Bearman F1 Debut Jeddah

Verstappen Impressed by Bearman’s Bold Jeddah Debut


In his first F1 qualifying at Jeddah, Ollie Bearman secured 11th place, earning high praise from top drivers, including teammate Charles Leclerc, for his commendable performance on one of the calendar’s toughest circuits.

Ollie Bearman finished 11th in his first F1 qualifying yesterday at Jeddah, with the top three qualifiers being asked about his performance. Charles Leclerc, his teammate for the weekend, praised the young Brit’s approach and performance.

“It’s definitely one of the toughest circuits on the calendar because it’s a street circuit and it’s also fast,” said Leclerc. “But he handled it perfectly. From the moment he met with the engineers this morning, he had a lot to grasp to be ready.”

“We didn’t have much time to talk. The only thing I told him when he arrived this morning was, ‘Are you excited?’ And he said, ‘I can’t wait.’ I expected that response, and it was good to see the excitement he felt for his first race with Ferrari, and again, he did a great job.”

Impressive Debut Performance

Max Verstappen also noted the magnitude of the challenge for Bearman at Jeddah: “Yes, it’s very difficult to debut on a circuit like this. And I think what he’s done is very, very impressive. You know, I watched his first laps in FP3 because that’s where you can judge if someone is somewhat comfortable in the car or not.”

“And by the second or third lap, I thought, ‘Ok, this is a good start. I like to see that.’ And yes, finishing 11th, just six-tenths off the pole, is more than we could have asked for. So, yes, he did an incredible job.”

“And I hope he also had some fun because it’s quite stressful, you know, when you arrive in a new team, essentially a new car, and with no experience on that circuit.”

“So, yes, I hope he’s proud of himself, not thinking ‘I didn’t make it to Q3’ or anything because I think everyone in the paddock saw he did a great job.”

Sergio Pérez concurred with the other drivers on the British newcomer’s F1 debut: “It was very impressive. I think it’s a place where you don’t want to be called up for your debut because it’s one of the toughest circuits, where you have to take the most risks.”

“You need to be the most confident with the car, with the balance. So, yes, I have a lot of respect for what he’s achieved. I think he did a very good job. It shows how well-prepared he is for this opportunity. Hats off to him.”

Difficult F1 Debuts for Three Drivers

The three drivers reflected on their memories of their first race. Pérez recalled finishing in the points but being disqualified, which was a source of frustration for him.

“For me, the worst memory was our disqualification! It was due to a millimeter or two with the rear wing. So, yes, I quickly learned how politics work in Formula 1.”

“The positive side was finishing in the points in my very first race. I believe I was the only one to make a single pit stop, and it worked out very well. Battling with Ferraris on my debut was very enjoyable.”

Dreams and Disappointments

Verstappen’s debut was not memorable due to a retirement: “The car broke down, which is probably the worst. To be honest, looking back on it now, it’s probably the worst feeling I’ve experienced in F1 because you’re very nervous. You don’t really know what to expect.”

“I had never done a race longer than 35 minutes because in F3, it was 30 or 35 minutes. So I think the race itself went rather well. We were fighting for points. But to be honest with you, I prefer not to think about it too much. It’s not really a highlight of my career.”

Leclerc remembered his feelings about making his debut in the big leagues: “The positive aspect was obviously the excitement leading up to that first Formula 1 race. It’s a moment we all waited for to arrive.”

“The downside was that we were probably not as competitive as we had hoped. So I was disappointed. But let’s say there were more positives than negatives. Obviously, participating in my first Formula 1 race was a dream come true for me.”

“All the preparation paid off”

Leclerc believes Bearman’s performance is also a testament to the serious work ethic at Ferrari: “I don’t think there was much time to think about it because he got the call, arrived at the track, and immediately had to get to it because there was a lot to do.”

“But I also think that Ollie is extremely talented, and he showed it once again. But there was a lot of work on the simulator, and I’m very happy to see that he found the pace right away because that means the guys on the simulator are doing a good job.”

“All the preparation he did at the factory paid off. And he was prepared in the best possible way to be ready, which takes nothing away from his talent. What he showed was, once again, extremely impressive.”

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