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Bearman Ferrari F1 debut sees him join British legends

Bearman Ferrari F1 debut sees him join British legends

Bearman Ferrari F1 debut sees him join British legends

Bearman Ferrari F1 debut sees him join British legends

Oliver Bearman will make his unexpected F1 debut at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Ferrari in place of Carlos Sainz.

The Spainard was struggling with an undisclosed illness during the week and powered through Thursday’s practice sessions in Jeddah, before he was taken to hospital on Friday morning where he was diagnosed with appendicitis.

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18-year-old Bearman, who serves as the reserve driver for both Ferrari and Haas, has received the call up to race in F1 for the remainder of the weekend, making him the youngest driver ever to race for the iconic red team and the third youngest in F1 history.

Bearman, who had secured pole position in qualifying for Formula 2 on Thursday, will line up for his first race in Formula 1 in 11th, having narrowly missed out on the top 10 by just 36 thousandths of a second and would have knocked out Lewis Hamilton - the driver who will join Ferrari in place of Sainz in 2025.

Along with this incredible achievement for the teenage sensation, he joins a list of legendary British race winners and world champions to have raced for Ferrari – and it has been some time since we’ve had one.

Here are the last 11 Brits to have driven for the team from Maranello.

Oliver Bearman will make his F1 debut in Saudi Arabia
The Brit replaces Carlos Sainz who is out with appendicitis

Eddie Irvine

The latest Brit to have driven for Ferrari was 25 years ago in Eddie Irvine, who spent four seasons as Michael Schumacher’s number two in the late 1990’s.

After the seven-time champion broke his leg at Silverstone in 1999, Irvine became Ferrari’s main championship focus and won four races with the team, but he narrowly missed out on the title to Mika Hakkinen by two points.

Nigel Mansell

The 1992 world champion joined Ferrari in 1989 after having frustrations at Williams with a lack of a turbo engine.

In two seasons with the team, despite winning three races (including on his debut) and grabbing 11 podiums, he struggled with an unreliable car and was outperformed by Alain Prost. However he won the hearts of the Tifosi who dubbed him Il Leone (The Lion). He returned to Williams in 1991 and would grab his only championship the next year.

Derek Bell

Bell made just two starts for Ferrari in his long career in motorsport, debuting in 1968 at the team’s home grand prix in Monza.

His second start came at Watkins Glen the same year, but he retired from both races.

Jonathan Williams

Similar to Derek Bell, Williams had a short spell with Ferrari – so short that he made his only F1 world championship start with the team.

He was drafted in for the 1967 Mexican Grand Prix where he finished eighth, before being dropped by the team and moving to the European Formula 2 championship.

Mike Parkes

Parkes joined Ferrari in 1966 and claimed two second place finishes that year in Reims and Monza.

He won two races in 1967 in non-championship rounds at the Silverstone International Trophy and at Syracuse, before his career was cut short after breaking his leg in Belgium.

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Bearman joins a list of legendary Ferrari Brits

John Surtees

The last British driver to win a championship with Ferrari, Surtees had a largely successful spell with the team, winning the 1964 world championship after joining the year prior.

However, Surtees fell out with the team in 1966 and left for Cooper after just two races that season.

Cliff Allison

Joining Ferrari in 1959, Allison achieved a podium in Argentina a year later, but at the next round in Monaco, he was thrown from his cockpit and woke up in hospital speaking French, even though he never learned the language.

After a year out, he returned to F1 with Lotus in 1961, only to have his career end for good after breaking both legs in a crash.

Tony Brooks

Brooks finished third in the standings in 1958 and found his way to Ferrari a year later following the tragic deaths of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins.

Winning two races with the team, the talented driver lost out on the title in 1959 after he chose to pit at Sebring after colliding with Wolfgang von Trips, even though unbeknownst to him, the stop was needless.

Peter Collins

Collins earned the respect of Enzo Ferrari in his debut season in 1956, after he handed his car over to Juan Manuel Fangio at Monza, who went on to win the title.

Collins tragically lost his life at the Nürburgring in 1958 just weeks after his third and final win with the team at Silverstone.

Mike Hawthorn

Known as the ‘Farnham Flyer’, Hawthorn made an immediate impact at Ferrari when he joined in 1953, winning the French Grand Prix that year.

He came close to winning the 1954 title and after some years with difficult machinery, Hawthorn came out triumphant in 1958 after an intense battle with Stirling Moss to become the first British F1 champion.

Peter Whitehead

Admittedly, the last name on this list is up for debate, as Whitehead was only once entered with Ferrari at the Swiss Grand Prix in 1950 – and he did not qualify for the race.

Nevertheless, he still ‘represented’ the team and was the first man to convince Enzo Ferrari to sell him a car, which he raced in British Racing Green as a privateer.

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