Oliver Bearman, Haas, 2023

Ferrari junior Bearman handed Friday practice runs with Haas in Mexico and Abu Dhabi

Formula 1

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Ferrari academy driver Oliver Bearman will participate in two first practice sessions with Haas at the Mexican and Abu Dhabi grands prix.

The 18-year-old is currently competing in his rookie season in Formula 2 with Prema, where he sits sixth in the championship after four race wins. Bearman won the last feature race of the series held at Monza early last month.

All 10 Formula 1 teams are obliged under the regulations to provide opportunities for so-called ‘young drivers’ to participate in Friday practice sessions twice in the 2023 season – once for each car they run.

Bearman will drive a Formula 1 car for the first time for Haas, a team with strong ties with Ferrari, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez during the opening practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix at the end of the month. He will then be handed a second opportunity at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Haas have not confirmed which of their two drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, will step aside for Bearman for either round.

Bearman said he was grateful to Haas and Ferrari for providing hm the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car.

“Getting to Formula 1 has been my dream since I was go-karting so to be driving a car for the first time this year is really special,” Bearman said.

“I’m working hard to make sure I’m ready to support the team as best I can on both occasions.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said he was happy to afford the opportunity to Bearman.

“He’s had a stellar rookie season in Formula 2, four wins is testament to that,” Steiner said. “As part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, we know his background preparation coming into these weekends will be first-rate. We look forward to welcoming Oliver into the team and have him drive the VF-23.”

Bearman will be embedded with the Haas team for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix at the Lusail circuit, but will not drive the VF-23 during practice.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Ferrari junior Bearman handed Friday practice runs with Haas in Mexico and Abu Dhabi”

  1. Exciting to hear he will get a chance to drive an F1 car in practice. Hopefully the Haas provides him a platform to show what he can do!

  2. Curious who Red Bull is going to give the F1 practice runs.

    They still need to do it twice (Liam might possibly not qualify anymore) and from the remainder 6 races there are 3 sprint weekends meaning effectively only 3 remaining.
    If Liam is allowed to fulfil the practice run by a rookie obligation for Red Bull then I guess it will be Liam

    Maybe give an overview how many rookie P1 sessions each team still needs to do this year.

  3. They don’t have their own engine, car, facilities or even drivers. Yet they say that Andretti is below F1, those same guys… Nice for Bearman though.

  4. Most teams will have to use both Mexico City & Abu Dhabi FP1s to fulfill their seasonal requirements since they didn’t bother doing so in any earlier viable opportunities, even in Montmelo despite that track being more than very familiar to all regular drivers.

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