Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Bearman exceeded Ferrari’s expectations but we need to keep him calm – Vasseur

Formula 1

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Ferrari’s substitute driver Oliver Bearman exceeded their expectations of him, said team principal Frederic Vasseur after his debut yesterday.

The Formula 2 driver was called up at short notice to take over one of the team’s cars after Carlos Sainz Jnr had to undergo surgery.

Bearman only drove an F1 car for the first time in October and became one of the team’s reserve drivers in January. The most recent Ferrari he has driven is two years old which meant he had to familiarise himself with the SF-24 quickly.

“He was in the preparation mode for the F2 when I asked him to come,” Vasseur told the official F1 channel after qualifying. “He had to refresh everything about the procedure, the steering wheel and so on. He had to jump into the car to do the [cockpit evacuation] test with the FIA.”

Over yesterday’s two sessions Bearman made no major errors, reached the top 10 in final practice and missed the cut for Q3 by less than four-hundredths of a second. Following that performance Vasseur said the team need to help him keep his feet on the ground in today’s race.

“In FP3 honestly he did a fantastic job. If you have a look at the end he didn’t do a big mistake. I think he missed Q3 for nothing, like a couple of hundreds.

“He did more than I expected. For sure now we have to keep him calm because the most important is to do the same tomorrow, to have clean work and to finish the race.”

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Bearman’s lack of familiarity with how to perform key procedures such as race starts and pit stops in F1 will put him at a disadvantage, said Vasseur.

Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024
Feature: Inside Bearman’s stunning F1 debut which Verstappen called “incredible”
“For Ollie what I would expect is to have a clean race. He never took a start on the grid, he never did a proper pit stop, it means that we have to step-by-step to tick all the boxes.

“But he had a very good approach today, this morning and I trust him that he is doing a good job in F2 and I’m sure that he will be able to do it.”

The team confirmed yesterday Sainz’s surgery was complete and he was recovering in hospital. No decision has been taken yet on whether he will be fit enough to compete in the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

“It went pretty well, now he’s in the recovery mode,” said Vasseur. “He will have meetings with the surgeon at the beginning of the week to decide what could be the next step. It was a tough day.”

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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...

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2 comments on “Bearman exceeded Ferrari’s expectations but we need to keep him calm – Vasseur”

  1. Like Russell first time at Merc.

  2. Are we going to see Hamilton and Bearman at Ferrari? A déjà vu of Hamilton and Russell at Mercedes. :-)

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