Bearman Ready for F1 Challenge Amid Haas Speculation

Oliver Bearman is confidently eyeing a spot as a Formula 1 driver for the 2025 season with Haas, showcasing his belief in his skills as he gears up for the opportunity.

The 18-year-old is set to maneuver the Haas VF-24 around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari during the initial practice session of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

This will mark his return to F1 machinery since his notable performance as a stand-in at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. On that occasion, he stepped in for the unwell Carlos Sainz at Scuderia Ferrari and swiftly adapted to the demands of F1, impressively clinching points in his debut race by finishing seventh.

Besides his responsibilities of gathering data during the first practice session on Friday, Bearman will also be actively participating in the Formula 2 Championship with PREMA Racing.

With the impending departure of Nico Hulkenberg from Haas to Sauber in the upcoming season, many speculate that Bearman stands as the prime contender to fill the vacant spot left by the seasoned German driver.

When asked about his readiness for a full-time role during media interactions at Imola, Bearman exuded unwavering confidence in his abilities, stating, “I’ve never doubted my ability. Since the start, I always knew I was good enough to fight.

“Whenever I jumped into a new category I was competitive straight away, so that’s never been in doubt for me. I have a lot of confidence in my ability.”

Addressing the speculations surrounding his potential replacement of Hulkenberg at Haas, the Briton remarked, “I see it as my chance, but just because there is a seat free, doesn’t mean I’m entitled to it.”

Bearman emphasized the importance of performance, stating, “I still have to perform well and show that I’m ready to jump into F1 next year.”

Haas Team Principal, Ayao Komatsu, has openly acknowledged his keen interest in Bearman, praising the young driver for his maturity both on and off the F1 track, a quality that was evident during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.

In an interview with Mirror Sport, Komatsu expressed his admiration, saying, “He’s done very well so far. What makes him special is that, clearly, he’s got speed, but it’s his understanding of the context.

“The maturity is really great and, in terms of his physical ability, of course he’s got it. He’s fast, but also able to think calmly after a lap or two laps about what he’s done. He’s a pleasure to work with.”

Bearman is slated to participate in a total of six FP1 sessions throughout the 2024 season. Komatsu intends to leverage these sessions to evaluate the teenager’s potential future with the team.

Addressing the media at Imola, he stated, “We’ve got six FP1 sessions, and that’s a golden opportunity for us to work with him and then assess how he is, where he is, what his strengths or weaknesses are, and see where we can develop him and work together if we want to.”

Describing it as a “pretty good job interview situation,” Komatsu emphasized the significance of these sessions in gauging Bearman’s compatibility with the team.