Ollie Bearman has explained how he is approaching his rookie Formula 2 season, with progress as a driver taking priority over results for the Ferrari junior.
The Prema driver said he and Ferrari do not have a target position in the standings to be in by the end of the season, and affirmed he is “not really” feeling any pressure to perform straight away in F2.
“I just try to keep the same approach as I did last year in Formula 3, it seemed to work quite well,” he said in a media session at F2’s Jeddah round. “[I] try to keep improving race by race and sooner rather than later, we’ll be there fighting up the front, I have no doubt.”
Said approach was fruitful for Bearman in 2022 as he finished third in the FIA F3 standings as a rookie, just seven points behind champion Victor Martins.
“I don’t feel any external pressure or pressure from myself to do an amazing job. I just do my best and just keep improving. That’s the main thing and that’s my approach for the season.”
Formula Scout asked Bearman whether there were, nevertheless, any specific goals he or Ferrari had set in terms of results. His response stressed the importance of keeping a steady progress all-season long.
“I think the mutual goal between us is not position-based or performance-based, let’s say. It’s just to improve my skills as a driver,” he said. “Of course, that’s the goal of anything. But also just to keep improving my level in the F2 car each weekend.
“It’s the same kind of goal we had in F3. I think it’s a bit silly to kind of look for top three, top five in the championship because, like we saw, it’s quite a crazy championship. It’s very up and down, it’s tough to do consistent results. There are a lot of things out of your control, which can hamper your results. I would say my goal is just to keep improving my level, and never make the same mistake twice, stuff like that.
“It sounds a bit silly, but it’s not kind of results-based, it’s more personal performance-based.
In previous years, Ferrari Driver Academy members racing in F2 enjoyed several days of private Formula 1 testing with Ferrari. Questioned on whether it would happen for him this year, Bearman replied he had “no idea” and that F1 mileage was not on his radar yet.
“I haven’t discussed anything about F1. I’m still an F2 driver, and I’m just starting out in F2. It’s a bit of a way away yet, I think the best thing for me is just to focus on my F2 campaign and do as well as I can in that.”
The 17-year-old currently sits 16th in the F2 standings after four races, with one point to his name. After struggling with tyres at Bahrain, he was far more competitive in Jeddah but was denied a chance at sprint race victory after Theo Pourchaire crashed him out.