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How Bearman could be back racing in F1 sooner than later

How Bearman could be back racing in F1 sooner than later

How Bearman could be back racing in F1 sooner than later

How Bearman could be back racing in F1 sooner than later

In a Formula 1 season jammed full of racing surprises and shock announcements, it's tough to remember that we've already had a sneak peek at the 2025 grid.

As Lando Norris rides the high of his Miami masterclass, the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix isn't the first place to look for increasingly rare British success stories.

READ MORE: F1 boss provides reason for Ricciardo REPLACEMENT

Yet the Union flag featured on 40% of the cars of Saudi's top-10 finishers, as F1 unexpectedly welcomed a new name to the grid for round two, after surgery rendered Carlos Sainz unable to race.

Ollie Bearman stepped up to replace the smooth-operating Spaniard, and he's on the verge of potentially making a second race start soon.

READ MORE: Ricciardo follows Hamilton move after taking big role outside F1

Bearman to return to F1 in Imola

Ollie Bearman drove for Ferrari

The British teenager has only raced once in the sport but sits P12 in the standings thanks to his Saudi Arabian seventh-place finish.

That result places him higher than race winners Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, and Pierre Gasly, with little indication that many of the nine drivers below Bearman will leapfrog him by Abu Dhabi's finale.

He will be back in the cockpit for the Emilia-Romagna GP weekend for the first instalment of his pre-planned six FP1 sessions.

There is no need for any full-time driver to have appendicitis this time, as Haas already scheduled the session for the rookie to take the reins when they announced Bearman as their reserve driver in February.

Imola will precede further runs at Barcelona, Silverstone, and the Hungaroring over the summer, with Mexico City and Abu Dhabi FP1s coming later in the year.

Yet there could be more than one Imola session featuring Bearman in the Haas cockpit.

READ MORE: Ferrari F1 replacement announced ahead of Imola

Ready to step in

Kevin Magnussen is close to a ban

Bearman's upcoming six FP1 sessions are not the same as Ferrari parachuting the Brit into Sainz's SF-24 on Saudi's Saturday, where he only had FP3 before taking P11 in qualifying and a stellar P7 finish in Sunday's race.

Kevin Magnussen's penalty-ridden racing in Miami had him fly out of Florida with five more penalty points on his licence than when he arrived.

Haas' Danish driver also picked up three points during Bearman's debut race for a collision with Alex Albon that left the Thai driver without space and hitting the wall.

A further two points in China for colliding with Yuki Tsunoda means Magnussen heads into Formula 1's European season with 10 penalty points on his licence and the first only expiring in March 2025

He will receive a race ban from the FIA should he reach 12 before the end of the season, leaving Haas without one of their two drivers.

READ MORE: Ferrari secret upgrade REVEALED for key F1 race

Bearman: The logical substitute driver

Ollie Bearman drove for Haas in 2023

It seems likely Magnussen will add further points to his superlicence as the season progresses, judging by his team-first driving in 2024.

Six of the Haas driver's 10 penalty points have come when his elbows-out approach went into overdrive to protect Nico Hulkenberg's point-scoring position.

By keeping faster cars behind for as long as possible, like Lewis Hamilton in Miami's sprint race, Magnussen allowed Hulkenberg to take valuable point-scoring finishes, and boost Haas to P7 in the championship.

Bearman's Imola FP1 session will give him a first taste of Haas' VF-24 machine, and he'll know there's a high chance he will be racing it sooner rather than later.

Haas also has Pietro Fittipaldi as their other reserve driver, but they have not pencilled the Brazilian in for any 2024 sessions as they have with Bearman.

Should Magnussen breach the 12-point limit, Haas Team Principal Ayao Komatsu will have to choose between Bearman, a 2024 points-finishing driver who will have familiarity with the car, or Fittipaldi, a driver who hasn't raced in F1 since two cameos in 2020.

I know who I'd prefer.

READ MORE: Hamilton insists Cullen 'belongs in the sport'

When will Bearman race in F1?

Ollie Bearman driving for Ferrari

Bearman is also racing in his second F2 season alongside his reserve driver role in 2024.

The championship supports Formula 1 at 14 rounds and has already had races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

There are nine race weekends between Imola and Azerbaijan where Bearman will be on-site for his F2 campaign (F2 is skipping Montreal and Zandvoort), and he'll be on notice for another last-minute call-up.

Penalty points for Magnussen might come from poor driving standards, even outside of the grand prix or sprint race.

Should the stewards deem the Danish veteran guilty of repeat track limits violations, unsafe rejoins, ignoring waved flags, crashes, or even an unsafe release in a pit stop and hand him two points, he will be out of his seat for the next race.

He'll have to be on his best behaviour to avoid a ban, akin to Pierre Gasly in 2022 after facing a one-race ban following a Mexican GP that had him sitting on 10 points throughout 2023.

However, given Bearman's F1 aptitude, Magnussen may see his possible 2025 team-mate as a worthy driver to take to the cockpit of his car should another opportunity arise to net points for Haas.

With Hulkenberg having a 2025 contract with Audi, Magnussen putting Haas first to secure a top-10 finish could be his way of leverage to extend his time with the team and in F1.

When that chance comes, Bearman will undoubtedly step forward to enjoy his second F1 race before his now likely 2025 full-season contract starts.

READ MORE: Marko hints at CHANGE in key update on Verstappen's Red Bull future

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