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Oliver Bearman

Haas: Bearman FP1 form more critical to F1 seat than F2 results

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has asserted that Oliver Bearman's performances in free practice sessions for the American squad will factor more heavily that his F2 season when assessing whether to give him an F1 drive.

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Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has said Oliver Bearman's six FP1 sessions will carry "more weight" than how he performs in F2 this year, when deciding if he will get a seat at Haas next season.

The 19-year-old made his F1 debut when he deputised for Carlos Sainz at Ferrari for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The PREMA driver impressed en route to finishing in seventh, having had just the one practice session to acclimatise before heading into qualifying.

Since then, the links to one of Haas' seats has intensified, but the Briton was already due to complete six FP1 sessions for the team in 2024 - three times the required two rookie outings.

"It is a combination; he needs to perform in F2, for sure," Komatsu told media including RacingNews365 when asked how he will evaluate Bearman when Haas finalises its driver line-up for 2025.

"But when we work with him directly, you understand all the ins and outs, all the environment or the reasoning for certain things happening.

"So yeah, I'd put probably more weight on what we do with him, how he performs in our environment. But of course he needs to perform in F2. That's clear."

Bearman is 'very impressive'

It had been contended that Bearman could be against Kevin Magnussen for the second Haas seat, with one of the two expected to partner Nico Hulkenberg in 2025. 

However, the German's move to Stake F1 means a Bearman-Magnussen line up is now thought to be the most likely outcome for the team next year.

The F2 driver will need to perform well-enough to retain his FIA super licence if he is to eligible enough to race in F1 next season.

"It's completely open," Komatsu replied when RacingNews365 asked if Bearman was in the primary position to get the Haas seat. 

"We've got six [FP1] sessions lined up for him, so we will see the first of that in Imola. We are really looking forward to see how we can develop him and how well we can work together.

"I've said it many times before, he is very impressive... I have nothing to complain [about]. It's a very good package [Haas and Bearman]." 

The 48-year-old went on to add that should Bearman keep up the levels of performance he has shown so far, it would "of course" be a logical decision to award him one of the Haas drives next season.

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