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Haas deal a relief to Bearman amid tough F2 run

Oliver Bearman admits there was a sense of relief when he finally signed his Haas contract earlier this week because he felt his Formula 2 results left a question mark over his future.

Haas confirmed Bearman as one of its race drivers for 2025 on Thursday morning at the British Grand Prix, with the 19-year-old singing a multi-year contract. Ahead of an FP1 appearance at his home race alongside his F2 duties, Bearman admits the tough season he’s had so far in F2 — sitting 14th in the standings and with his first win only coming in Austria last weekend — had raised some personal doubts until his deal was finalized.

“I felt like I’ve been performing well since the beginning in free practices, and obviously every time I’ve driven with Haas, I did the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, I’ve always got out of the car feeling like I’ve put in a good image of myself,” Bearman said. “I performed in a way that I was proud of, which is important to me. I knew that if I continue to do that, hopefully I would do enough to get an F1 seat. I’m happy that it’s confirmed and it’s finally the case.

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“Honestly, [I wasn’t certain] until it was finally confirmed after Red Bull Ring on Sunday, because you know in F1, until you put a pen on a piece of paper, it’s not really official. So I knew that it was, we were working towards it, and we were pretty much getting there for a while. But you can never celebrate too soon, because F1 is a fast-moving world and you’re only as good as your last race.

“I was of course relieved when it finally came about, and I shared that moment with my manager, who has been with me all the way. That was quite an emotional moment.”

Bearman believes his performance as a late replacement for Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier this year was crucial to convincing both Haas and Ferrari of his capabilities for a full seat.

“I do feel like the F1 running carried a lot of weight. Of course the race in Saudi, first of all, but even in my free practices and all my testing, it’s always been going pretty well,” Bearman said. “That for me carried a bit more weight. I think for the people that mattered, it also carried a bit more weight. But there’s no way of hiding behind the fact that in F2, it continues to be a little bit more difficult, and that always leaves a question mark in the back of your mind.

“I think the Saudi performance was really the stars aligning moment that made my step into F1 possible. Because I think without that, it would really have been difficult, especially with how it’s going at the moment. So that really, really helped me. And also for my own confidence, because you never really know how you’re going to perform until you race against real F1 drivers, and that was my opportunity and I felt like I did a decent job.”

Story originally appeared on Racer