2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP3: Oliver Bearman Debuts With Max Top

Max Verstappen recorded the fastest time in the final practice session, after Zhou Guanyu experienced a significant accident, and Oliver Bearman drove for the first time with Ferrari.


By Ben Bush
Updated on March 9, 2024

Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari Reserve Driver 2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP3 Debut
Oliver Bearman (GBR), Ferrari – 2024 Saudi Arabian GP FP3 Debut

In the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix’s last practice session before qualifying, Max Verstappen led the timings while Oliver Bearman made his debut with Ferrari.

Bearman, a British driver aged 18, is filling in for Carlos Sainz for the rest of the weekend in Jeddah due to Sainz’s appendicitis requiring surgical intervention.

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Verstappen and Lance Stroll are historically the only F1 drivers to start their full F1 careers at a younger age, with Bearman now the youngest driver for Ferrari.

Early on, Bearman hit the track, focusing on gathering as much experience as possible on the medium tyres. He briefly led the timings ahead of Lewis Hamilton and finished the session in 10th position, narrowly trailing the session leader Verstappen by less than a second.

Verstappen, the current world champion and winner of the season’s opening race in Bahrain, registered a time of 1:28.412. His performance remained unbeaten in his final attempt during the session’s last five minutes, which was affected by Zhou Guanyu’s big accident at Turns Seven and Eight.

Following a ten-minute pause due to the accident, the session resumed, allowing most drivers to complete a single fast lap. Charles Leclerc finished a mere 0.196 seconds behind Verstappen, while Sergio Perez was within half a second of the lead.

Saudi Arabian GP FP3 Results

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, 8 March 2024

1) Max VerstappenRed Bull1:28.412
2) Charles LeclercFerrari+0.196
3) Sergio Perez Red Bull+0.494
4) George RussellMercedes+0.552
5) Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.559
6) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin+0.626
7) Lance Stroll Aston Martin+0.715
8) Oscar PiastriMcLaren+0.801
9) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes+0.856
10) Oliver Bearman Ferrari+0.894
11) Kevin Magnussen Haas+1.073
12) Pierre GaslyAlpine+1.134
13) Yuki TsunodaRB+1.160
14) Esteban Ocon Alpine+1.163
15) Nico HulkenbergHaas+1.263
16) Daniel RicciardoRB+1.328
17) Alexander AlbonWilliams+1.396
18) Valtteri BottasSauber+1.671
19) Zhou GuanyuSauber+2.327
20) Logan SargeantWilliamsNo Time

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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