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Guenther Steiner

Steiner warns Bearman of 'harder' fight ahead

Haas has confirmed Ferrari DriverAacademy star Oliver Bearman for 2025.

Oliver Bearman
To news overview © XPBimages

Guenther Steiner is confident Oliver Bearman is "ready" for life as an F1 driver but has warned the young Briton a tough task awaits him. 

It was announced by Steiner's former team Haas on Thursday morning ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix that Bearman had been signed on a multi-year contract from 2025.

Bearman is the first driver to be confirmed by the American outfit for next season, with his promotion from F2 expected after his stellar free practice appearances and seventh-place finish on race debut with Ferrari in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier this year.

Steiner gave Bearman his F1 debut in first practice last season in Mexico, with the former team principal expecting the 19-year-old to do very well.

"I think he'll be good, how good is always to be tested," Steiner told select media, including RacingNews365

"But if you look, I think the last two rookies who are very good are Lando [Norris] and [Oscar] Piastri at McLaren. They did very good them picking them. 

"But you never knew how good they are going to be when they get into it. Ollie has already had a few FP1s last year. As a human being, he is very mature, a very nice guy. I think he's ready for Formula 1." 

Haas challenge

Whilst Bearman demonstrated his talent in Saudi Arabia, the young Briton had one of the strongest cars on the grid at his disposal. 

Steiner recognises it will be a much tougher challenge for the Ferrari Driver Academy star to score points for Haas, a midfield outfit at best. 

The big question surrounding Bearman is if he can deliver performances regularly, as he did in Saudi Arabia where he did not put a wheel out of place. 

"Can he do the last five per cent?" questioned Steiner. "Again, we need to find out when he's in the car. He did very well on his debut with Ferrari, just jumping in, but it's a different thing to be in a very good car and finish seventh, and being in a midfield car and trying to get into the points. It's a harder fight.

"I don't want to take anything away from him because, for me, the most important thing was when he debuted, he didn't make any mistakes. 

"He was very calm and attentive. It was the same when he did FP1 last year. He never tried to overdo it. 

"I spoke to him before and I said the worst thing you can do is go out there and have a crash because everybody will remember you for that one, not what can do. In an Fp1, you can destroy your. You cannot make it."

Steiner was speaking at a select media event as the new brand ambassador of Buffalo Trace.

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