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Oliver Bearman

Bearman provides Haas seat update after Hulkenberg switch

Oliver Bearman is vying for an F1 seat with Haas next year, as a seat has opened up following Nico Hulkenberg's decision to depart the squad.

Bearman China
To news overview © XPBimages

Oliver Bearman has asserted he is “not entitled” to a Formula 1 drive despite being in a strong position to race for Haas next year.

A vacancy has appeared at the US-owned squad after Nico Hulkenberg signed for Stake ahead of its transition to Audi in 2026.

Bearman will step into the Haas car this weekend at Imola for the first of six FP1 outings he is due to have this season.

It marks his second F1 appearance of the year after he was called up to replace Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia after the Spaniard was diagnosed with appendicitis.

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu previously indicated that strong FP1 performances from Bearman would make it an easy decision to promote the Briton.

While the 19-year-old sees the outings as a chance to impress, he does not feel the seat is his for the taking. 

“Of course, I see it as my chance but just because there is a seat free doesn't mean I'm entitled to it,” Bearman told media including RacingNews365. 

“I still have to go out there and earn it through good performances in Formula 2 but even more so in the six FP1s that I'm doing.

“I have to perform well and show that I'm ready to jump into F1 next year. I haven't been set any goals.

“The pressure is mainly coming from myself because I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself.”

F2 title hopes

Bearman is racing full-time in the F2 championship with Prema as part of his 2024 programme, with his title bid dented after he was pulled out of the weekend in Jeddah.

However, the Briton is confident he can still compete for the championship as he aims to impress on his route to an F1 drive.

“Of course, I've been set back in F2 but everything is possible,” he said. 

“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. 

“I’m really motivated to do so. But these six FP1s are six great opportunities to prove my talent and what I can do.

“I don’t place any more weight on them than I do in F2 because you need to show that you can compete and race well. F1 is not just about doing the fastest lap, it's 50/50.”

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In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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