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Haas F1 Team

Haas facing ‘easy decision’ over Hulkenberg replacement

Haas is seeking a new driver for the 2025 Formula 1 season after Nico Hulkenberg accepted a move to join the Stake F1 squad in 2025 ahead of its transition to Audi.

To news overview © XPBimages

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has admitted it could be an “easy decision” to promote Oliver Bearman to a full-time drive in 2025.

The American Formula 1 squad is searching for a new driver after Nico Hulkenberg opted to sign for Stake F1 next year ahead of its transition to Audi.

Bearman is believed to be the favourite to replace the German driver and will carry out at least six FP1 outings with Haas this year - starting at Imola next month.

The 18-year-old made his unexpected race debut for Ferrari earlier this season when he was called up to replace an unwell Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia.

Bearman has already had outings with Haas, taking part in two FP1 sessions at the end of last year.

His drives impressed Haas at the time and the upcoming FP1 outings are seen as an additional chance to boost his prospects of a full-time drive for next year.

When asked by RacingNews365 if it would be an easy decision to field Bearman in 2025 if he continues to perform strongly during his FP1 outings, Komatsu said: “Yeah, of course.”

Despite the prospect of having Bearman in a seat for next year, Komatsu was adamant it will not change how Haas manages his practice outings.

“It doesn't change because you can't as a team, you've got an objective for that weekend, you have a clear idea of what you need to get out from FP1, FP2, FP3 to prepare for your quali and race. So that approach doesn't change.

"But it's more over does the driver understand that objective? Can he play a strong part in fulfilling that kind of objectives?

"If this young driver is only interested in, let's say, going flat out everywhere showing the world how quick he is - that's not really a mature approach.

"But Ollie is not like that. What Ollie's shown in Mexico and then Abu Dhabi, he's got the speed.

“He really understands the bigger picture, and he can play a positive part in contributing to the team. I would like to see the continuation of that.

"Also, at some stage he will face an issue; maybe you've got the car issue that maybe he loses half a session? How does he react to that? That kind of adversity. So that'd be an interesting one to see."

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