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Bearman wants to be back in F1 ‘as quickly as possible’ as he prepares for Imola FP1 outing

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IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 16: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain and Haas F1 talks with his team in the

Oliver Bearman is hopeful that he can return to the F1 grid “as quickly as possible” following his impressive performance as a substitute for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia, with the teenager set to make the first of several upcoming FP1 outings for Haas during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.

Bearman scored points by finishing P7 on his Formula 1 debut when he stepped in for Carlos Sainz at the last minute in Jeddah, after the latter underwent surgery for appendicitis. Since then the Briton has been back in action in Formula 2, where he currently sits in P19 of the drivers’ standings.

TIMELINE: Ollie Bearman’s ‘whirlwind’ 24 hours in Jeddah that saw him go from F2 pole to F1 debut

While he will be racing again in the category at Imola, Bearman will also step into the Haas F1 car for Friday’s opening practice session, marking one of six FP1 appearances he is due to make in 2024.

When speaking to the media ahead of the weekend’s track action getting underway, Bearman was quizzed on how difficult it had been to switch his focus back to F2 following his Formula 1 success in Saudi Arabia.

“Of course it was difficult because it was such a whirlwind – driving for Ferrari, it’s a childhood dream come true,” the 19-year-old commented. “Also becoming the youngest Ferrari driver [ever], that was quite an incredible moment.

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 16: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain and Haas F1 has a seat fitting in the garage

Bearman is preparing to participate in FP1 for Haas during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend

“In general that weekend was a dream come true. Going back to F2, it was kind of like going back home. I had a taste of the amazing life in F1. If anything it motivated me more – I want to come back to F1 as quickly as possible.

“It was difficult to come back [to F2], but if anything I’m more motivated now and [I’ve] got more hunger to come back.”

TREMAYNE: Bearman’s F1 debut was one of the most accomplished and impressive I’ve witnessed in 36 years of F1 reporting

Bearman was also asked about the possibility of acting as a substitute again should Kevin Magnussen receive a race ban, with the Dane currently just two penalty points away from this possibility.

“I’m going to be in Canada as a reserve for Ferrari, but I’m also a reserve for Haas,” he explained. “I’m ready – I showed in Saudi that I’m ready – so if I get the call, I’ll happily jump in.

“Of course it’s never the way you want to do a race if something like that happens, but if it is the case, if it does happen, then I’ll happily oblige.”

While Bearman’s focus is for now performing well in FP1, speculation is continuing over the driver market for 2025. Haas have yet to confirm their line-up for next season, and Bearman acknowledges that his practice outings offer a further chance to prove his potential.

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

Bearman impressed during his F1 debut with Ferrari in Saudi Arabia

“I see it as of course my chance,” he added. “But just because there is a seat free, it doesn't mean that I'm entitled to it. I still have to go out there and earn it through good performances in F2, but even more so the six FPs that I'm doing. I have to perform well and show that I'm ready to jump into F1 next year.”

Stepping in for Sainz in Jeddah resulted in Bearman having to forgo his Formula 2 duties on that occasion, a weekend in which he had qualified on pole position before being called up to F1.

NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

While this contributed towards his slip down the championship order in F2, the youngster insists that he is placing equal focus on performing well both in this category as well as his FP1 runs.

“Of course I've been set back in F2 but that doesn't mean… everything is possible, first of all,” he conceded. “Now we're in the European season where we know the tracks, we have understood the car a bit better, so I don't see any reason we can't fight for the championship in F2, and I'm really motivated to do so.

“But these six FPs are of course six great opportunities to prove my talent and what I can do. I don't place any more weight on them than I do on the F2 because of course you need to show that you can compete and race well. F1 is not just about doing the fastest lap, so [it’s] 50-50.”

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