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Oliver Bearman

How Bearman is preparing for his F1 debut with Ferrari

Oliver Bearman was thrown into the deep end on Friday in Saudi Arabia when Ferrari called him up to replace an unwell Carlos Sainz in Jeddah.

To news overview © XPBimages

Oliver Bearman will endure one of the toughest tests of his career on Saturday when he climbs behind the wheel of the SF-24 Ferrari car and takes part in his very first Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Bearman's rapid ascension from his maiden single-seater experience to his F1 debut is fitting, given how quickly the situation developed for him in Saudi Arabia.

The Briton was told just mere hours before the start of FP3 that he would be replacing Carlos Sainz, who was brought to the hospital for surgery after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

After clocking 21 laps in preparation for qualifying, Bearman ticked the first box by keeping the car out of the walls, which is by no means an easy feat around the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“Fred [Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal] doesn't say much but what he says, he means,” Bearman told media including RacingNews365 after qualifying.

“He was very clear to me that I have to build it up step by step. Don't try to be a hero, especially after FP3, which was already a good session. His goal for me was just to keep going like that and build it up step by step.”

Bearman breezed through the first elimination period and just fell short of reaching Q3, settling for 11th on the grid.

Saturday's race will consist of many unknowns for the 18-year-old, including race start and pit stop procedures - factors that are crucial for the final outcome of the race.

“I'll sleep well first of all, I have to because it's a long race tomorrow, my longest race by far,” Bearman said, looking ahead to the Grand Prix. “Let's see how that goes.”

But Friday evening and the Saturday build-up marked crucial periods for Bearman to get on top of the systems in place at Ferrari in order to become a well-oiled machine in race trim.

“Of course [there's] a lot of a lot of stuff to go through [such as] analysis, especially of the longer runs in FP3 that I did and stuff like starts, pitstops procedures. [Things] that I haven't had time to work on.”

Having had just one practice start inside the Ferrari car, Bearman will get to have a couple of more attempts on his reconnaissance laps before the real thing - but they will be in the midst of the rest of the preparation, with plenty of other details being fed to him in tangent.

“I would have liked a few more [practice starts] but it was better than zero. A lot of analysis to do overnight.

“It will be a busy night. Hopefully, I'll try and get a good eight hours [sleep] in there as well.”

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Bearman has already displayed confidence around the circuit after sticking his Formula 2 machine on pole position earlier in the weekend - doesn't that feel like a lifetime ago?

Aside from the physical challenge that the F1 race will present, the long stint of a Grand Prix will test Bearman's mental strength and concentration, as the Jeddah track is more punishing than most.

“It's a big step from F2 in terms of physicality but I always felt prepared to make my debut,” Bearman asserted.

“That’s what I've been training for in case this F1 opportunity comes up and it finally has. So hopefully I can make it stick and do a good job.

“That's my goal, no mistakes and build it up. Get to the end, avoid any carnage, build up some experience for myself and hopefully bring back some points.”

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