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Teenager Ollie Bearman to be fourth British F1 driver after joining Haas
F1 Sport

Teenager Ollie Bearman to be fourth British F1 driver after joining Haas

Teenager Ollie Bearman will become the fourth British driver in Formula One after it was announced he will race for Haas in 2025. The 19-year-old, who impressed as a last-minute stand-in for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March, joins Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell on the F1 grid next year.

Bearman’s multi-season deal with the American outfit – effectively Ferrari’s B team – was confirmed on the eve of the driver’s home event at Silverstone.

“It’s hard to put into words just how much this means to me,” he said. “To say out loud that I will be a Formula One driver for Haas makes me so immensely proud. To be one of the very few people who get to do the thing that they dreamed of as a child is something truly incredible.”

Bearman, a reserve driver for Haas, became the youngest British driver in F1 history with his debut in Saudi Arabia as a replacement for Sainz, who was ruled out with appendicitis. Bearman qualified in 11th and finished seventh, two positions ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton applauded Bearman as he drove past him after the chequered flag and then waited by his Ferrari to embrace him.

After the race, Hamilton, described Bearman’s display as “phenomenal” and that of a “future star”. Bearman landed his first win of the Formula Two season in Austria last weekend. The F2 championship acts as a feeder series to F1.

The Haas team owner, Gene Haas, said: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to give Oliver Bearman this opportunity to drive full-time in Formula One – he’s undoubtedly an exciting rookie prospect, not just based on what he showed in Saudi Arabia but also through his time developing his relationship with our team.

“I’m excited to see how he grows as a driver, and we look forward to seeing him deliver for Haas next season and beyond. This is an exciting time for the team.”

Raised in Chelmsford and schooled at King Edward VI Grammar, Bearman moved to Italy after he joined Ferrari’s driver academy, at the age of 16. After four victories in his rookie F2 season last year, Bearman made his first practice outing at a grand prix weekend in Mexico City in October before his impressive debut for Ferrari in Jeddah.

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Bearman will replace the Sauber-bound Nico Hulkenberg at Haas with the identity of his teammate unclear. Kevin Magnussen’s contract expires at the end of the season. Haas are seventh of 10 in the constructors’ standings.

Source: theguardian.com