Is Bearman destined to fill Hamilton’s Ferrari shoes?

Frederic Vasseur, the team head of Ferrari, has acknowledged Oliver Bearman’s ascendancy as the premier choice among the Scuderia’s developmental talents, following an exemplary substitute appearance for an unwell Carlos Sainz in Jeddah. Bearman’s performance has sparked discussions about his potential to follow in Lewis Hamilton’s footsteps as a future Ferrari linchpin.

Vasseur, with a hint of amusement, cautioned against premature discussions about the team’s era post-Hamilton, remarking, “Let’s not start talking about post-Lewis Hamilton,” and humorously noted, “Lewis is not even in the team yet!”

He further praised Bearman, “But Jeddah was a good sign for Ollie,” highlighting upcoming races in Melbourne and Imola and beyond where Bearman will compete in Formula 2 as pivotal for his career.

In anticipation of Sainz’s possible continued absence, Bearman is poised as the standby driver for Ferrari in Melbourne, having this week completed additional laps in the 2022 Ferrari model at Fiorano.

During these sessions, Ferrari’s other reserve drivers, Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman, were also present, though Vasseur made it clear that Bearman holds the primary reserve position. “We have decided that when Oliver is with us, he will be the reserve,” Vasseur explained, detailing Bearman’s dual role between reserve duties and simulator work.

Bearman’s 2024 agenda includes participating in six official practice sessions with Haas, a team affiliated with Ferrari, along with a couple of FP1 sessions under Ferrari’s banner, as confirmed by Vasseur.

Despite the achievements in Jeddah, Vasseur views these as merely steps in Bearman’s journey, not the ultimate objective, which hints at a future full-time racing slot, possibly with Haas.

Bearman himself expressed optimism about his potential progression to a regular seat by 2025, stating, “I think I can be there in 2025,” and acknowledged, “It depends on how I do,” indicating his performance will dictate his path to achieving this goal.

GMM

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