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Bearman in Barcelona FP1 duty as Haas consider him for 2025

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Ferrari protege Oliver Bearman will drive for Haas during the FP1 session for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix on Friday, as the American team considers the Englishman for a seat in the team next year.

With Nico Hulkenberg departing to Stake F1 Team Sauber (aka Audi) in 2025, a seat remains available at Haas. The smart money is on 18-year-old Bearman getting the drive, helped by a barter with Ferrari who supplies the team with Power Units.

The deal is on the table it appears, but yet to be confirmed according to the last soundbite from Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu: “We have Bearman joining us again for FP1, this time in place of Nico, so he can continue from where he left off in Imola.”

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During a recent interview, Komatsu told reporters: “Of course, we are considering him otherwise we wouldn’t let him do free practice in our car.”

As for a deadline to decide on the 2025 Haas F1 driver line-up, Komatsu told reporters: “I don’t really have a timeline. I’m just looking for the right driver. Someone with a lot of experience and the right attitude.”

One could argue that Bearman does not have the experience but has tons of potential as his cameo at the 2024 Saudi Grand Prix showed. A fine P7 after a last-minute call to replace Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who was hospitalised for an appendix operation.

Bearman seized the moment in unforgettable style. Finishing P7 that Sunday, he all but wrote his ticket into F1. Friday FP1 in Barcelona is another step in his journey to the top.

Haas confirmed in their Spanish GP preview: “Official Reserve Driver Oliver Bearman will return to the VF-24 for the second of his six planned FP1 outings in 2024. Ferrari Driver Academy member Bearman will replace Hulkenberg for the opening 60-minute session.”

Last year Bearman had two FP outings with Haas, in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi.