Formula 1

Ollie Bearman seals ‘dream’ F1 seat next year as fourth British driver on 2025 grid

Ollie Bearman seals ‘dream’ F1 seat next year as fourth British driver on 2025 grid

British teenager Ollie Bearman has signed a “dream” contract to join Haas F1 team next year on a multi-year deal.

The 19-year-old, hailing from Chelmsford in Essex, will become the fourth full-time British driver on the grid in 2025 alongside Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Lando Norris. He will make his debut in Australia in March.

Bearman, who is racing full-time in F2 this year alongside his duties as a reserve for Ferrari and Haas, impressed when called up to make his F1 debut for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia in March, finishing seventh having replaced the ill Carlos Sainz.

Now, having also performed well for Haas in various practice sessions since Mexico last year, team principal Ayao Komatsu has confirmed Bearman in one of his two available driver spots for next year. The news was confirmed on Thursday, a day prior to Bearman appearing again for Haas in FP1 at his home race in Silverstone.

“It’s hard to put into words just how much this means to me,” an overjoyed Bearman said. “To say out loud that I will be a Formula 1 driver for Haas F1 Team makes me so immensely proud.

“To be one of the very few people who get to do the thing what they dreamed of as a child is something truly incredible.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone since the first time we met in Mexico and I can’t wait to enjoy this moment with them and hopefully many more in the future.”

Bearman took a gamble with his career when he swapped the UK with Italy and joined the Ferrari Driver Academy at the age of 16, despite the wishes of his mother to finish his education at King Edward VI Grammar School.

Yet the Brit’s move to Modena has paid off and he has risen the ranks rapidly since winning two Formula 4 championships in 2021.

He finished third in his first F3 season before joining F2 last year, winning four times on his way to a rookie season finish of sixth.

Ollie Bearman will race for Haas in Formula 1 next year (Getty Images)

Bearman impressed after making his debut for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia in March (Getty Images)

But despite struggling in his second season alongside team-mate and Mercedes protégé Kimi Antonelli – he is currently 14th after 13 races, with only one win – Bearman has done enough to convince Haas to offer him a life-changing opportunity at the top of world motorsport.

Bearman’s performance on the fastest street circuit on the F1 calendar in Jeddah, qualifying 11th and finishing ahead of Hamilton in seventh for Ferrari, caught the eye of plenty up and down the paddock.

“It’s an exciting thing to be able to give a young driver as talented as Oliver Bearman his first full-time seat in Formula 1,” said Komatsu.

“He’s developed into an incredibly mature driver under the guidance of the Ferrari Driver Academy and the world saw that for themselves when he was called in at the last minute to compete at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“Oliver proved he was more than ready for the task, and we’ve seen that for ourselves running him in the Haas cars in our FP1 sessions over the past two seasons. We’re looking forward to further developing him as a driver and reaping the benefits of his talent – both inside and outside of the car.

The 19-year-old has signed a multi-year contract with Haas (Getty Images)

“Oliver’s a great guy and a very welcome addition to the team when he joins us for the FP1 weekends. Now we know that relationship is going to be longer-term, it’s a positive thing for all concerned.”

Team owner Gene Haas, who dispensed of popular former team boss Guenther Steiner in the off-season, added: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to give Oliver Bearman this opportunity to drive full-time in Formula 1 – he’s undoubtedly an exciting rookie prospect, not just based on what he showed in Saudi Arabia but also through his time developing his relationship with our team.

“I’m personally excited to see how he grows as a driver, and we look forward to seeing him deliver for Haas F1 Team next season and beyond. This is an exciting time for the team. Oliver’s signing shows we continue to invest in talent – both on and off-track – as we continue to compete at the highest level.”

Haas are currently seventh in the teams’ championship this season after an impressive double points finish last time out in Austria.

While Nico Hulkenberg is moving to Sauber (Audi) next year, Kevin Magnussen’s future is uncertain, with Esteban Ocon heavily linked with the second Haas seat in 2025.

Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button