Ollie Bearman Eyes F1 Opportunity Amidst Nico Hulkenberg’s Exit from Haas

Ollie Bearman recognizes that the departure of Nico Hulkenberg from Haas presents a significant opportunity for him to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat.

The British teenager is making his mark as a rookie driver for Haas, participating in FP1 on Friday at the F1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Following his remarkable performance as a stand-in for the indisposed Carlos Sainz at Ferrari earlier this year, Bearman is eager to make the most of his upcoming chance to shine.

He openly acknowledged that Hulkenberg’s announcement of joining Sauber in 2025 has piqued his interest.

“Yes, of course I see it as my chance,” Bearman stated during his time in Imola. “But just because there is a seat free doesn’t mean I’m entitled to it.

“I still have to go out there and earn it through good performances in F2, but even more so the six FPs that I’m doing. I have to perform well and show that I’m ready to win the F1.”

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has emphasized the significance of Ollie Bearman’s performances in his six Formula 1 practice sessions this year, prioritizing them over his race results in Formula 2.

“I haven’t been set any goals, no,” Bearman stated. “I think the pressure is mainly coming from myself because I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself.

“But I just want to keep learning, keep improving, like I said every time I drive the F1 car I’m always increasing my experience. I still haven’t done many laps in F1 compared to the other guys so I just want to keep improving and maximise my potential.

“I don’t see any reason we can’t fight for the championship in F2 and I’m really motivated to do so. But these six FPs are of course six great opportunities to prove my talent and what I can do.

“I don’t place any more weight on them than I do on the F2 because of course you need to show that you can compete and race well. F1 is not just about doing the fastest laps so yeah, 50-50.”

Kevin Magnussen of Haas is on the brink of a race ban, with just two penalty points standing between him and potential exclusion from a race. This situation opens up another opportunity for Ollie Bearman to potentially participate in Formula 1 this season.

“I’m going to be in Canada as a reserve for Ferrari but I’m also a reserve for Haas when I’m a reserve for Ferrari, so of course I’m ready,” he stated.

“I showed in Saudi that I’m ready so if I get the call I’ll happily jump in. Of course it’s never the way you want to do a race if something like that happens but if it is the case, if it does happen then I’ll happily oblige.”

When asked about the distinction between driving a Ferrari and a Haas, Bearman responded, “You say it’s a different car but at the end in quali these cars are separated by 3 tenths.

“So a different car in the end there’s not much in it. I’m not sure about the characteristics but from driving the last year Haas, characteristically it’s quite similar and even on the simulator I couldn’t notice many huge differences.

“Of course it will be my first time on this track with the F1 and I think that will be the biggest difference not the car. At the end the systems are very similar, same engine same electronics so I think the biggest thing will be learning the track.”

Bearman maintains that he won’t succumb to the temptation of pushing the Haas beyond its limits in an attempt to overly impress during Friday sessions. “On one hand I think I proved in the past that I’ve got what it takes,” he emphasized.

“I just drive and normally if I feel comfortable then I can build up and push the car.

“It’s really important the off-track side of things to lead the team well and make them appreciate me, try to be really appreciative of them because they put a lot of hard work in behind the scenes which is quite rarely appreciated.

“So that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to working with the guys.”