A Fast & Furious First F1 in Fiorano
British F2 star and Ferrari Academy driver Ollie Bearman completed his first ever laps in an F1 car as he prepares to drive for the Ferrari-powered Haas team during the upcoming Mexican and Abu Dhabi grand prix weekends in FP1.
Needing to complete 300 laps to qualify to participate in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, Ollie managed over 400 laps at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit. “Leaving the garage in a red car around a track like this was quite an emotional moment,” he said. “It’s a childhood dream fulfilled to drive an F1 car, I was really, really happy.”
“But then, you get round the first corner and you’re straight to work trying to understand what this car needs. I was really shocked at the speed of course, the acceleration is really amazing.”
With Aventum CEO – David Bearman and Ollie's Mum Terri watching trackside, it was a surreal day for the family, not least our sponsored superstar behind the wheel of the 2021 Ferrari F1 car.
“If you think I wasn’t excited, you’d be mistaken,” Ollie 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, I’m told my mother got quite excited when I drove out of the garage in the Ferrari.”
Having recently confirmed that he will return for a second season of F2 in 2024, Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has suggested that Ollie will also get all the necessary preparation in 2024 to ready himself for F1.
“The step is quite high with the F1, because we have no testing anymore, we have more and more sprint event with just one FP1, we have three tests during the winter, it means that it’s quite difficult to adapt to the F1 and the rookies are not always successful,” Vasseur told media during last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.
“I think Oscar [Piastri] did a very good job also because he had one year of preparation last year and he was already used to the F1. We have to prepare in advance and that's why we give him two FP1s this season with [Haas] and probably much more next year, we will prepare him for the future. So far, he’s doing a very good job in the junior series, but we know that it’s a long way.”
Don’t forget to tune in to watch Ollie in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, where he will also be returning to F2 racing for the final weekend of the season. All the action will be shown live on Sky Sports F1.