Ollie Bearman’s 2023 Formula 2 season might have featured some mistakes and missed opportunities, but also lots of speed, which is “encouraging” for mounting a title bid in 2024.
The Prema driver sat with Formula Scout at Monza, where he assessed his rookie season in the series and what it means for the future. Bearman has achieved four race victories and currently sits sixth in the standings ahead of the last round in Abu Dhabi.
“The facts are that the pace has always been there,” the Ferrari junior said. “I don’t see a weekend where I wasn’t fighting in the front of the field, but the results haven’t followed.
“Of course, I’m disappointed, but I didn’t really have any expectations leading into the season. I’ve learned a lot about myself this year and I’ve come a long way as a driver, so on that side it’s positive.
“I’m focusing on the process because that’s the best way to improve and if you are results driven, it can be unhealthy. I feel like every time I get in the car, I feel more confident and more comfortable, and it’s especially this kind of second half of the year, even if the results haven’t been there, I felt really good. It doesn’t show for anything, but it’s important.”
On what still needs to be improved, he said: “It’s a race by race thing. We find aspects that are weak or need work between races and I’m working on some things harder than others.
“But I do feel like, I mean, of course I’m the most complete driver I’ve ever been because I have the most experience and the most knowledge. I have probably regrets and things that I look back on that I’m not happy with or in the moment I didn’t make the right decision a lot of those. But it’s just a continuation, I think next year nothing really needs to change, I just need to put everything together and I know I can do that.
“On one side, I’m very happy because I feel like I’ve got a really strong relationship with the team, and we work really well together. My engineer knows exactly what I want, we have a good bond, we know each other well, so I’m really satisfied and happy with that.
“In terms of personal performance, you’re never happy, I’m never happy, like happy with myself. There’s always stuff to improve on. But you have to be constructive as well and be kind of optimistic instead of a pessimist because I believe in myself and I know what I’m capable of, and that’s also encouraging.”
Bearman will aim for the F2 crown in 2024, a season which could prove crucial in his pursuit of a Formula 1 career.
The Briton already enjoyed his maiden F1 free practice outing at the Mexico Grand Prix with Haas, having previously tested Ferrari’s SF-21 at Fiorano, and will get a second chance to impress in Abu Dhabi.