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Home » Formula One Teenage Star Oliver Bearman Enjoyed A Dream Debut At The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – But What’s Next For The 18-Year-Old Star? As Ferrari Boss Reveals How His 2024 Season Could Look

Formula One Teenage Star Oliver Bearman Enjoyed A Dream Debut At The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – But What’s Next For The 18-Year-Old Star? As Ferrari Boss Reveals How His 2024 Season Could Look

Formula One teenage star Oliver Bearman will be walking on cloud nine this week after his historic debut at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

The 18-year-old was drafted in to take the place of Carlos Sainz at late notice ahead of Friday’s qualifying, before going on to finish seventh overall in Jeddah, scoring six points for his side. 

It was a whirlwind 24 hours for the driver, who reportedly only found out he’d be taking Sainz’s place a few hours before qualifying. 


But after the race, the Essex-born driver admitted the ‘stars had aligned’ after he became the youngest British driver in Formula One history. 

‘It feels like such a quick progression in my career from driving in F4 a few years ago (in 2021). I only did my first F1 test a few months ago (in 2023) so to make my F1 debut in red is hopefully a sign of things to come,’ he said. 

Oliver Bearman was drafted in to take the place of Carlos Sainz at late notice before going on to finish seventh at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur revealed what the 18-year-old’s season could look like

It was a whirlwind 24 hours for the driver, who reportedly only found out he’d be taking Sainz’s place a few hours before qualifying

The 6ft 3in teenager showed maturity beyond his years throughout the race and looked hungry to challenge some of the circuit’s more established stars, notably finishing above seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton. 

Bearman, who joined Ferrari’s driver academy at the age of 16, is considered among many within the sport as one of the next big talents rising through the ranks. 

And there’s no doubt many team bosses will be keeping tabs on him over the coming years, with reports emerging this week that he could secure himself a permanent spot in Formula One next season. 

While Sainz is set to make way for Hamilton at Ferrari in 2025, there may be no seat for Bearman at the Prancing Horse just yet. But according to The Sun he may be a favourite to join their customer team Haas, with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg out of contract at the end of the season.    

Even so, Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has revealed what this season could look like for the reserve driver, with Bearman set to return to F2 for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, before starting FP1 sessions with Haas. 

‘It’s a good signal for Ollie for sure, it’s an important milestone,’ Vasseur said, speaking on the 18-year-old’s debut in Jeddah. 

‘In Melbourne and Imola he will be back on the F2 project. The most important challenge for Ollie will be this one. He will start soon the FP1 sessions with Haas, and this will be important also for us to give him experience and mileage in the car.’

It was a dream debut for the new F1 star who was seen embracing his father, David, afterwards

Bearman was watching on today as a seat fitting was carried out in the Ferrari garage in Jeddah

Bearman is set to return to F2 for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, before starting FP1 sessions with Haas

Bearman has risen through the ranks quickly winning the Italian Formula Four championship and the ADAC Formula Four Championships in 2021, before stepping up to Formula Three in 2022. He’d go on to finish third that season, earning promotion to Formula Two in 2023 – placing sixth overall.  

He had also participated in two FP1 sessions for Haas last year, but reportedly is set to compete in six this season, per ESPN.

‘For sure with this one [Jeddah] he has the result in the pocket already,’ Vasseur continued. ‘But you have to consider Jeddah is a step, not the final target. He did well this weekend, but he will have other challenges in front of him in the future with F2.

‘He will do a couple of FP1s with us and Haas during the season and all of you, including me, in six months time, we won’t speak any more about Jeddah, we’ll speak about Mexico, Brazil, and if he’s doing well or not. 

‘Every single day will be a new challenge. But for sure, if he’s keeping the same approach as today, it will go well.’ 

Haas team principal, Ayao Komatsu admitted his delight that the emerging star will be driving in their FP1 sessions this season before lauding Bearman skills behind the wheel.

The Essex-born driver joined Ferrari’s academy at the age of 16 and is considered among many within Formula One as the next big talent rising through the ranks

He told Sky Sports on Saturday: ‘Last year when we ran him in FP1 sessions in Mexico and Abu Dhabi straight away it was obvious that he’s a total package, he’s so impressive.’

In a separate interview, the Japanese team boss added: ‘[Bearman] deserves a chance next year, I guess. [But] penalty aside, Kev’s done fantastic today. Nico delivered as well. So how can I sit here and say, ‘[Bearman is] our driver for next year’? Based on today’s performance, [it’s] Nico and Kevin.’

Bearman has earned plaudits from many around Formula One following his excellent performance in Jeddah, with Hamilton lumping praise on the young driver. 

‘To be pulled out of your class and put straight into a Ferrari, he did such a phenomenal job. It has showed he is a really bright future star,’ the Mercedes driver said.