Bearman cruising towards 2025 Haas race seat

"If he continues to perform like this, for sure, it’s difficult to ignore"


18 May 2024 - 12:44
Bearman cruising towards 2025 Haas (…)

Oliver Bearman appears to be marching towards a full-time Haas race seat for 2025.

It emerged recently that the small American team will lose the services of its on-form German driver Nico Hulkenberg to the newly Audi-owned Sauber project.

Team boss Ayao Komatsu admits it is a bitter pill to swallow.

"Of course we’ll feel it," he said at Imola. "He’s been providing us with an amazing reference, especially in a team like ours - not as big as those other guys.

"And it really depends on who we’re going to get for next year as well."

Indeed, the team has another highly-experienced driver - Kevin Magnussen - in the sister car, but he has been consistently outperformed by Hulkenberg since 2023 and is currently on the cusp of a race ban for his driving tactics.

Even Hulkenberg and Komatsu were not supportive of Magnussen’s driving last time out in Miami, even if the Dane insists he was doing it for the team.

"In his mind, he was trying his best to help Nico," said Komatsu. "Whether we completely agree with that methodology or not is another matter."

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher said recently he is convinced Haas will replace Magnussen with another experienced driver for 2025 - perhaps Valtteri Bottas.

But irrespective of Magnussen’s future, the Ferrari-linked 18-year-old ’Ollie’ Bearman seems a shoo-in for at least one of the Haas seats next year.

Having already impressed this year when substituting for unwell Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, Bearman had his first of six practice outings in the Haas at Imola on Friday.

When asked what he needs to do to secure a full-time seat for 2025, Komatsu said at Imola: "I think continue to deliver like this.

"At first glance, we can’t fault what he’s done today. And that was the case last year when we ran him in two sessions as well.

"So, yeah, if he continues to perform like this, for sure, it’s difficult to ignore."

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