Vasseur left speechless by ‘faultless’ Bearman: ‘To my own surprise I asked if he wanted to push’

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Vasseur left speechless by 'faultless' Bearman: 'To my own surprise I asked if he wanted to push'

Ferrari team boss Frédéric Vasseur was very impressed with the flawless Oliver Bearman who replaced Carlos Sainz at Ferrari this weekend. After the race in Jeddah, the Frenchman already praised the rookie who crossed the line in seventh place, and he has a few more things to add.

Bearman received a call from Ferrari on Friday afternoon asking if he wanted to jump into Sainz’s car, as the Spaniard had to undergo surgery for an appendix infection. The Briton had achieved pole position in Formula 2 the day before, and was given an opportunity that few drivers get: making his debut at Ferrari. “I think, like everyone else, that Ollie delivered a fantastic weekend,” Vasseur told ‘This is not a circuit like Barcelona. The challenge was huge, but he already did well in FP3, and in qualifying too,” says the Frenchman.

Bearman already impressed the Ferrari team boss ahead of the race, but he was still a little tense for the 18-year-old before the race. ‘Because you have to manage so much, such as the starting procedure, the pit stops, the steering wheel. That is not easy,” Vasseur explains. ‘We have experienced this situation before with young drivers. Not so much at Ferrari, but in general. It’s not easy to get up to speed. The fact that he completed a short weekend without two free practice sessions without making a single mistake is unreal to me. This, between the walls of Jeddah and starting straight away in qualifying, really made an impression on me.’

Text continues below the photo.

oliver bearman ferrari saudi arabia 4
The 18-year-old left a fantastic impression. (Photo: Ferrari F1 Media)

Bearman managed to stay ahead of Norris and Hamilton

The 18-year-old was under pressure from fellow countrymen Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton towards the final phase of the race. The seven-time world champion was chasing the McLaren driver, and Bearman saw them growing bigger in his mirrors. ‘In the end he managed very well. To my own surprise, I asked him if he could push a little harder and that he didn’t have to be conservative as he was clear,” says Vasseur.

There were a lot of expectations for Bearman, who did very well in Formula 2 last year and wants to go for the title this year. The Brit was also the youngest driver ever to make his debut for Ferrari, so he was under enormous pressure. Regardless, he managed to cross the line in seventh place. ‘In the end he managed to switch things off and focus on what was important.’

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