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Bearman ‘destroyed’ after points-scoring Ferrari debut as he reflects on ‘good showing’ in Saudi Arabia

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: 7th placed Oliver Bearman of Great Britain and Ferrari talks to

Oliver Bearman admitted he was left feeling physically “destroyed” after his debut F1 race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in which the rookie scored points by crossing the line in seventh place.

The teenager put in a confident performance at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, having stepped in at Ferrari with limited notice on Friday morning following Carlos Sainz’s diagnosis of appendicitis. Bearman started from P11 on the grid but soon pulled off a series of overtakes, including moves on Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg.

READ MORE: Verstappen seals assured victory in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Bearman scores points on debut

As the race wore on, the 18-year-old faced pressure from the threat of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton behind on fresher tyres, but he ultimately held on to claim P7, handing him six points in his first Formula 1 race.

Asked afterwards how he was feeling, Bearman responded: “Destroyed. Physically it was a really difficult race! Especially in the end, when I had the two guys on soft behind me, I had to basically push flat out and it was a mentally difficult race as expected, and physically I was struggling too, but great fun out there.”

Ferrari super-sub Bearman ‘destroyed’ after points-scoring F1 debut in Jeddah

With the Briton currently competing in his second F2 campaign, he acknowledged that the performance shone a positive light on his skills.

"I think I put in a good showing for myself, which is the main thing right?” said Bearman. “It’s difficult circumstances, not a lot of laps on track, but I think I maximised everything today. I felt like I was a bit quicker than [Fernando] Alonso and [George] Russell in front, but not enough to catch, the gap was pretty big.

DRIVER OF THE DAY: Bearman wins by a landslide with P7 on debut for Ferrari in Jeddah

“I lost a lot of time trying to overtake [Nico] Hulkenberg, who used his experience to keep me back for a few more laps than he should have, so that’s my bad, but no, it was a good race.”

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain driving the (38) Ferrari SF-24

Bearman pulled off several overtakes en route to P7 in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

In terms of whether he might be expecting a sore neck on Sunday, Bearman answered: “I think especially my lower back and my neck, it’s hurting. These seats take a bit of fine-tuning, and as this is the first race, we didn’t really have time to focus on that.

“Not the most comfortable but I’m happy that we finished quickly. It was good motivation to finish the race quicker!”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Verstappen takes the win and Bearman shines

And on whether he feels ready to repeat this feat should another opportunity arise, the youngster added: “You tell me. Did I do enough?”

Amongst those watching Bearman’s performance from the Ferrari garage was Sainz, who had returned to the paddock after successfully undergoing surgery on Friday.

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