Ollie Bearman Deserves An F1 Seat For 2025

Ollie Bearman Deserves An F1 Seat For 2025
Ollie Bearman Deserves An F1 Seat For 2025

After his performance today, it’s clear that Ollie Bearman deserves a full-time F1 Seat For 2025. Bearman was super-subbed into the second Ferrari seat for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and produced a fine performance to bring home solid points for the Scuderia.

Carlos Sainz’s sudden appendicitis and subsequent surgery ruled the Spaniard out of this weekend’s action in Jeddah ahead of qualifying. Ferrari fans needn’t have worried, though, as Bearman grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

Does this mean that we’ll see the British teenager on the grid as a full-time driver in 2025, though? Well, given his display today, the smart money is on “yes”. However, as ever in Formula 1, it’s rarely that simple, and we’ll go into why in today’s piece.

Ollie Bearman Deserves An F1 Seat For 2025

Ollie Bearman’s rise over the past few years has been nothing short of sensational. In 2021, at the age of 16, Bearman won both the Italian and German Formula 4 Championships, earning himself a place at the Ferrari Driver Academy.

2022 saw Bearman finish in third overall in his debut Formula 3 campaign. This respectable finish meant the Brit was promoted to Formula 2 last year, where he finished sixth overall and the second-best rookie behind Victor Martins.

Formula 2 Testing In Abu Dhabi Day Two
Image credit: Formula 2 / Getty

Bearman’s start to the 2024 Formula 2 campaign didn’t go to plan, with him drawing a blank at both races in Bahrain. Just as he was gearing up to take on the Jeddah Circuit in Saudi Arabia, though, the phone rang. It was none other than Ferrari Team Principal, Fred Vasseur.

After being made Ferrari’s official reserve driver for the 2024 season ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman, Bearman was called into action at the second opportunity. Despite taking part in practice on Thursday, Sainz had developed appendicitis, requiring surgery and ruling him out of the rest of the weekend’s action.

Bearman was drafted into the Ferrari F1 team and only had one free-practice session to get used to the SF-24. This was only the second time he’d ever driven a Ferrari Formula 1 car and the first time he’d piloted the SF-24.

Taking his opportunity

Bearman broke a few F1 records in the Saudi Arabian GP and some very significant “first since” landmarks. The 18-year-old became the youngest British F1 driver and the third-youngest of all-time, with only Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll making the debuts at a younger age.

Bearman also became the first driver to make their overall F1 debut for Ferrari in over 50 years and Ferrari’s youngest-ever driver too. As impressive as all this is, it wouldn’t have meant a huge amount if Bearman didn’t deliver in the car, but he absolutely did.

Image credit: GPFans

Jeddah is a high-speed rollercoaster ride of a circuit, being the fastest street circuit on the calendar and also one that punishes mistakes. Even experienced drivers like Verstappen have fallen foul of the track’s unforgiving barriers.

Bearman didn’t show any of his inexperience during qualifying, only missing out on Q3 by the narrowest of margins. A P11 starting berth gave him the opportunity to score points on his debut, and while he achieved this, it was far from straightforward.

Stroll’s crash early in the race triggered a Safety Car and pit stops for most of the field, including Bearman. He was in a net tenth, but would have to overtake several drivers to get back into the top ten. Passes on Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, Nico Hulkenberg showed that Bearman has real fight and skill, he is certainly not lacking in this regard.

Perhaps most impressively of all, Bearman kept his nerve and delivered consistent and solid lap times to hold onto his P7 position ahead of both Lando Norris and Sir Lewis Hamilton, who were both on newer, faster tyres.

Yes, he was arguably in the second-fastest car on the grid, but to be drafted in at such short notice and with a huge lack of experience is massively impressive. Bearman will make it to F1 full-time, it’s just a matter of time, but will it be as soon as next year?

Where does Bearman go for 2025?

It’s the age-old problem in F1, too many drivers and not enough seats. The grid that ended 2023 was the same that started 2024, but we already know that isn’t going to be the case for 2025, as Hamilton is set to join Ferrari.

Plus, the majority of the grid isn’t set yet for 2025, so there are plenty of seats up for grabs. Out of all those available, though, the most likely has to be Haas. In addition to being a Ferrari reserve, Bearman is also the reserve for Haas and did take part in a free-practice session with them last season.

Image credit: Formula Scout

With Guenther Steiner now out the door for Haas, it is very likely that the team will want to go in a different direction with their driver pairing. So, that would mean that either Hulkenberg or Kevin Magnussen wouldn’t be retained for 2025.

Some may point to Sauber, another team that has affiliation with Ferrari, but they’ll be wanting to go their own way ahead of switching to becoming the Audi works team in 2026. A possible option could be Williams, though, as Logan Sargeant isn’t exactly setting the world alight and Alex Albon could move to a better performing team.

Bearman would like to drive for a team further up the grid, but with McLaren’s line-up locked in for 2025 and both Mercedes and Red Bull are unrealistic prospects., I don’t see it. Aston Martin is an outside shot, but it’s doubtful that a seat would open up there.

Wherever Bearman ends up in F1, he will likely succeed and will certainly hit the ground running. The 18-year-old is an incredible prospect and has real shades of Hamilton, Leclerc and Verstappen at such a young age.

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