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Opinion
Formula 1 British GP

Oliver Bearman column: On the cusp of the F1 dream

Life has been a whirlwind recently for BRDC SuperStar Ollie Bearman. In an exclusive column for Motorsport.com, the newly-confirmed 2025 Haas Formula 1 driver discusses his season so far in Formula 2 with Prema, his F1 call-up and dealing with all the media attention

Oliver Bearman, Haas F1 Team

This has been a season of two halves. The Formula 1 side of things has been going really well with the free practice sessions and, of course, Jeddah with Ferrari. Every time I’ve been in an F1 car, even in private testing, I felt like my performances have been really strong, that I’m improving every time, and that I’m really starting to get comfortable.

On the other hand, F2 has been difficult so far. We’re really struggling to find consistency and to always find the correct feeling in the car. We still have some work to do at Prema to be the team we were last year.

I think the outright performance is very similar between the old and new F2 cars. We see it in qualifying, and even in the races – the trend is very similar and the lap time is very close. What we’ve understood is that the way we have to set the car up is quite different.

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The way that the car achieves downforce is quite different to the old car, and because of that, we have to run the car quite long and quite stiff, similar to how it is in F1 these days. So, on that side of things it’s great preparation, but I think we’ve just struggled to fully get to grips with the new machinery.

Across the board, we struggled a bit more than we anticipated. There have been good performances, don’t get me wrong. I feel like we’ve still been able to perform and get a decent lap time in qualifying, but the race pace is something we need to work on as a team.

I’m as motivated as ever to go and get the results that we deserve because, at the moment, I don’t feel like F2 is an accurate representation of my ability, and also the amount of hard work that the team has put into the season.

Prema has endured a disappointing season in F2 so far, but Bearman broke through to record its first podium and victory in the Austria sprint

Prema has endured a disappointing season in F2 so far, but Bearman broke through to record its first podium and victory in the Austria sprint

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

There have been a few high points. I didn’t get to do the weekend in F2, but it was going really well in Saudi Arabia, when I did the pole – that looked like it was going to be a really strong weekend. Monaco as well, the race was really strong there. I started quite far back after a difficult qualifying, and I narrowly missed out on the podium just on pure pace and good strategy.

And then, of course, it was good to win the sprint race in Austria. I was happy to be back on the top step of the podium as it’s been a while, and it’s the first podium of the year for the team. It’s great to get a good result for Prema; hopefully it’s a boost for morale and we can start some momentum from here. We have to keep working and trying to get some more of those good results.

I don’t think I had a choice when I was offered the Ferrari drive in Saudi Arabia! My only concern was that I wanted to do F2 as well during the weekend, because that’s my main target for the year. We quite quickly understood that wouldn’t be allowed.

It’s tough to see exactly where you stand [in practice] because I’m not putting the car on the limit; I’m only stepping into someone else’s car, and the plan is different across cars

It was an incredible experience and opportunity. I look back at a few things I could have done better, but that’s quite normal. 

The coverage is something incredible. Going from F2 to F1 in one of the most unanticipated ways and with Ferrari, the attention was huge. It was quite insane to see the amount of interviews and people following me. Now with the amount of free practices I’m doing with Haas and the amount of running I’m doing in F1, the attention has been pretty strong.

I’ve been really happy with how the free practices have been going. It’s tough to see exactly where you stand because I’m not putting the car on the limit, because I’m only stepping into someone else’s car, and the plan is different across cars.

My personal feeling is that I’ve been performing well and putting on a good show of myself. I’m showing what I’m capable of, which is my goal. I’m also learning a lot every time I’m running, I’m building up my knowledge bank and learning a lot for the future.

Bearman has had to quickly acclimatise to the rise in media interest in him

Bearman has had to quickly acclimatise to the rise in media interest in him

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

I really can’t wait to race at Silverstone this weekend in F2. I know it won’t be the busiest grandstands compared to the rest of the weekend, but to be able to run in an F1 car on one of my favourite tracks in the world, and the fact that it happens to be my home circuit, I’m really excited to share that experience with the fans, and hopefully I have their support.

I honestly can’t wait for Silverstone in general. It’s always my favourite weekend of the year, just because of the great atmosphere and vibe. The support that I’ve been getting has been exponentially increasing, so hopefully this year it’s going to be even bigger.

I just can’t wait to go and try my absolute best to bring a result for the fans and myself. It’s going to be a hectic weekend, there’s going to be a lot going on, but it’s all going to be fantastic.

Bearman will get his latest practice outing with Haas at Silverstone, but is most looking forward to competing in the F2 races in front of his home fans

Bearman will get his latest practice outing with Haas at Silverstone, but is most looking forward to competing in the F2 races in front of his home fans

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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