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Bearman Aims for Haas Seat Amid Hulkenberg Exit

Bearman Eyes Hulkenberg’s Haas Seat, Vows to Earn It

16/05/2024

Oliver Bearman views Nico Hulkenberg‘s upcoming departure from Haas F1 as a crucial chance to claim a racing seat, emphasizing the need to earn it through merit and performance.

Oliver Bearman has acknowledged that Nico Hulkenberg’s imminent departure from Haas F1 to Sauber/Audi represents an opportunity to move into Formula 1 in 2025, but he does not feel “entitled” to take over the seat even though he is considered the favorite.

Bearman is seen as the main option to replace the German driver, the young Ferrari protégé having impressed in the free practice sessions he has participated in, as well as substituting for Carlos Sainz in Jeddah this year.

The 19-year-old Briton is set to make six Free Practice 1 appearances with the American team, starting with this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. He shared his thoughts on this opportunity today.

Bearman Aims for Haas Seat Amid Hulkenberg Exit

When asked if he viewed Hulkenberg’s decision as an opening for him, Bearman replied, “Yes, of course, I see it as my chance.”

“But just because there’s a seat available doesn’t mean I’m entitled to it; I still have to earn it through strong performances in F2.”

“Moreover, for the six Free Practices I’m participating in, I need to perform well and show that I’m ready for this F1 seat.”

Even though Haas F1 team principal Ayao Komatsu has emphasized that he will be judged more on his F1 performances, Bearman stressed that he has not given up hope for the F2 championship.

“Of course, I’ve been behind in F2. But anything is possible now that we’re in the European season and familiar with the circuits.”

“We’ve gotten a bit of a better understanding of the car, so I see no reason why we couldn’t contend for the F2 championship, and I’m really motivated to do so.”

“But these six Free Practices are certainly six great opportunities to prove my talent and what I can do.”

“I don’t place more emphasis on these sessions than on F2 because you have to show that you can race well. F1 isn’t just about clocking the fastest laps, so it’s a 50-50 situation.”

When asked if Komatsu had set specific goals regarding 2025, Bearman revealed that there had been no clear expectations from either Haas or Ferrari.

“I haven’t been given specific targets, no, I think the pressure comes mostly from myself because I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself.”

“But I just want to keep learning, keep improving, as I’ve said every time I drive an F1 car, I always increase my experience.”

“I haven’t done many laps in F1 compared to others, so I just want to keep improving and maximize my potential.”

Bearman might make a second appearance in an F1 Grand Prix this season, as Kevin Magnussen is just two penalty points away from a race ban following his actions in Miami.

“I will be in Canada as a reserve for Ferrari, but I’m also a reserve for Haas when I’m on duty for Ferrari, so of course, I’m ready.”

“I showed in Saudi Arabia that I was ready, so if I get the call, I would be happy to step in.”

“Of course, it’s never the way you want to get into a race if something like that happens, but if it does, then I would be happy to go there.”

In an effort to increase his F1 track time, Bearman was one of the drivers tasked to follow, with the Ferrari SF-24, another Ferrari at Fiorano, which had its wheels covered to try to minimize water spray during a new test organized with the FIA. He confirms the information we provided this morning: it’s back to the drawing board (read here)!

“I followed Arthur Leclerc who was running with the wheel covers. So far, there’s not much to say about them. I think you’ve seen the videos, it was quite similar. So I think it’s back to the drawing board, we need to keep looking for solutions.”

“We tested a few different configurations, but we only wet the straights just to see if you could follow on the straights.”

“We did four or five runs trying different levels of openness, because if it’s completely closed, it’s also quite tough on the tire temperatures.”

“The problem is these cars generate a lot of downforce from the ground effect, the air is fed from there, and of course, the water spray follows the air. Visibility was still quite difficult. It was a bit better, for sure, the work led to something, but it’s not resolved yet.”

Bearman Aims for Haas Seat Amid Hulkenberg Exit

Bearman Aims for Haas Seat Amid Hulkenberg Exit. Bearman Aims for Haas Seat Amid Hulkenberg Exit

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