Written by Ria Ann Sam, Edited by Hugh W
A rookie Formula 2 driver for Prema with four wins and recently announced as a Haas test driver, who is Oliver Bearman, and how did he get to where he is today?
Oliver (Ollie) Bearman is a British 18-year-old rookie driver in the Formula 2 Championship for the Prema team, alongside Mercedes Junior Driver Frederik Vesti. He has won the 2021 Italian Formula 4, as well as the 2021 ADAC F4 Championship, and come third in FIA Formula 3.
The Briton currently sits sixth on the F2 points table, only one point behind fifth, and 61 points off first place. With only one more race left on the F2 calendar in Abu Dhabi, it will definitely be very exciting to see where the Brit will finish in the Championship.
Some highlights from this season include his wins at both the Spanish and Italian feature races, the latter where he was met with thunderous applause and celebrations, winning as a Ferrari Academy Driver — a home race of sorts for him.
His maiden win this year — arguably his most glorious win – was at Azerbaijan where he not only won the feature race, but also the Sprint race, came first in qualifying, and topped Free Practice, leading to the nickname “Azer-bear-jan”. Due to these wins, as well as scoring relatively consistently, Bearman has become a favourite, especially amongst the other rookies.
Many fans like Ollie Bearman due to his powerful driving and charming personality, and some are even going as far to compare him to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc as the two share similar traits — let's just hope he doesn’t have the same bad luck as the Monegasque!
Excitingly, Bearman will get his first taste of Formula 1 when he drives in the first practice sessions for Haas in both the Mexican and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He recently had his first drive in an F1 car in the SF-21 Ferrari as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He has been quoted saying
“I am so happy to be joining MoneyGram Haas F1 Team driving in Mexico and Abu Dhabi,” and team principal Guenther Steiner said “we look forward to welcoming Oliver into the team.”
During FP1 in Mexico, Bearman was not the only F2 driver to drive in F1. Isack* Hadjar* drove for Alpha Tauri in place of Yuki Tsunoda, Jack Doohan replaced Pierre Gasly at Alpine, Bearman’s teammate Frederik Vesti drove for Mercedes in place of George Russell.
Theo Pourchaire (currently leading the F2 standings) too drove four laps in Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo before pulling into the garage almost immediately.
Among these F2 drivers, Bearman finished highest in 15th.
Hopefully we will get to see Bearman officially in F1 soon, but until then, he will be taking up reserve driver roles at Haas, and will be driving in the FP1 session on Friday, 24th November, at Abu Dhabi.