese reflected on Bearman’s performance. “So I’m very, very happy for him and he was impressive.

“He deserves a chance next year, I guess.

“But, penalty aside, Kev’s done fantastic today. Nico delivered as well. So how can I sit here and say, [Bearman is] ‘our driver for next year’?

“Based on today’s performance, it’s Nico and Kevin.”

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