‘Ticks all the boxes’: F1 journalist says 18-year-old driver is most likely youngster to break into Formula 1

The road to Formula One is becoming increasingly difficult for young drivers, but Ferrari academy prospect Oliver Bearman has big aspirations.

On The Race Podcast, journalist Scott Mitchell-Malm discussed the final test of the Formula One season.

Abu Dhabi has unexpectedly become the ultimate scouting location for young drivers attempting to break into Formula 1.

Every team must now run an inexperienced driver in each of their vehicles during one practice session per year.

Half of the vehicles in Abu Dhabi’s Free Practice 1 were filled with academy drivers looking to impress the paddock.

Following the season’s last race, teams had one more day of testing to offer inexperienced drivers a chance to shine.

Because of their relationship with Ferrari, Ollie Bearman was placed in the Haas once more.

There have been rumors that Bearman’s best chance of breaking into Formula One would be through an American squad.
Mitchell-Malm believes that of all the drivers attempting to break into the sport, the 18-year-old is in the best position right now.

The driver market is beginning to become stagnant with no changes taking place over the winter before the 2024 season.

That’s unlikely to be the case in 2025 when Bearman might become the next Brit on the grid.

Bearman will have high hopes for Formula 1 move in the future


Formula 3 – Oliver Bearman on the podium in Spielberg


Mitchell-Malm stated of the drivers who took part in the young driver test and free practice in Abu Dhabi, “For example, Jake Dennis, Formula E world champion and long-time Red Bull sim driver.”

“Felipe Drugovich is kind of if you’re F2 champion and you haven’t gotten into F1 after a couple of years out, which he’s not going to do next year, what are your realistic chances of getting there?”

“And then I think like a Pato O’Ward is probably like my favourite genre of driver to appear at tests like this because they’re someone who will take so passionately about the prospect of getting to F1 and they’re very, very good in their own series.

“But, they’re kind of just here through affiliation and they satisfy the young driver part certainly but they’re not F1 hopefuls.

“So, I think of that list you’ve got to look at the people who are still in F2 or been competing in F2 and I think Ollie Bearman is the one that stands out to me because he kind of ticks all the boxes in terms of still young enough to still be very much in the ascendancy, he’s shown a lot of promise in F2 already and he’s super young, he’s only 18.

“He’s got proper Ferrari backing behind him so someone like that racking up the mileage with Haas, I think means a lot more to me than say a Drugovich who’s parked at Aston Martin as an F2 champion who will probably never get to F1.

“And even a [Theo] Pourchaire, I feel like if he was stepping up to F1 he would do it with the team that’s meant to be backing him already.”

Bearman could benefit from being in the right place at the right time

Every young driver dreams of making it to Formula One, but the stars may just align for Ollie Bearman.

His relationship with Ferrari demonstrates how highly they regard him, and their link with Haas may be the key to his progression from F2.

Mick Schumacher has already demonstrated that being a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy can lead to a job with Guenther Steiner’s team.

While the German only lasted two seasons in F1, Haas’ current lineup of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen cannot last indefinitely.

The couple are 67 years old, and after finishing last in the Constructors’ Championship in 2023, they may need to consider other choices in the future.

Steiner has previously stated that he has no desire to bring in a rookie given his experiences with Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

However, if Bearman can star in F2 in 2024, that may be enough to persuade him to reconsider.



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