Ferrari logo

    Oliver Bearman’s debut in a Formula 1 car: more than 400 kilometres in an SF21

    At the Fiorano track today, Oliver Bearman drove a Formula 1 car for the very first time.

    Fiorano 11 ottobre 2023

    At the Fiorano track today, Oliver Bearman drove a Formula 1 car for the very first time. The Ferrari Driver Academy student completed more than 400 kilometres at the wheel of the car raced two seasons ago, the SF21, as part of his preparation for when he drives the Ferrari-powered Haas VF-23 in the first free practice session for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

    Unforgettable feeling. Oliver turned up bright and early at the track for the pre-test briefing to go through the day’s programme. Top of the agenda was completing the 300 kilometres required in order to get behind the wheel at an official round of the world championship, while also doing laps simulating qualifying and race conditions. Bearman immediately delivered precise feedback to the engineers, with a mature approach belying the fact he only turned 18 in May. Oliver’s parents were on hand to witness the event and Oliver admitted that there had been a few nerves. “If you think I wasn’t excited, you’d be mistaken,” he said. “I can’t deny that last night I struggled to get to sleep. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this day, with my parents on hand and I’m told my mother got quite excited when I drove out of the garage in the Ferrari.”

    Amazing grip. Commenting on the technical aspects of the day, Oliver had this to say: “the engineers guided me step by step for the first few laps, then as I gained confidence in the car I started to really enjoy it. I was prepared for the enormous amount of power on hand, as I had already driven a Formula 1 car on the simulator. But what really surprised me was the level of grip, which is harder to feel sitting in the sim and it’s crazy when compared to the amount you have with the Formula 2 car I’m racing at the moment. The other surprising thing is the level of downforce on these cars, it’s just incredible. Thank you to the Scuderia for making me feel part of the group right away and everyone at Ferrari who made this unforgettable day possible.

    Young and fast. Born in 2005 in Chelmsford, UK, this is Oliver’s second year with the Ferrari Driver Academy, which he joined after winning the 2021 FDA Scouting World Finals, when he outshone the rest of a talented bunch from around the word. That same year, he made a name for himself when he won the Italian and German Formula 4 championships with no fewer than 17 wins (11 in Italy, six in Germany). In 2022, he raced in Formula 3 with the Prema team, finishing third in the championship with one win. He made his Formula 2 debut this year, again with Prema, and with just one round remaining in Abu Dhabi, he currently has four wins, the second highest number of any driver in the series, with three of those victories coming in the Feature Race. Oliver is currently sixth in the standings and after driving the Haas VF-23 in Mexico, he will once again tackle a free practice session with the team in Abu Dhabi, where he will have a busy weekend with Formula 2 also on his timetable. 

    Ollie’s first F1 driver here

    Oliver Bearman Newscut here