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Oliver Bearman

The text and hug from two F1 legends that made Ferrari debut extra special for Bearman

Oliver Bearman made his Formula 1 debut in Saudi Arabia last weekend, standing in for an unwell Carlos Sainz at Ferrari.

Oliver Bearman has revealed he received a text from four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel before taking part in his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix, and then a hug after from Lewis Hamilton.

Bearman was called up by the Italian outfit after full-time driver Carlos Sainz was diagnosed with appendicitis.

The Briton qualified in 11th place before impressing during the race, rising to seventh at the chequered flag to take home six championship points.

In receiving various messages throughout the weekend, Bearman admitted one in particular stood out.

“I did get a lot of congratulations and also good luck messages before the race,” Bearman said.

“My favourite one was from Sebastian Vettel. I’m a huge fan of his since the early days.

“I was, up until he retired, always rooting for Seb, so to get a message from him was really special.

“To know that he was kind of watching put a bit of pressure on, but it was a nice pressure.

“And I got a hug from Lewis as well after the race. That was nice that he recognised the race for me. That was a proud moment for myself.”

'Proud' to make F1 debut for Ferrari

At 18 years of age, Bearman is the youngest driver since Lance Stroll in 2017 to make his race debut

The PREMA F2 driver became the third-youngest to take part in a grand prix behind Max Verstappen and Stroll, and is also Ferrari's youngest-ever competitor.

“It’s a childhood dream come true, to make my debut in a Ferrari,” Bearman added.

“It’s an incredible achievement and I’m very proud of that. To become the youngest British driver, that’s quite a statement as well.

“I was the third youngest driver ever, which is pretty awesome. I’m on the podium!”

Bearman is now being linked to a full-time drive for the 2025 F1 campaign, which will follow his second season in the F2 category.

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