Bearman 'Absolutely Vindicated' Ferrari's Choice With His Performance

Sunday, 17 March 2024 at 13:30
bearman oliver saudi24 imagonurphoto
Senior performance engineer working for Scuderia Ferrari, Jock Clear, revealed the Italian team was confident in Oliver Bearman even before his first race.
Ollie Bearman became the youngest British driver to race in F1 during his debut at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, one of the most challenging tracks on the Formula 1 calendar.
On the one hand, the rookie was provided with the second-fastest car on the grid. On the other hand, he has never driven it before the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.
As Jock Clear revealed, the main goal that the team had for Bearman was to get through the opening lap of the race with all wheels on.
Not only did the 18-year-old do that, but he also kept his position and then slowly climbed up the order as he gained more experience and became faster throughout the race. Clear told F1 Nation podcast:

"This guy is 18 so, at this level, having come out of an F2 car at 18 years old, I've never seen anything better than that."

While he acknowledged the young Briton's incredible result, Clear also pointed out Ferrari was clearly confident in his ability to put him in an F1 car with a few hours' notice at one of the most challenging and dangerous tracks on the calendar.

"I think so, yeah. I was convinced before that and I think the fact that Fred [Vasseur] was brave enough to put him in this car this weekend, under the circumstances, speaks volumes for what we've seen of him already."

Bearman's performance earned him the approval of many F1 drivers, who suggested they expect to see him on the grid sooner or later. Even the former team principal of Haas, Guenther Steiner, said he would give him a seat after what he's shown. The Scuderia performance engineer added:

"I think this was better than we could have expected. But when the decision was made, I suppose this is what we expected. I don't want to diminish the achievement."

"We really, really are over the moon with everything, but we sort of put him there thinking, 'I think he can do this', and he's absolutely vindicated that choice."