Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Bearman drove “like a veteran” on debut – Vasseur

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur praised Oliver Bearman’s performance on his debut for the team.

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In brief

Bearman “very much up to the task” – Vasseur

Bearman rose from 11th on the grid to finish seventh on his debut yesterday, having only had one practice session and qualifying to familiarise himself with the SF-24. Vasseur was impressed to see his driver take the chequered flag ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

“He managed these two days amazingly well, almost like a veteran,” he said. “There were no problems with his start or at the pit stop, things that were all new to him. He was always calm and precise with his feedback over the radio and gradually his confidence in the car grew so that towards the end he managed to keep two great drivers, Lando and Lewis behind him.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr, who had to give up his seat to Bearman after suffering appendicitis, was among those watching in the team’s garage.

“It was nice that Carlos was able to join us at the track today, just over 24 hours after his operation and we hope he will be able to race in Australia,” said Vasseur. “If nothing else, this weekend has taught us that, if the need arises again, we have a reserve driver who is very much up to the task.”

Hulkenberg “will return the favour” to Magnussen

Nico Hulkenberg said he would pay team mate Kevin Magnussen back for helping him score a point by slowing down their rivals in yesterday’s race – tactics which angered their rivals.

“One point is worth a lot these days,” said Hulkenberg. “It felt like a very clean race, and a really good race by the team strategy-wise.

“We split the cars during the Safety Car which was discussed before the race and that worked out well. At the restart when the faster cars disappeared, I managed to get free air, good pace, and a good rhythm.

“I think that was key, but also the teamwork from Kevin today to slow down the others for me to be able to make a pit window. It was perfect teamwork, and I’ll return the favour to him later in the season.”

Start of season “very difficult” for Alpine

Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024
Gasly’s race ended early due to gearbox trouble
Alpine team principal Bruno Famin admitted the team has had a tough start to the year after the team lost one car early on in yesterday’s race and saw the other finish outside the points.

“We said it was going to be a tough start to the season and it has been a very difficult first few weeks with the test and two grands prix,” he said.

“Even if we have upgrades coming, we need to understand our lack of performance. And, today, we have to investigate the gearbox problem, which cost Pierre [Gasly] valuable track time.”

Jos Verstappen predicts Horner will stay

Max Verstappen’s father Jos, who called for Christian Horner to stand down from his role in charge of Red Bull, does not believe he will.

“I think it’s too late for Christian to say ‘leave me alone’ but he has the support of the Thai owner so I think he will stay for the rest of the season,” he told the Daily Mail. “I said it would bad if he stayed, it really isn’t good for the team, this whole situation.”

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Rosenqvist revels in lighter IndyCar

Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank, IndyCar, St Petersburg, 2024
IndyCar weights were trimmed during the off-season
IndyCar’s off-season weight reduction has produced a car which is more enjoyable to drive, says Felix Rosenqvist. The Dallara chassis has been put through a weight reduction programme ahead of the introduction of hybrid power units later this year.

“You can feel it’s a bit more forgiving, probably,” said Rosenqvist after qualifying second for today’s season-opener. “It kind of reminds me when I joined the series in 2019. Just a bit more agile, easier through the fast stuff, like turn three, the quick chicane here.

“It feels more racy I think, so I kind of like it. It’s been a nice little boost. Normally we add weight in the off-season, and now we actually shaved off a little bit for a while at least.

“I’m enjoying it. I think it’s relatively similar, but it’s cool that we’re improving lap times.”

Maiden Super Formula pole for Sakaguchi

Sena Sakaguchi claimed the first pole position of his career for the opening round of Japan’s Super Formula championship at Suzuka. He beat Kakunoshin Ohta by less than a tenth of a second.

Formula 2 champion Theo Pouchaire failed to progress beyond the first round of qualifying. Ayumu Iwasa, who also made the switch from F1’s top feeder series, progressed further and will start 11th. Rookie Juju Noda was eliminated in the same round as Pourchaire but was almost three-and-a-half seconds off the next-slowest driver.

Super Formula qualifying

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Comment of the day

Will Mercedes be able to get on top of their latest set-up problem?:

I’ve been wondering why Lewis is having so much trouble this season. He definitely doesn’t like a bouncy car and I can understand that. It doesn’t instil confidence and the balance is all over the place depending on whether it’s on the ground or in the air. People also react differently to extreme vibrations especially prolonged exposure.

