AUGUST 15, 2023

Bearman to have F1 debut with Haas in Austin

Formula 2 front-runner Oliver Bearman has now firmly established himself as the best prospect the Ferrari Driver Academy has to become the Scuderia's next junior driver in Formula 1 and is set to have his Grand Prix debut at the end of October, when he'll drive a Haas VF-23 during the FP1 for the United States Grand Prix, in Austin's Circuit of the Americas.

Kevin Magnussen, Belgian GP 2022
© Haas F1 Team / LAT

By Luis Vasconcelos
Bearman's progression through the ranks has surprised even the FDA management and he's quickly moved ahead of Arthur Leclerc as their biggest hope to make it into Formula 1 in the next couple of years. After a successful career in karting, the British driver moved up to Formula 4 in 2021 and promptly won both the German and the Italian championships, so his promotion to Formula 3 was inevitable. But whereas Ferrari had planned a two-years stay for Bearman in that category, as the more experienced Leclerc was their hope for the 2022 Formula 3 title, the Brit completely outshone the more experienced driver, finishing third, behind Victor Martins and Zane Maloney, while the Monegasque was only sixth. With nothing else to prove, Bearman was promoted to Formula 2, again on a two-years plan, remaining with Prema Powerteam, as it had been the case in the previous categories he raced in.
At the start of the summer break the British driver lays sixth in the standings, with 102 points, but has already won two feature races, in Baku and Barcelona, his double win in Azerbaijan being one for the record books as he became only the sixth driver, since the creation of this format for GP2 in 2005, to achieve such an impressive feat. While realistically Bearman could still finish third in the Formula 2 championship, Ferrari wants to keep him in the category for another year, even if he'll have enough super-license points to move to Formula 1. But with the drivers' market for 2024 being almost shut and the Brit being only 18 years old, Ferrari's plan is to keep him with Prema for next year, targeting the title, before trying to find him a race seat in Formula 1 for 2025, when many, many seats will be up for grabs.
For now, Bearman's preparations will take a step in the right direction, as he'll be having his first taste of current Formula 1 power with Haas in Austin and is set to have another run, possibly with the Scuderia, at the end of the season Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi.