Oliver Bearman’s 2025 F1 Audition Set to Ramp Up With Haas Sessions

formula 2 testing in barcelona day 3
Bearman’s 2025 F1 Audition Ramping Up With HaasEric Alonso - Formula 1 - Getty Images
  • This weekend’s F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at Imola, Italy, will be the first of the six planned FP1 runs for Oliver Bearman at Haas.

  • Haas F1 team principal Ayao Komatsu says that Haas’ 2025 F1 vacancy “doesn’t change” anything regarding how it treats Bearman.

  • Alongside his Haas practice outings, Bearman faces a crucial phase in his sophomore Formula 2 campaign.

Ollie Bearman made waves at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March when the youngster, then 18, was drafted in at late notice to replace the sidelined Carlos Sainz at Ferrari.

Ferrari protégé Bearman raced to an assured seventh-place finish at Saudi Arabia, impressing with his composure, and it was an unexpectedly prominent audition for a 2025 Formula 1 race seat. That F1 seat was never going to be with backers Ferrari, which has Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton locked in for at least 2025 and 2026, but with Ferrari’s customer team, Haas.


Prior to his surprise Jeddah appearance, Bearman—appointed as one of Haas’ reserve drivers—was already lined up for six practice sessions with Haas through 2024. That marked a progression on his affiliation with Haas in late 2023, when he fulfilled Haas’ rookie obligations by driving in practice in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, as well as the post-season Young Driver Test.

f1 grand prix of china sprint
Oliver BearmanSong Haiyuan/MB Media - Getty Images

“I’ve said it before, he’s very impressive,” Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu said. “Mexico is not the easiest track for a driver to come to for the first time. It’s not just his speed; he understood the objective of the session, what’s required of him, and each run he understood the objective. In both qualifying simulations and [long] runs, he adapted very well and he was very quick to learn from some of the mistakes he made.”

This weekend’s F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at Imola, Italy, will be the first of the six planned FP1 runs for Bearman at Haas, with three more to come across the European summer stint (Spain, Britain, and Hungary), ahead of appearances in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi.

The crucial difference since Bearman’s Jeddah race, and the initial confirmation of his six FP1s, is that Haas now knows it will definitely have at least one free seat in 2025.

Nico Hulkenberg is moving to Sauber, while Kevin Magnussen’s future remains uncertain; incidentally Magnussen’s rapid accumulation of 10 penalty points—putting him two points away from a one-event suspension—means there is a possibility Haas will need a stand-in.

That stand-in could ostensibly be Bearman. Haas’ other reserve, Pietro Fittipaldi, has IndyCar schedule conflicts that could keep him from any stand-in race on the F1 side.

Komatsu emphasized that Haas’ 2025 vacancy “doesn’t change” anything regarding how it treats Bearman, and expanded on what he needs to see from the Briton, who last week turned 19.

“As a team we’ve got objectives for that weekend,” Komatsu said.

Haas is seventh in the Constructors’ Championship and retaining that position, now that sixth-placed RB has opened a 12-point buffer, must be the team’s target. Bearman will play a small, yet important, role in that ambition.

“We have a clear objective of what we want to get out of FP1, FP2, FP3, to prepare for qualifying and the race, so that approach doesn’t change,” Komatsu said. “But it’s more about does the driver understand the objective, can he play a strong part in fulfilling that kind of objective.

"If this young driver is only interested in let’s say going flat out everywhere, showing the world how quick he is, that’s not very much the approach, right? Ollie’s not like that, he’s shown in Mexico and Abu Dhabi he’s got the speed, but he really understands the bigger picture and he can play a positive part in contributing to the team. I’d like to see the continuation of that.

f1 grand prix of saudi arabia
Oliver Bearman finished seventh in the F1 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix for Ferrari.BSR Agency - Getty Images

“And at some stage he will face an issue, shall I say, maybe a car issue, and misses half a session, how does he react to that adversity? So that’ll be an interesting one to see. It’s not like I want to see a reliability problem! But [for example] he might lose a set of tires due to a puncture, [something] not his fault, but again you have to deal with that.”

Alongside his Haas outings, Bearman faces a crucial phase in his sophomore Formula 2 campaign. It has been a subdued start, entering Imola only 19th in the standings, with poor displays in Bahrain and Australia.

“He needs to perform in F2, for sure,” Komatsu said. “But when we work with him directly we understand all the ins and outs, all the environment, the reasoning for certain things happening. I’d probably put more weight on what we do with him, how he performs in our environment, but of course he needs to perform in F2, that’s clear.”

If Bearman ticks all the right boxes then his 2025 prospects will blossom further.