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Bearman Leads Ferrari Reserve Driver Race

Bearman Leads Ferrari Reserve Driver Race

15/03/2024

Oliver Bearman has secured the pole position among his two fellow development drivers at Ferrari for the reserve driver role, confirms team principal Fred Vasseur.

Bearman’s performance, at 18, stepping in for an ill Carlos Sainz at Jeddah, was so remarkable that some already see him as the natural successor to Lewis Hamilton at Maranello.

“Let’s not start talking about the post-Lewis Hamilton era,” laughed Vasseur. “Lewis isn’t even on the team yet!”

“But Jeddah was a good sign for Ollie. In Melbourne, barring any surprises for Carlos, and at Imola, he will be racing in Formula 2 again, and that will surely be the biggest challenge for him.”

In Melbourne, Bearman will once again be on standby in case Sainz is not ready to return to his cockpit. To prepare, the young Briton completed more laps with Ferrari this week in the 2022 F1 car at Fiorano.

However, Ferrari’s other two F1 development and reserve drivers, Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman, were also present.

The hierarchy is clear, though.

“When Oliver is with us, he will be the reserve driver,” Vasseur clarified. “And when he’s not with us, he’ll be in the simulator.”

“I made this decision over the winter because I found it silly to ask Antonio to do 22 or 24 Grands Prix while he was also leading the Hypercar program. The WEC is very important to us, it’s a huge challenge, and I don’t want Antonio or Robert to travel with us and do an F1 week right after their 1st race in Qatar and with a race in between.”

Six free practice 1 sessions with Haas F1 are also planned for Bearman in 2024.

“He will also do some FP1s with us,” Vasseur stated.

“At Jeddah, he already bagged a result, but it’s part of his journey, not the ultimate goal.”

The ultimate goal, it seems, is a full-time spot on the grid – with Haas being the obvious place for that.

“I think I can be there in 2025,” said Bearman. “It depends on how I perform this year in F2.”

Bearman Leads Ferrari Reserve Driver Race. Bearman Leads Ferrari Reserve Driver Race

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