Bearman Confirms Upcoming F1 Test Programme with Ferrari Alongside Haas FP1 Sessions

Bearman Confirms Upcoming F1 Test Programme with Ferrari Alongside Haas FP1 Sessions

Ollie Bearman in a Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy top

Prema F2 driver Ollie Bearman revealed that he has an ‘intensive test programme’ with Ferrari coming up in 2024 alongside his already announced set of six free practice 1 appearances with Haas in Formula One.

Ferrari junior Bearman, who finished sixth in his rookie FIA Formula 2 campaign last year, has been widely tipped as a driver who could appear on F1 grids in years to come, perhaps as soon as in 2025. The 18-year-old was named a reserve driver for both Ferrari and Haas earlier this year.

Bearman will get six FP1 appearances with the Ferrari-powered Haas outfit, which ran him in free practice sessions in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi last year. He will split his reserve duties at Haas with Pietro Fittipaldi, who has held a test and reserve role at the team since 2019 and who raced in two F1 grands prix at the end of 2020.

Bearman will participate in the FP1 sessions in Imola, Barcelona, Silverstone, Budapest, Mexico City and Abu Dhabi. All of those rounds bar Mexico City also host F2 weekends, meaning Bearman will drive in two different categories on the same day, as he did at last year’s F2 season finale.

Since 2022, F1 teams have been required to run drivers with no more than two F1 races under their belt in at least two FP1 sessions. Granting Bearman six FP1 appearances is thus a major indicator of Haas’ confidence in the abilities of Bearman, who has been a member of the Ferrari’s junior driver academy since late 2021.

The last non-regular driver to complete that many F1 free practice sessions in a single season was Nicholas Latifi, who entered six sessions for Williams in 2019 in the year before he stepped up to a full-time race seat.

Bearman’s Ferrari reserve role will be shared with former Alfa Romeo F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi and 2021 F2 runner-up Robert Shwartzman, who both served as reserve drivers in 2023. Ferrari have not yet announced whether Bearman will enter any free practice sessions for the team in 2024.

Shortly after taking pole position Thursday afternoon for the second F2 round of 2024 at Jeddah, Bearman spoke to InsideF2 about his upcoming F1 opportunities in the post-qualifying press conference.

“First of all, it’s really good news, to get my foot in the door of the F1 world,” the Briton said.

“The FP1s aren’t for a while, so I’ve still got time to focus on F2, which is of course my main commitment. Eventually I’ll have to do the FPs, but it’s a fantastic opportunity. I hope to make the most of it and see it as a positive.”

In F2, Bearman said, “We get very limited track time. I get quite a few laps more, so I aim to make the most of that even if it’s a different car.

“And it’s been really nice to get to know the engineers in both Ferrari and Haas. They’ve definitely helped me. Also, I have a pretty intensive test programme coming up with Ferrari as well, which is helpful as well. More laps is always a good thing.”

Bearman did not specify the exact nature of his forthcoming testing programme with Ferrari. Notably, though, the testing of previous cars regulations permitting the use of F1 machinery from at least two years ago in private testing means that Bearman can now drive the Ferrari F1-75 raced in 2022, the first F1 season under the premier category’s current aerodynamic philosophy. The new F2 car introduced this season mirrors the design approach seen in the current generation of F1 cars.

Four days after being named a Ferrari reserve, Bearman drove the F1-75 on the final day of a three-day Pirelli tyre test in late January at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. New Ferrari development driver Arthur Leclerc, who finished 15th in his rookie F2 campaign last year, drove the F1-75 on the first day of the test, which also featured race drivers Charles Leclerc – Arthur’s older brother – and Carlos Sainz Jr behind the wheel of the SF23 raced last year.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy is your home for Formula 2

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Ollie Bearman in a Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy top