Formula 1 Racing

“Hard not to think” Haas F1 debut could lead to Ferrari chance

Oliver Bearman

Ferrari junior driver Oliver Bearman says he’s keeping thoughts of a future move to the team from his mind after securing an F1 seat with Haas for next year.

Haas confirmed today the 19-year-old will be one of their drivers next year.

Bearman will make his third appearance for the team in a practice session this weekend. He said the opportunities were key to landing his full-time place at the team next year.

“I felt like I’ve been performing well since the beginning and free practices,” he told media including RaceFans today. “Honestly, every time I have driven with Haas, as I said in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, I’ve always got out of the car feeling like I put a good image of myself.

“I performed in a way that I was proud of, which is important to me. And I knew that if I continued to do that, hopefully I would do enough to get an F1 seat.”

He learned he will become an F1 driver after last weekend’s round in Austria, where he scored his first victory of the season in Formula 2.

“In F1 until you put a pen on a piece of paper, it’s not really official,” said Bearman. “So I knew that we were working towards it and we were pretty much getting there for a while.

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“But you can never celebrate too soon because F1 is a fast moving world and you’re only as good as your last race. So I was, of course, relieved when it finally came about and I shared that moment with my manager, who’s been with me all the way, and that was quite an emotional moment.”

Previous Ferrari junior drivers who have arrived in F1 include Charles Leclerc, who was promoted to the top team after one year at Sauber, and Mick Schumacher, who was dropped by Haas after two years. Bearman admitted getting the chance to join Ferrari, who he appeared for as a substitute in Saudi Arabia, “would be the dream” but “it’s not really in my hands, I feel like.”

“All I can do is perform at my best and that’s my goal anyway,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “Everything that comes after that, that’s not really within my control. I’m focusing on my future with Haas at the moment, and I’m really excited to get started.”

Asked by RaceFans whether he could be well-placed to replace Ferrari’s incoming driver Lewis Hamilton when he retires, Bearman said: “It’s hard not to think about that, but I’m not thinking about it.”

He said he hasn’t had discussions yet with…

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