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F1 news

The Ferrari prospect looking to mirror Piastri's F1 path

Oscar Piastri enjoyed a strong rookie campaign in Formula 1 as he was able to undertake extensive private testing before jumping into the race seat. With the preparation proving important, a young prospect of Ferrari is looking to match the Australian's progression.

Bearman
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Prior to taking part in his rookie Formula 1 season, Oscar Piastri gained valuable experience by taking part in private tests with Alpine.

His F1 opportunity would ultimately come with McLaren but it was extensive outings that he took on with Alpine that brought him up to speed with the ins and outs of an F1 car.

Testing chances are limited for rookie drivers as F1 has dialled back the number of test days during a year by reducing pre-season testing and eliminating in-season opportunities altogether.

But a new rule that has been introduced to help rookies gain experience is two mandatory FP1 outings per team during the year.

It's a regulation that played into the hands of Ferrari Driver Academy prospect Oliver Bearman, who took part in his first F1 test with Ferrari earlier this year before making his FP1 debut with Haas at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old returned behind the wheel of the Haas car in Abu Dhabi for another FP1 outing and also took part in the post-season test with the team, having concluded his maiden season in Formula 2.

It was a highly successful F2 campaign for Bearman as four race wins and one further podium resulted in sixth place in the championship standings.

However, while F2 success can put your name on the radar, Bearman believes that Piastri's extensive test programme on the build-up to his F1 debut helped him forge a successful rookie campaign.

“He showed that preparation is really important,” Bearman told media including RacingNews365.com. “Once you join F1, you're going up against guys with a lot of races under their belt.

“Coming in as a rookie is a difficult job. So it's something that we've thought about.

“It will be really important that before I start an F1 campaign, I need to be really prepared.

“Hopefully that looks like more FP1s and maybe some private testing as well but I don't have any say on that.

“But in an ideal world, that was that would be how I approach an F1 season.”

Testing a current car

F1's testing regulations dictate that a car must be at least two years old before it can be used in private outings.

As a result, the current generation of car that came into play as part of the 2022 regulations overhaul will be available for testing next year, allowing Bearman a chance to get experience in up-to-date machinery.

“I tested the 2021 [Ferrari] car, it's still an F1 car, I think it's even a little bit faster than the current generation,” he said.

“But the fact that from next year, you can use the 2022 cars will be really helpful because it's the same generation of car and not much has changed since then.

“So that's, that's good to know. And hopefully we can make use of that.”

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