Ferrari admits Haas seat ‘a possibility’ for Bearman

Mon, 11 March 2024, 09:00

Mar.11 (GMM) Frederic Vasseur admits “it’s a possibility” that impressive one-off rookie Oliver Bearman, 18, will make his full-time F1 debut with Haas next year.

As Carlos Sainz was diagnosed with appendicitis just prior to the pre-qualifying final practice session in Jeddah, Ferrari junior Bearman was plucked out of the Formula 2 paddock and straight into a red suit.

Most of the entire F1 paddock was impressed as he finished the weekend P7 at the chequered flag.

“What I like is that he represented the rookies,” Dutch racing driver Ho-Pin Tung told Viaplay. “There were no new drivers this year, but now we see that you can put a rookie in Formula 1 and they do well.”

Racing veteran Tim Coronel goes a step further.

“It’s time for some people to leave the field now,” he said. “How many drivers have left and come back? (Kevin) Magnussen, (Nico) Hulkenberg. Just stay away and give those new guys a chance.

“This boy belongs in F1,” he insisted.

Tung agreed: “Haas is already looking at him.”

Indeed, Bearman is slated to do six initial practice sessions for the small Ferrari-affiliated team throughout 2024 – but Vasseur is trying to keep the hype and expectations down.

“He has had one race, so the best way to help him is not to draw a conclusion,” said the Frenchman. “We have to take it easy. In a couple of weeks, this result will be forgotten.

“He will have opportunities during the season to do practice and test the car, but his goal this year is Formula 2 and now he has to catch up.”

A placement at Haas-Ferrari for 2025, however, is a “possibility” for Bearman, Vasseur admits. And that also seems to be supported by Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

“One of the great efforts that has been made at Ferrari in recent years has been to focus on young people,” he said in Saudi Arabia when asked about Bearman.

Not everyone, however, was overly impressed by Bearman at Jeddah.

“When (Sergio) Perez is half a second slower than Max (Verstappen), he’s a pancake – but when Beraman is half a second slower than (Charles) Leclerc, he’s absolutely fantastic?” wondered well-known Dutch pundit Olav Mol, on Ziggo Sport.

“I don’t think so.”

You may also like