Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Bearman had less than three hours’ notice before Ferrari F1 debut – Vasseur

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Oliver Bearman discovered he would make his Formula 1 debut with Ferrari this weekend less than three hours before getting in the car for final practice.

He was called up to replace Carlos Sainz Jnr who successfully underwent surgery today after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

Sainz said he felt “very weak” while practising for the race yesterday. Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said the team hoped he would be well enough to continue driving today but his condition worsened.

“On Thursday morning he didn’t feel very well,” Vasseur told Sky. “At the beginning we were thinking [it was a] food issue. And this morning it was even worse. He went to the hospital and it was quite obvious.”

Ferrari told Bearman he would take over Sainz’s car no earlier than 1:30pm this afternoon. He was in the car three hours later.

Bearman was named the team’s reserve driver in January this year. He has driven a two-year-old Ferrari F1 car since then and had other opportunities to drive in the second half of 2023.

“He drove the old car a couple of months ago and he did very well,” said Vasseur. “Last year he did two FP1s with Haas in Mexico and [Abu Dhabi] and he did a good job on these two.

“For sure it’s a different story when you have to jump into the car in Jeddah for FP3, it’s not an easy one. On the other hand he did F2 yesterday, he did very well, [getting] the pole position, I think it was also a good preparation.”

Although Ferrari is taking over the car which Sainz took to a podium finish in Bahrain last week, Vasseur said the team is not placing him under any pressure to perform in his short-notice debut.

“In the junior series he did very, very well,” he said. “He was always in top two, top three, he won in F4, he won in F3. He’s doing a very good job.

“There is always a difference between doing a very good job in the junior series and to do a good job in F1. We don’t have to draw any conclusion now, we have to let him have time to do the job and I won’t put any pressure on him this weekend.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Bearman had less than three hours’ notice before Ferrari F1 debut – Vasseur”

  1. Amazing job getting into that car, especially at a top team like Ferrari with all the pressure and expectations tied to that at such short notice. This morning he was already right on the pace and was only 0,034 seconds away from pushing Hamilton out of Q3!

    Certainly showed he is one to be watch, I hope he has a solid race tomorrow.

    1. Yes, he positively surprised me as well, a lot of drivers aren’t this competitive their first ever qualifying.

    2. He can be quite pleased with this solid performance.

      The race might be a bit long for him, but we’ll see.

      Nobody would fault him if he can’t score good points. But he just might!

  2. Having just a few hours rather than a full day is probably a good thing, since it means that he got a good sleep.

  3. Amazing performance, fast out of the box.

    Sign of big talent.

  4. Ferrari has two reserve drivers, Bearman and Arthur LeClerc. If they had opted to use LeClerc instead of Bearman we’d have had brothers racing in the same team. Does anyone know if that has happened previously in F1? I’m pretty sure the Schumachers were always in different teams. I guess it may have happened in the early days of F1 when the US GP at Indianapolis used to have loads of small teams which entered just that race but I don’t recall ever hearing of it.

    1. Does anyone know if that has happened previously in F1?

      Teo and Corrado Fabi both drove for Brabham in 1984, but not in the same races; Corrado took his brother’s car when Teo was racing in CART, which happened three times.

      1. Wow, I’m not sure if that is an incredible memory or incredible research skills, but either way it is impressive that you could find that stat.

Comments are closed.