Magnussen knew about Bearman deal ‘for four months’

Fri, 5 July 2024, 09:31

Jul.5 (GMM) Kevin Magnussen admits it “wasn’t a huge surprise” to hear the news that his Formula 1 employer Haas has signed up Ferrari-backed rookie Oliver Bearman for 2025 and beyond.

“I’ve more or less known it for four months,” the Danish driver, whose own place at the small American team remains in doubt, acknowledged at Silverstone.

“Ok, it hasn’t been decided for four months, but I knew it was going to happen. So no news for me,” Magnussen smiled. “What can I say? A young guy getting to live out his dream in Formula 1.”

Amid strong rumours that Magnussen will be replaced by Esteban Ocon next year, the 31-year-old is among the drivers nervously waiting for top ‘silly season’ contender Carlos Sainz’s team selection for 2025.

“There are a lot of things going on,” Magnussen admits. “Personally, I’m still focused on F1, although of course there are also interesting opportunities outside of F1.”

When asked if he’d rather be paired with Magnussen or ousted and controversial Alpine driver Ocon next year, 18-year-old Bearman smiled at Silverstone: “That’s a difficult question to ask me.

“It’s not up to me to decide, anyway. What I would say is that I would like someone with experience and speed. Someone who I can learn from.”

Magnussen thinks Haas is an ideal team for the young Briton to make his full-time F1 debut for.

“When I entered Formula 1,” he said, “it was difficult to enter a top team (McLaren) that wasn’t delivering. Because the expectations from the team are still huge. They actually expect you to win the championship.

“When you join a smaller team, it’s easier. Although I can’t say for sure because I didn’t do it, but that’s the way I think it is.”

Some believe Bearman, a Ferrari academy driver, is being groomed for a potential move to the fabled Maranello based team – perhaps once Lewis Hamilton retires.

“It would be a dream,” Bearman admitted, “but it’s not really in my hands. That’s the goal, at least.

“But I’m not thinking about that now, even if it’s difficult not to,” he smiled again.

As for Haas’ selection of a teammate for Bearman, some believe Frenchman Ocon is actually being doubted by prospective teams because of his ongoing on-track and personality clashes with his current Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly.

“It’s not ideal,” Gasly admitted at Silverstone. “Between teammates, in terms of fighting, we all hope that there is a little more – how do I put this – a little more space.

“Because it’s true that in our situation, you can’t take the risk of having cars touching. But we know the current situation,” he added. “We know that Esteban needs to find a seat for next season and it’s certainly not easy.”

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