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Oliver Bearman From F2 to F1

Oliver Bearman: From F2 to F1, A Dream Debut

08/03/2024

Amidst unexpected circumstances, Oliver Bearman transitions from F2 to a thrilling F1 debut with Ferrari, showcasing his adaptability and racing prowess.

Oliver Bearman was the surprise guest at Ferrari this Friday, stepping in for Carlos Sainz who underwent appendicitis surgery.

The young Briton took the Ferrari SF-24 for its first spin during Free Practice 2 and then in the qualifying rounds, narrowly missing out on Q3. It was an impressive debut for him ahead of tomorrow’s race.

“I woke up gearing up and mentally preparing for my F2 race, then got thrust into the big league for the F1 Free Practice 3 and qualifying sessions.”

“Of course, it’s not the ideal situation and I’m sorry for Carlos and wish him the best, but this is a fantastic opportunity. I’m slightly disappointed not to make it to Q3 but it was a fun day on the track.”

What’s the biggest change when moving like this from F2 to F1 on the same circuit?

“The way the track evolves so much. We did the F2 qualifiers quite early this weekend and the track changes a lot. The grip level is just incredible in F1. After my first lap, I was shocked. I was 9 seconds faster, immediately. In F2, you’re driving to the car’s limit. In F1, it’s about the driver’s limit and what the driver is willing to do. It’s a great feeling, but it takes some time to get used to.”

How does he feel after these qualifiers and about competing in his first F1 Grand Prix tomorrow?

“Right now, I’m not that proud, the racer in me knows the car was fast enough for Q3, so I’m a bit disappointed about that. But I know when I look back in a few days, I’ll be quite proud of what I managed to do today. The aim was to get as many laps as possible. Especially missing the Free Practice 2 at night, which isn’t ideal. That was the goal. The soft tires last quite well, they’re pretty durable, so I just tried to do as many laps as possible in Q1. Q2 was a bit more challenging, with a few mistakes on my part, so that’s where I’m disappointed.”

Fred Vasseur, the head of Scuderia Ferrari, reflects on this disruptive day for Ferrari and its principal driver.

“Thursday morning, he wasn’t feeling great. Initially, we thought it was a food issue. And this morning, it was even worse. He went to the hospital and it was quite clear.”

“We told Oliver he would take over Carlos’s car around 1:30 PM this afternoon. He was in the car three hours later.”

“He drove the old car a few months back and did very well. Last year, he did two Free Practice 1 sessions with Haas in Mexico and Abu Dhabi and performed admirably.”

“Of course, it’s a different story stepping into the car in Jeddah for Free Practice 3, it’s not easy. On the other hand, he did F2 yesterday, performed very well, achieving pole position, I think that was also good preparation.”

“He’s always been among the top two, three, winning in F4, winning in F3. He’s doing very well.”

“There’s always a difference between performing well in a junior series and doing well in F1. We don’t need to draw conclusions now, we need to give him time to work and I won’t put any pressure on him this weekend.”

Oliver Bearman: From F2 to F1, A Dream Debut. Oliver Bearman: From F2 to F1, A Dream Debut

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