Is Haas’ F1 seat Bearman’s for the taking in 2025?

As Oliver Bearman notched up points and clinched the ‘driver of the day’ title, the Formula 1 realm was buzzing with talk about his potential full-time entry into Formula 1 in 2025. Frederic Vasseur, the boss at Ferrari, was initially “not optimistic” about the young Briton’s prospects when he stepped in for the ailing Carlos Sainz. But Bearman’s performance in Saudi Arabia has turned heads and set the stage for discussions about his future in the sport.

Charles Leclerc, Bearman’s Ferrari teammate for half a weekend, praised the 18-year-old’s evident skill, remarking, “Everybody has noticed how talented he is now and I guess it’s just a matter of time before he comes here in Formula 1.” This season marks a rarity in the sport’s modern era, with no rookies on the F1 grid, a trend that might change come 2025.

Currently serving as the official reserve for the Ferrari-affiliated Haas team, Bearman’s role includes six practice sessions in a Haas car this season. Given his impressive debut and Haas’s needs, speculation about Bearman securing a full-time drive for 2025 grows stronger.

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu’s recent critique of Kevin Magnussen’s performance as “not acceptable” further fuels these rumors. Jan Lammers, a former F1 driver, suggests, “The first conclusion is usually the simplest, and that is that he (Bearman) will drive for Haas next year,” highlighting Haas’s need for a driver of Bearman’s caliber and noting the significance of their Maranello base.

Ralf Schumacher expressed relief at Bearman proving young talents can transition smoothly to F1, a positive sign for future talents like Kimi Antonelli, Bearman’s 17-year-old F2 teammate. Schumacher told Sky Deutschland, “It was very important that someone like him was thrown in the deep end like that. Every team was almost afraid to take on new drivers. Hopefully it will lead to new drivers coming in again. I see him in Formula 1 next year.”

Danish racer Jason Watt sees Bearman’s ascension as a bad omen for Magnussen, stating, “In my book, it’s written in huge letters that one of the two current Haas drivers will not be offered an extension for 2025.”

Bearman himself is optimistic about his chances with Haas, saying, “I have a lot of free practice with them this year. I look forward to building a good relationship there and hopefully a door will open. That would be fantastic.”

Vasseur echoes this sentiment, confirming the ongoing opportunities for Bearman to test and participate in first practices. He humorously added, “And I will keep in mind that he was on pole here (at Jeddah) and I ruined his F2 weekend for him.”

Frits van Amersfoort, who managed Bearman in Formula 4, compared him to Max Verstappen, stating, “Racing is in every fibre of Ollie’s body. You can smell it on him. Just like Max (Verstappen), he is a pure talent. Guys like them know how to drive fast in the most natural way.”

GMM

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