JULY 7, 2024

Ocon to be Ferrari-funded Bearman's teammate?

Esteban Ocon has now signed a contract to keep his Formula 1 career alive with Haas from 2025, according to multiple sources at the British GP.

Esteban Ocon, British GP 2024
© Alpine

Already this weekend, the small American team announced that 18-year-old rookie Oliver Bearman will replace the Audi-Sauber-bound Nico Hulkenberg.

Team boss Ayao Komatsu denied that he was under big pressure from team technical partner Ferrari to take the Maranello-backed Briton Bearman for 2025.

The decision was ours, the Japanese told Ekstra Bladet. "It's not like Ferrari forced us at all.

"Of course, we know Ollie is supported by Ferrari, so that's the financial side, but that's not all. It's his speed, his work ethic, his attitude, how he communicates with the engineers, how he understands the whole program, what we're looking for as a team and how he adjusts his approach to it.

Now that we've taken Ollie as a rookie, we will try to appoint somebody who's got decent F1 experience, Komatsu added.

Kevin Magnussen, 31, actually has more experience than sacked Alpine driver Ocon, but there have been plenty of signs that the Dane has been exploring his options outside of F1 for 2025 for some time now.

Another option for Haas was Valtteri Bottas, who is believed to be closer to moving to Williams.

The Finn admits he is disappointed to have apparently been left out of Sauber's plans for its works Audi future.

I don't want any headlines on this topic, Bottas told Ilta Sanomat at Silverstone, "but yes, with all that was said last year, the team's goals for the drivers would be that I would be the first driver to sign a contract.

The team has talked to everyone about the other seat, he added.

Bottas, 34, insists he still has options in F1 but has also been contacted by teams in Indycar. There have been enquiries from a lot of places over my career, said Bottas.

I wouldn't say that all this waiting at the moment is frustrating - it's just part of the game. Things will work out in time.