Bearman Explains Why Hamilton Was 'Basically Pulling' Him Out Of Car

Sunday, 10 March 2024 at 12:00
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Oliver Bearman, who was Carlos Sainz's replacement driver for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, reflected on his amazing first F1 race.
One's unfortunate circumstances led to the opportunity of a lifetime for another ahead of the second race of the season. While Carlos Sainz had to undergo an urgent surgery, Oliver Bearman got his first chance to shine in F1.
The 18-year-old had almost no time for preparation ahead of the qualifying but recorded a lap that put him in the 11th spot on the grid at the start of the race.
Then, he was able to avoid trouble, and not only did he bring the car home at one of the most challenging tracks in F1, but he also gained several positions during the race to finish in the final P7. According to RacingNews365, he said:

"I am quite young, so that's cool. I grew up watching these guys fighting and I didn't fight with them, but it was a pleasure to share the track with them."

To put into perspective how young the Briton is. He is more than twice as young as Fernando Alonso. Moreover, the Spanish Matador raced in F1 before he was born, and Bearman became the third youngest driver to race in F1.
The seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was the first to come and congratulate the 18-year-old right as he got out of the car. Bearman said:

"It was a pleasure to have that recognition.[Hamilton] was basically pulling me out of the car, I was struggling a bit, it was really physical."

Jeddah Corniche Circuit is the fastest street circuit in Formula 1. Many fast-sweeping corners characterize it, and drivers' necks have to withstand massive, constant G-forces pushing on them.

"But with a race like this, it is one of the lowest degradation tracks of the season and one of the highest lateral Gs, so you're pretty much doing 50 qualifying laps."

Finishing the race in the points, Bearman became the 68th driver to score on his F1 debut. In the end, he added he wasn't even nervous after the race started.

"Surprisingly, [I was not nervous] - it was the same as any other race. Once the lights turned on, the procedure is a bit different with a race start [compared to F2], but once the lights are on, you're focusing on what is around you and I think we did a pretty good job."