Bearman Overcomes Exhaustion for Impressive Points Finish

After an intense first F1 race at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Oliver Bearman shared how physically taxing the race was.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Updated on March 11, 2024

Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari Debut 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari Debut – 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Making a sudden entry into Ferrari’s lineup for the Jeddah Corniche Circuit race due to Carlos Sainz’s unexpected appendicitis, teenager Oliver Bearman showcased his racing prowess.

Starting from eleventh position, Bearman made his way through the pack with commendable overtakes against competitors like Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg.

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Throughout the race, the 18-year-old managed to keep his cool and fend off challenges from Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, who were closing in with fresher tyres. His resilience paid off, earning him a seventh-place finish and six points in his inaugural Formula 1 appearance.

When asked about his physical state post-race, Bearman remarked, “Destroyed. Physically it was a really difficult race! Especially in the end, when I had the two guys on soft behind me, I had to basically push flat out and it was a mentally difficult race as expected, and physically I was struggling too, but great fun out there.”

Despite this being only his second season in F2, Bearman’s performance in Saudi Arabia has highlighted his potential and skill, earning him positive recognition in the paddock.

“I think I put in a good showing for myself, which is the main thing right?” said Bearman. “It’s difficult circumstances, not a lot of laps on track, but I think I maximised everything today. I felt like I was a bit quicker than [Fernando] Alonso and [George] Russell in front, but not enough to catch, the gap was pretty big.

“I lost a lot of time trying to overtake [Nico] Hulkenberg, who used his experience to keep me back for a few more laps than he should have, so that’s my bad, but no, it was a good race.”

Asked about the possibility of experiencing post-race neck pain on Sunday, Bearman shared, “I think especially my lower back and my neck, it’s hurting. These seats take a bit of fine-tuning, and as this is the first race, we didn’t really have time to focus on that.

“Not the most comfortable but I’m happy that we finished quickly. It was good motivation to finish the race quicker!”

When asked if he’s prepared to deliver a similar performance if given another chance, the young driver responded, “You tell me. Did I do enough?”

Observing Bearman’s race from the Ferrari garage was Sainz, although visibly still in pain, he had made his way back to the paddock after his successful surgery on Friday evening.

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Lee Parker
Lee Parker

Lee is our staff writer specialising in anything technical within Formula 1 from aerodynamics to engines. Lee writes most of our F1 guides for beginners and experienced fans having followed the sports since 1991, researching and understanding how teams build the ultimate machines. Like everyone else on the team he listens to podcasts about F1 and enjoys reading biographies of former drivers.

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