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The NewSLU

Opinion: Formula One Rookie Stuns in Debut

With there only being 20 seats in Formula One, where will Ollie Bearman end up?

During the second race of the 2024 Formula 1 season, Scuderia Ferrari made the shocking announcement that Carlos Sainz had appendicitis and would not be able to race in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 18-year-old reserve driver, Ollie Bearman, would be taking over for Carlos in light of the news.

Bearman, who drives for Prema in Formula 2, would have to abandon the weekend’s F2 race where he was on pole position. With Sainz having raced on Thursday for free practice one and two, Bearman’s first time in the Ferrari would be free practice three on Friday. Only a few hours later, he was thrown into his first F1 qualifying.

With little experience in the Ferrari, Bearman was able to qualify P11 for Saturday’s race. He narrowly missed out on Q3. On Saturday, the rookie would continue to impress F1 fans.

Jeddah is an infamously challenging track for drivers, but this did not prove to be too much for Bearman. During the race, Bearman made up four places and ended P7. Earning six points, Bearman is now 10 in the F1 driver’s standings. This means Bearman has more points than 11 of the veteran F1 drivers. This performance from Bearman also earned him Driver of the Day.

Following Bearman’s impressive display, many F1 fans have the same question. Where will Bearman be next year?

Earlier this year, Ferrari announced that Carlos Sainz would be departing from the team in 2025 and Lewis Hamilton will shockingly be joining the team. Ferrari’s 2025 line-up, with Charles

Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton, is an amazingly strong one. Will Bearman remain the reserve driver for another year? Or will another team attempt to pick him up?

The Mercedes seat for 2025 is now open due to Hamilton’s departure, but would the team pick a rookie for the seat? Or at the rumors about Max Verstappen going to Mercedes potentially true? Many questions are unanswered and will be until the next season.

With Bearman coming from Ferrari’s academy, it’s likely that the team will not want to lose his talent to another. But with their 2025 line-up, it is hard to imagine Bearman will have a Ferrari seat within the next two years. How long will the young driver wait for Ferrari?

The next few years will bring a variety of changes for Ferrari. The loss of Sainz or the potential loss of Bearman has the potential to upset Ferrari fans. Hopefully the addition of Hamilton to the team will lessen the blow and fans will see a Ferrari driver as a World Champion in the near future.

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About the Contributor
Abby Langton
Abby Langton, Editor-in-Chief
Abby Langton, a senior and communication major, is the Editor-in-Chief of The NewSLU. She has covered hard news, features and sports.

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