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Oliver Bearman

Why Hamilton was 'pulling' Bearman out of Ferrari

The Ferrari stand-in recorded points in his debut race in Saudi Arabia - and received praise from Lewis Hamilton.

Bearman Saudi Hamilton
To news overview © XPBimages

Oliver Bearman has praised Lewis Hamilton for his "recognition" after scoring points on his debut in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Bearman was one of only two drivers to start on the Soft tyres, along with Valtteri Bottas, and held position in the opening laps, battling with Yuki Tsunoda's RB.

On the Safety Car restart, he lunged past the Japanese driver at turn one to climb into the top 10, which would eventually become seventh on the road after Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg all finally pitted after running long.

Bearman was seven seconds up the road from Norris and Hamilton after their stops but despite the duo slowly eating into his advantage, he took seventh for six points and became the first Briton to score points on debut since Paul di Resta at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix.

He is also the 68th driver to score points on debut, and the highest-placed finisher to do so since Felipe Nasr took fifth in four years after di Resta.

After the race, he was greeted and embraced by Hamilton in parc ferme, with the younger Briton just a one-year-old when Hamilton made his F1 debut.

"I am quite young, so that's cool," Bearman told media including RacingNews365.

"I grew up watching these guys fighting and I didn't fight with them, but it was a pleasure to share the track with them.

"It was a pleasure to have that recognition.[Hamilton] was basically pulling me out of the car, I was struggling a bit, it was really physical.

"But with a race like this, it is one of the lowest degradation tracks of the season and one of the highest lateral Gs, so you're pretty much doing 50 qualifying laps.

"Surprisingly, [I was not nervous] - it was the same as any other race.

"Once the lights turned on, the procedure is a bit different with a race start [compared to F2], but once the lights are on, you're focusing on what is around you and I think we did a pretty good job."

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