Home Formula 1 Bearman to make F1 race debut with Ferrari in Jeddah after Sainz falls ill

Bearman to make F1 race debut with Ferrari in Jeddah after Sainz falls ill

by Ida Wood

Photo: Prema

Ollie Bearman will make his Formula 1 race debut in this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, replacing an ill Carlos Sainz Jr at Ferrari.

At the start of this year Bearman became one of Ferrari’s reserve drivers, having been a member of its young driver development programme since 2022 and having completed his first F1 test with the team last October.

He then drove for Ferrari’s engine customer Haas in two F1 practice sessions at the end of 2023, and this year will make six practice outings with the team and also be its reserve driver.

Ferrari announced Bearman’s race call-up before the third practice session of the weekend in Saudi began via a tweet:

Carlos Sainz has been diagnosed with appendicitis and will require surgery. As from FP3 and for the rest of this weekend, he will be replaced by reserve driver Oliver Bearman. Oliver will therefore take no further part in this round of the F2 championship. The Ferrari family wishes Carlos a speedy recovery.

Bearman is currently in his second season of Formula 2 with Prema, and the day before being called up had taken pole on the Jeddah track for F2’s grand prix-supporting feature race. Now he will have to miss the rest of the weekend, meaning Virtuosi Racing’s Kush Maini provisionally inherits pole for that race and Campos Racing’s Pepe Marti starts on reversed-grid pole for the sprint race.

“What an opportunity, Ollie!” Prema said in a team statement. “While we are sad to withdraw the #3 car that was starting from pole at Jeddah, we are delighted to see Ollie make his F1 debut in a Ferrari!”