Who is Oliver Bearman, Sainz’s F1 replacement in Saudi Arabia?

Oliver Bearman will make his Formula 1 debut at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend, stepping in for an unwell Carlos Sainz.

The Spaniard was diagnosed with appendicitis after Friday practice in Jeddah having spent the days prior feeling unwell.

Trailing Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, Bearman becomes the third youngest driver to ever start a Grand Prix and is the youngest driver in F1 history to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari in a race setting.

But just who 18-year-old youngster looking to leave a strong impression on the grid?

Bearman’s origins

Bearman was born on May 8, 2005 in Essex, England and began karting competitively in 2013.

He spent several years racing at a karting level and enjoyed various championship success en route to his single-seater debut in 2020.

Racing at a Formula 4 level, Bearman ended the German regional series in seventh place with one victory to his name, as well as enjoying another victory in the Italian version of the category.

He returned to both series’ the following year and took both titles, which saw him catch the eye of Ferrari.

At the end of the year, Ferrari announced that Bearman had joined its driver academy ahead of his maiden season in the Formula 3 Championship in 2022.

F1 experience

In his debut year in F3, Bearman competed for the title but missed out at the final round and had to settle for third place.

His strong campaign saw him progress to the Formula 2 championship where once again he impressed by taking four wins, three pole positions and a further two podiums to finish sixth in the Drivers’ standings.

Bearman received his F1 weekend debut at the Mexico City Grand Prix last year with Haas before following up with another outing in Abu Dhabi, receiving his praise from former Team Principal Guenther Steiner.

Ferrari promoted Bearman to a reserve driver role for the 2024 campaign, paving the way for him to step in should he be needed.

With Sainz now out of action, Bearman was called upon to step into his seat and carry out duties at the challenging Jeddah Circuit.

However, the Briton has already displayed strong speed around the venue having taken the F2 pole position earlier in the weekend.


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