Ferrari junior, Oliver Bearman is “happy” with his debut FP1 performance at 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix for Haas.
Bearman replaced Kevin Magnussen for the opening practice session only and managed 31 laps as he finished 15th fastest – quicker than his fellow sole FP1 drivers; Isack Hadjar, Jack Doohan, Fredrik Vesti and Theo Pourchaire.
The 18 year-old also finished just 0.345 seconds shy of his Haas teammate, Nico Hulkenberg in a strong debut session, whilst he also outperformed two-time champion, Fernando Alonso by 0.034s in a display which underlined his serious F1 credentials.
Reflecting upon his debut appearance on a F1 race weekend, Bearman admitted that he had achieved his aims as he explained: “My first goal was to have a clean session and we did that, so that was the main thing.
“Secondly, I got up to speed quite fast, I had confidence in the car – it was my first time on the soft tires, my first time doing a long run – and I’ll do better the second time, but for my first FP1 I’m happy.”
Bearman conducted long run and qualifying simulations during his time on track and noticed the difference in simulations when heading into Turn 1 on the latter simulation, as he added: “The thing that surprised me was how much quicker you arrive at Turn 1 on a quali sim, compared to the race.”
The Brit added that he is already focusing on Abu Dhabi from 25-27 November, where he will drive Hulkenberg’s car in the FP1 session alongside his F2 duties as he faces a tough fight to finish third in his rookie campaign in the category.
Looking ahead to his plans for the next few weeks, Bearman can’t wait to focus on the season finale as he said: “The guys have given me pointers throughout, especially because the track is so unique due to the altitude. It was over so fast, but I’m going to be back on the sim preparing for Abu Dhabi.”
Team Principal, Guenther Steiner meanwhile applauded Bearman for delivering “… a good job this morning and got a lot of laps in. He didn’t put a foot wrong, so we’re very happy with what he did for the team.”