Oliver Bearman

Formula 1 News: Bearman’s father is a successful businessman

18-year-old Ferrari reserve driver Oliver Bearman had a sensational F1 debut subbing for Carlos Sainz Jr. at the Saudi Arabian GP last weekend. We explore what it took to get him to the point where he would be ready to race in F1 on a moment’s notice.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Today, you don’t make it to the top rung in the motorsports ladder – Formula 1 – without spending a lot of money racing in junior categories and proving your talent.

You have to spend a lot of money in the junior categories before you know whether you are talented enough to be an F1 driver.

The number is north of $10 million and as high as $20 million. Young kids don’t have that kind of money so that money comes from either family or sponsors.

High-level go-karting costs $300,000 a year, and the costs go up from there. Winning in go-karting does not mean you are talented enough to be an F1 driver. You have to pay to drive and win in each level up to Formula 2 before you know you are talented enough for Formula 1.

Born in 2005, Bearman’s racing career followed this path

2013 through 2019: Karting $200,000 to $300,000 per year or higher
2020 and 2021: Formula 4 $200,000 to $400,000 per year or higher
2021 and 2022: Formula 3 $800,000 to $900,000 per year or higher
2023 and 2024: Formula 2 $2 million per year or higher

Even to be part of a F1 Driver Academy like Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin or Alpine you have to pay to be there.

Oliver Bearman made it all the way up to the Ferrari Driving Academy while still competing in F2 this year, and yes, he had to pay to be a bench warmer with the hope that someday he would get a lucky break and be able to drive in an F1 race.

For Oliver Bearman that day came last weekend in Jeddah when regular Ferrari F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. was not feeling well in Friday practice and was diagnosed with Appendicitis.

Bearman was called up by Ferrari on Friday night and told to be ready to go in FP3 on Saturday. Bearman had tested an F1 car prior but not knowing your will be racing an F1 car for the first time with just 12 hours advance warning is truly baptism by fire.

This was Bearman’s big break, and he had better not blow it.

As it turned out he qualified an excellent 11th, just missing beating Lewis Hamilton, and in the race did beat Hamilton and finished 7th on his debut.

Sensational! And it proved that all those years of racing in the junior formula prepared him well for his big opportunity.

Who Funded Bearman’s Rise to F1?

Young Bearman was lucky that his father David was a very successful businessman and could fund his racing career.

David Bearman is the founder and CEO of Aventum Group, chairman of Rokstone Group, and CEO of Consilium.

Father of Oliver Bearman – David Bearman

He developed what is today Aventum Group as an 18-year-old in 1996. Since then, he has forged a unique path forward, taking the business from a small commercial retail broker based in Chadwell Heath, Essex to a global (re)insurance broking and underwriting business, controlling over $1.1bn GWP, employing over 270 people across 13 offices.

Outside the insurance world, David is father to three children and most likely to be found at a race circuit or show jumping arena. Having been a keen driver who has competed in GT racing, his passion for motorsport has extended to his sons.

Oliver who we highlighted above,  while Thomas is graduating in karting and races across Europe. His daughter Amelie is a keen horse show jumper and competes across the UK.

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