Teenage F1 star Oliver Bearman apologises despite stunning qualifying debut as his dad steals show with priceless reaction
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Teenage F1 star Oliver Bearman apologises despite stunning qualifying debut as his dad steals show with priceless reaction

Mar 9, 2024

Oliver Bearman came incredibly close to qualifying in the top ten in Saudi Arabia in what was his Formula 1 debut.

The 18-year-old was a late replacement for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz as it was revealed he has to undergo surgery for appendicitis.

Bearman qualified in 11th with a time of 1:28.642 in Saudi Arabia

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Bearman qualified in 11th with a time of 1:28.642 in Saudi ArabiaCredit: AFP

Despite having just one practice session under his belt, Bearman enjoyed a fine drive and will start 11th on the gird in Saturday’s race.

He finished 0.53 seconds off his teammate Charles Leclerc who will start in second spot, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finishing pole for the second consecutive week.

Bearman, the youngest British driver in F1 history, was praised by his team bosses after an impressive pace in Q2.

Team bosses on the radio said: “That was a good lap, a good last sector.”

But the teenager apologised after missing out on Q3, as he simply stated: “Sorry.”

Just 0.036 seconds separated him and the chance to qualify in the top ten of the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton just pipped him.

Bearman had only just qualified on pole for Prema Racing in F2 qualifying on Thursday, but is now racing in F1.

His dad was spotted watching on in the paddock on Friday and cut an unsurprisingly nervous figure whilst his son stole the show.

Bearman's dad certainly didn't look relaxed when he watched from the paddock

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Bearman’s dad certainly didn’t look relaxed when he watched from the paddockCredit: @FanaticsFerrari X
The teenager said he was 'disappointed' with his time despite such a good debut

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The teenager said he was ‘disappointed’ with his time despite such a good debutCredit: AFP

Fans were loving his animated antics, as one X user posted: “Dad is fighting for his life with stress.”

Another messaged: “Someone check his blood pressure. Man’s gonna pass out.”

A third added: “Poor man, must be so stressful for him.”

Speaking to Sky Sports following qualifying, David Bearman quipped: “It was a little bit stressful as you can imagine!”

As for Oliver Bearman, he declared he feels as though he could have made it to Q3.

He remarked: “At the moment not so proud, the racer in me knows that the car was quick enough to be in Q3, so a little bit disappointed with that. 

“But I know that when I look back in a couple of days I’ll be quite proud of what I’ve managed to do today.

“The goal was to do as many laps as possible. Especially at night, I missed FP2 which is not ideal. That was the goal.

“The soft tyre lasts quite well, it’s quite durable, so just tried to get as many laps in Q1. Q2 was a bit more messy, a few mistakes on my side, so that’s where I’m disappointed.”

Fellow Brits Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton all reached Q3, qualifying sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.


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