Bearman Opens up on F1 Practice Debut and 2023 Season

Bearman Opens up on F1 Practice Debut and 2023 Season

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Ollie Bearman will stay with Prema for a second year in FIA Formula 2 after a great campaign in 2023 where he was the only driver to win both races in a round, which he achieved in Baku. 

During post season testing, insideF2 spoke to the Ferrari Academy driver about his F1 experience with Haas in testing, what he learned in his rookie season and a little bit about the 2024 Formula 2 car and what he is expecting. 

Bearman looked back on his season and noted one aspect in particular which he wants to improve before F2 starts again in March:

“Honestly, comparing myself to when I was in this position a year ago, I’m a completely different driver. Obviously, I’m a better driver and I have more experience in F2 but also mentally, I feel like I’ve come a long way this year.

“It’s been a year of ups and downs and there are a few good moments but also a lot of bad moments and that’s ultimately why I wasn’t further up the final order. 

“I would say the consistency is the easier thing to work on. Pace is something that if it isn’t there, it’s difficult to work on. We’ve shown [the pace] was pretty good all year so that’s positive and for next year the goal is clear and the way to go about it is also clear, which is important.”

In the final round, Bearman seemingly struggled to show his usual form and only managed to qualify 17th. This put him on the back foot for both the Sprint Race and the Feature Race, meaning he came home with no points.

In Abu Dhabi Bearman made his F1 debut with Haas in FP1, just before F2’s Qualifying session. He admitted to us that he found the switch, ‘difficult’ but made sure to put everything right in the post season test where he drove the Haas again on Tuesday, before swapping back to his Prema on the Wednesday:

“Jumping back and forth from the F1 [car] was difficult and I wanted to have a sanity check because I got another opportunity to do it after the full day on Tuesday [at the F1 test with Haas] and then jumping back in the F2 on Wednesday. That was nice. I kind of took the learnings from what went wrong and managed to put it right on Wednesday.”

Next year, Formula 2 drivers will compete in a brand new Dallara. The changes to the car will be mainly aerodynamic, rather than mechanical. We asked Bearman what he makes of the changes:

“It looks really cool .It’s nice to get an updated car and a new thing to learn. Aerodynamically, it looks a bit different, I’m not sure if it will be better or worse.”

The season will start in Bahrain, along with F1. Free Practice will commence on the 29th February.

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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