Lewis Hamilton makes Oliver Bearman prediction after ‘phenomenal’ F1 debut

Lewis Hamilton has heaped praise on Oliver Bearman for his performance on his last-minute F1 debut for Ferrari.

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari Reserve Driver on the drivers' parade.
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and Oliver Bearman (GBR)…

Lewis Hamilton has lauded Oliver Bearman’s F1 debut at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as “phenomenal” and believes the British teenager will be a “future star” of the sport.

The 18-year-old became the youngest Briton to start a grand prix in a hugely impressive F1 bow in Saudi Arabia, having stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Ferrari regular Carlos Sainz, who was ruled out with appendicitis.

Bearman qualified 11th on the grid despite having just a single hour of practice to familiarise himself with Ferrari’s F1 car, before going on to score points with an outstanding drive to seventh place in Jeddah.

The Ferrari super-sub held off fellow Brit Lando Norris and also finished ahead of seven-time world champion Hamilton, who praised the youngster's display. 

"To be pulled out of your class and put straight into a Ferrari, a top team, and have to go straight into practice without long runs and all those sort of things, I think he did such a phenomenal job this weekend and it just shows that he's really a bright future star,” said Hamilton, who is leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari in 2025.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also heaped praise on Bearman, hailing the F2 racer’s substitute performance as “incredible”.

“Everybody has noticed how talented he is,” Leclerc added. “And I guess it's just a matter of time before he comes here in Formula 1.”

Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari SF-24 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah,
Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari SF-24 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World…

Bearman told BBC East that earning a permanent F1 seat in 2025, most likely with Haas, would fulfil a “childhood dream”.

"That's a childhood dream that I would love to realise,” Bearman admitted. “I need to keep pushing in F2 to make sure that I can get that F1 seat - that's my main goal for this year.

"I need to keep up the good work and not let any of this faze me because you're only as good as your last race.”

Bearman is in action for Ferrari on Wednesday at Fiorano, taking part in a “previous car testing programme” using the team’s 2022 SF-75 car.

Ferrari have not yet confirmed who will partner Leclerc at the Australian Grand Prix next week, but Sainz is targeting a return in Melbourne.

“Obviously now my focus is on recovering and trying to be ready, as you can imagine, for the next race,” the Spaniard said. "It will not be easy, it will be tight, but I think I can hopefully make it.”

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