Vasseur Admits Surprise After Watching Bearman Face 'Mega' Challenge

Monday, 11 March 2024 at 19:45
bearman oliver ferrari9
The team principal of Scuderia Ferrari, Fred Vasseur, shared his opinion on the performance of the rookie behind the wheel of Carlos Sainz's car during the second race of the season.
Oliver Bearman, who replaced Carlos Sainz in Ferrari during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, finished the race in seventh place after starting from the 11th spot on the grid.
The amazing thing is, it was his first-ever race in F1 with little to no time for preparation ahead. Fred Vasseur told the media present at Jeddah Corniche Circuit afterwards:

"It’s a mega weekend from Ollie. You know the story: we called him, was something like 2 PM on Friday, I think, to jump into the car for FP3."

Not only did the 18-year-old have almost no time for preparation, but he also had to finish the race around one of the most challenging and unforgiving circuits in the F1 calendar.

"It's not Barcelona; we are in Jeddah. The challenge was mega, and he had a very good FP3; he was doing it step-by-step. Quali, he missed Q3 by a couple of hundred thousans."

As Logan Sargeant (who debuted in 2023) said, Formula 1 cars are much more technical compared to F2, and there is a surprisingly big gap between the two. F2 was what Bearman was used to, so driving an F1 car.

"The race today, I was a bit nervous as you have so many things to manage in F1 with the starting procedure, with the pit stop, the steering wheel, and so on. It was not an easy one and at the end of the day, it went very well."

The British youngster surprised everyone in the paddock very positively, and his progress was visible throughout the race as he improved his pace in the final laps to keep Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton behind. Vasseur added:

"I was even surprised myself to push a little bit more from the pit wall and not be conservative as he was not doing mistakes at this stage."