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Oliver Bearman F1 contract increasingly likely

Oliver Bearman is widely expected to compete for Ayao Komatsu at Haas F1 Team next season.

Few drivers have made an F1 debut under more difficult circumstances than Oliver Bearman. The 18-year-old was competing in Formula 2 before his Ferrari reserve duties forced him to concentrate on taming the SF-24. Without any Friday Practice, Bearman was forced to adapt quickly to an unforgiving circuit. Despite these obstacles, the British driver secured strong points and delivered an error-free weekend. For all intents and purposes, Ferrari could not have been happier with their last-minute substitution for Carlos Sainz.

Even before the second round of 2024, Bearman was heavily linked with an F1 seat. There are several articles from LWOS detailing his work with Haas at the end of last season, as well as the US team’s enthusiasm to complete more mileage with the youngster. This culminated in the decision to schedule a total of six free practice sessions for Oliver Bearman this season. Clearly, Ayao Komatsu – who praised the youngster last year – is eager to observe his progress.

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Likely opening at Haas

On paper, the emergence of a talented Ferrari junior could have presented a dilemma for Haas. After all, the American outfit is happy with its existing driver lineup – Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. Both drivers have performed well this season, putting the VF-24 into the points and pushing the team up into P7 in the standings. Moreover, Haas is a team whose history with young drivers is not the most flattering.

However, several new factors must be considered. From a practical level, Nico Hulkenberg is expected to join Audi next year. This move is extremely likely and would create an opening for Oliver Bearman to fill. In this sense, Haas is a far more realistic path forward for the 18-year-old than.

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Haas better prepared for Bearman

In addition, Haas is increasingly positive about the prospect of signing a rookie. Before his departure, team principal Guenther Steiner changed his tone about offering a seat to someone in Formula 2. This change in rhetoric was likely made in the knowledge that Ferrari was looking to give Bearman an opportunity.

Under Ayao Komatsu, changes have been made at Haas across several levels. The team is becoming more operationally efficient and, in theory, better placed to accommodate someone like Bearman. Considering his talent and schedule for 2024, his pathway into integration at Haas could be refreshingly smooth.


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