If Mercedes made another bouncy car then we can just kiss this season goodbye. The good news for Mercedes (not Lewis) is that Russell is a lot less susceptible to the bouncing so he can at least qualify high but I’m not sure if he can sustain the position under fire from McLaren, Ferrari, and Checo’s Red Bull.

I’m curious to see how many podiums Mercedes will score this year.

1-2 tenths is the difference between P4 and P9 in qualifying now.
Michael (@Freelittlebirds)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fred Schechter!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1955: Two-time F1 race starter Toshio Suzuki


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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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13 comments on “Bearman drove “like a veteran” on debut – Vasseur”

  1. Those 30 featured words from the Guardian article purport a lot, but there’s no substance to be found. F1 keeps dodging the blows.

    I keep expecting the firestorm to be found that exposes the underbelly of F1, but it seems impossible to tell if there isn’t one, or the power involved is such that it can’t be.

    1. What blows, though? These outlets are all afraid of reporting what is leaked, despite the lack of response by Red Bull making it quite obvious that they’re real. So they note it, and then don’t dare to write more, so they move on to other subjects. Or hide behind a random one line quote from a supposed former insider. It’s all rather weak.

      And of course F1 doesn’t care. This is a big money business that would just as gladly race in Belgium and Austria as in Russia or the USA. Everything that distracts from the racing and the money is just “noise” as Red Bull underling Ricciardo so clumsily, but inadvertantly truthfully, said this weekend. So long as they can keep it in their own little bubble they will ignore everything that stands in the way of them getting more money.

      An affair turned creepy and harassing won’t even register on their radar. Not without real outside pressure, that is. Especially not at Red Bull, whose owners have already had a taste of what it’s like to get away with far worse.

  2. Huge Congratulations to Bearman!

    It was unfortunate the reason why he was able to race (glad to see Sainz’s speedy recovery) but when you think of the massive pressure and odds against any jr. driver having to step in at the very last moment at that track to represent Ferrari in F1, doing so well, scoring points is impressive.

    Bearman stepped up to the plate at the big show and showed everyone he can play. Again, congrats!

  3. James Parrish’s tweet: Short answer: Mainly a Kemmel straight & Red Bull Racing thing rather than general.

    1. Or just sit back and relax, there’s nothing else we can do. Bottle to the sea.

  4. I like the idea of a limited amount of DRS uses per race.
    I think that could definitely improve things by encouraging the drivers to risk some genuine overtaking like in the old days.

    1. Yes. It sounds like such a simple idea to improve things. I am surprised it doesn’t get more attention from the teams and powers that be.

    2. @nullapax I’ve been advocating for this since DRS was introduced.

      I’d rather there be no DRS at all but if they are going to have it then i’ve always thought they should use it more like a P2P system with limited uses over a race as well as allowing it’s use anywhere around the circuit as that would introduce a bit of strategy around it’s use as well as put it a bit more in the drivers hands.

      Although I still think that an Indycar style P2P style system that gives extra revs, more boost or hybrid deployment would be a far better thing to use than DRS because I think something like that would be far fairer & easier to tune so that it’s only ever an assist rather than something that makes passing too easy.

  5. Ollie Bearman definitely looked the real deal. I am not sure what the contractual situation is at Haas. But if there is one contract ending this year I strongly suspect Bearman is going to be in one of their cars next year.

    1. @phil-f1-21 He is due 6 FP1s with Haas this year, Haas would not do that unless they were seriously interested as they would spread them around if they were hedging bets.

      I thought I read that both seats are up for grabs for next year and unless he really messes up some of the FP1s it is his seat to lose now when coupled with yesterday’s performance.

  6. Ganassi’s comments aside, which are funny but also a bit of a role he has to play, it’s quite telling that a publication like AP News is using phrases like “F1 season looks to be another snoozer”.

    The F1 bubble is very insular, and everyone involved is careful to play along and pretend everything is fine, but the writing is on the wall here. The rest of the world isn’t buying it.

    1. I had one eye on the IndyCar race today; I don’t think they’ve got a lot to brag about today.

      1. @kcrossle I didn’t watch all the Indycar, around lap 55 onwards and I’m not sure Chip’s comment has aged that well either.

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