Oliver Bearman, Ferrari SF-24, leads Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, and Alex Albon, Williams FW46 during the Saudi Arabian GP at Jeddah Street Circuit on Saturday March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images for Pirelli)

Formula 1 News: Bearman is Ferrari’s top bench warmer – Vasseur

(GMM) British youngster Oliver Bearman is now the #1 bench warmer for the Ferrari F1 team, boss Frederic Vasseur confirms.

So impressive was 18-year-old Bearman’s stand-in performance for the ill Carlos Sainz at Jeddah that some are already lining him up as Lewis Hamilton’s natural successor at Maranello.

Oliver Bearman
Oliver Bearman

“Let’s not start talking about post-Lewis Hamilton,” Vasseur laughed. “Lewis is not even in the team yet!

“But Jeddah was a good sign for Oliver,” said the Frenchman. “In Melbourne and Imola he will race again in Formula 2, and it will certainly be the most important challenge for him.”

But in Melbourne, Bearman will again be on stand-by in case Sainz is not ready to return to his red cockpit. To prepare, the young Briton did more F1 laps for Ferrari this week in the 2022 car at Fiorano.

Also there, however, were Ferrari’s two other development and F1 ‘reserve’ drivers – Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman.

The hierarchy, however, is clear.

“We have decided that when Oliver is with us, he will be the reserve,” Vasseur clarified. “And when he’s not with us, he’ll be in the simulator.”

Also planned for Bearman in 2024 are six official practice outings in the Ferrari-affiliated Haas. “He’ll do a couple of FP1s with us too,” Vasseur said.

“In Jeddah, he has already put a result in his pocket, but that is part of his journey, it’s not the end goal.”

The end goal, it seems, is a full-time place on the grid – with Haas the obvious place for it.

“I think I can be there in 2025,” Bearman said. “It depends on how I do.”

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