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Formula One

23rd Mar 2024

Guenther Steiner says one driver will have ‘a lot of teams’ looking to sign him ahead of 2025

Sophie Collins

Guenther Steiner

“I think a lot of teams will proactively look at him now.”

In the whirlwind of Formula 1’s high-pressure environment, Ollie Bearman emerged as a shining beacon of composure and talent, leaving an indelible mark on the sport with his recent exploits at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.

Stepping into the formidable shoes of Carlos Sainz at Ferrari on short notice, Bearman showed a blend of maturity and raw skill that belied his age of just 18.

Guenther Steiner, former Haas team principal, expressed unwavering confidence in Bearman’s abilities in his latest column for He drew parallels between Bearman’s standout performances in FP1 sessions for Haas and his seamless integration into the high-stakes world of Ferrari.

Steiner said: “When he drove in FP1 for us, I never feared he’d do something you wouldn’t expect. He was always in control. He did the same in Saudi Arabia.”

Bearman’s calm demeanor amidst the frantic energy of Jeddah’s challenging track showed his potential as a future F1 star. Steiner reflected on the pressure-cooker scenario Bearman faced, and noted: “Coming in to replace Carlos at the last minute – that was a lot of pressure on him. But you wouldn’t have known. He was very cool throughout.”

Steiner’s insights shed light on Bearman’s upbringing and emphasised the role of his family in instilling patience and resilience. “He gives himself time, he’s in no hurry. That must come from his background, and the way he was brought up by his family,” Steiner explained.

The Ferrari Driver Academy’s faith in Bearman’s potential was not misplaced, as shown by his stellar performance in Jeddah. Steiner revealed, “Fred Vasseur from Ferrari called me and asked if we could run Ollie in a couple of FP1s because he thought he could do a good job. There was no big discussion.”

As speculation mounts around Bearman’s future in F1, Steiner remains cautiously optimistic and said the inherent risks in promoting young talent to race seats but said Bearman’s ability to mitigate such risks through his exceptional display in Jeddah.

“Based on his performance in Jeddah, after what I saw from him at Haas, I’d put him in a race seat,” Steiner confirmed.

Looking ahead, Bearman finds himself in a prime position to capitalise on his newfound acclaim, with Steiner adding, “I think a lot of teams will proactively look at him now after his performance last weekend. If I see the potential, other people will see it as well.”

For more great F1 content, check out Straight to the Grid