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Bearman does first F1 test with Ferrari at Fiorano

by Peter Allen

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari’s Formula 2 star Ollie Bearman completed his first Formula 1 test at the team’s Fiorano circuit on Wednesday.

His first ever F1 laps came behind the wheel of the SF-21 car from the 2021 season as he prepares to drive in free practice with the Ferrari-powered Haas team during the upcoming Mexican and Abu Dhabi grand prix weekends.

Ferrari said he completed more than 400 kilometres, exceeding the 300 required to qualify to take part in an official F1 session.

“Leaving the garage in a red car around a track like this, it was quite an emotional moment,” he said. “It’s a childhood dream fulfilled to drive an F1 car, I was really, really happy.

“But then, you get round the first corner and you’re straight to work trying to understand what this car needs. I was really shocked at the speed of course, the acceleration is really amazing.”

Bearman was signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy after winning the German and Italian Formula 4 titles in 2021, and last year he finished third in FIA Formula 3. He’s sixth in the F2 standings with one round left of his rookie campaign, having claimed four victories.

Both Bearman and Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur have confirmed he will return for a second season of F2 in 2024, and Vasseur has suggested he will also get ‘much more’ in the way of opportunities next year to prepare for F1.

“The step is quite high with the F1, because we have no testing anymore, we have more and more sprint event with just one FP1, we have three tests during the winter, it means that it’s quite difficult to adapt to the F1 and the rookies not always successful,” Vasseur told media during last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.

“I think Oscar [Piastri] did a very good job also because he had one year of preparation last year and he was already used to the F1. And we have to prepare in advance and it’s why we give him two FP1s this season with [Haas] and probably much more next year and we will prepare him for the future. So far, he’s doing a very good job in the junior series but we know that it’s a long way.”