F2 front-runner Bearman has ‘no doubt’ he’d be ready for F1 chance in 2025
Ferrari-backed Oliver Bearman is confident that he “has what it takes” to make the step up to F1 in the near future, having impressed throughout his debut F2 season and during FP1 outings with Haas in 2023.
Bearman, a champion in German and Italian F4, and fresh from finishing third in F3, secured three pole positions, four victories and six podiums en route to sixth place in last year’s F2 standings.
As his eye-catching campaign drew to a close, the 18-year-old Briton was given the chance to drive for Haas during first practice in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, where he performed well against experienced full-timers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg and drew praise from the team.
Asked if he feels ready for a shot at F1, should his ascent continue during his second F2 season and an opportunity arise in 2025, Bearman replied: “I know I’d be ready to go.
“I know I have what it takes, but of course preparation would be important and, first of all, I’d have to do a good job in F2 – that’s step one. But I have no doubt that if I get a call-up, I’m ready to go.”
Bearman, who admitted to being “really nervous” before his first FP1 outing but was pleased to show he could be “more or less competitive” from the outset, hopes 2024 will bring more F1 practice and test opportunities alongside his F2 duties.
“Once you join F1, you’re going up against guys with a lot of races under their belts, and coming in as a rookie is a difficult job,” he commented. “It’s something that we’ve thought about and it will be really important that before I start an F1 campaign, I need to be really prepared.
“Hopefully that looks like more FP1s, and there’ll be some private testing as well. I don’t have any say on that, but in an ideal world, that will be how I approach an F1 season.”
Bearman, who previously tested 2021-spec F1 machinery with Ferrari, will be free to drive 2022, ground effect machines in 2024 under the Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) regulations.
“The fact that you can use the 2022 cars will be really helpful because it’s the same generation of car and not much has changed since then,” he added. “So, that’s good to know and hopefully we can make use of that as well.”
Bearman will remain with Prema Racing in the F1 feeder series this year, with Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli arriving as his new team mate after back-to-back titles in F4 and Formula Regional.