Haas boss Komatsu hails “impressive” and “special” F1 debutant Bearman

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Haas team leader Ayao Komatsu has spoken highly of Oliver Bearman’s impressive Formula 1 debut for Ferrari, suggesting he deserves a full-time spot. However, he was careful not to guarantee a 2025 seat at Haas for the young driver.

Bearman stepped in for Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Sainz needed an operation for appendicitis. Despite only one practice session on a challenging circuit, the 18-year-old quickly adapted, narrowly missing the top 10 in qualifying by 0.036s.

Starting 11th, Bearman fought hard against other drivers — making four overtakes along the way — to finish seventh, showing skill and consistency, especially in the second half of the race on the hards.

Bearman had previously driven in practice sessions for Haas at Mexico and Abu Dhabi, which led to his role as a reserve driver for both Ferrari and Haas in 2024.

When asked about Bearman’s performance, Komatsu said:

“Amazing. This circuit is not the easiest circuit to jump in from FP3. So I’m very, very happy for him and [he was] impressive.”

Despite Bearman’s standout performance, Komatsu made it clear that a Haas seat for 2025 was not guaranteed. He praised his current drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, for their performances in Saudi Arabia, indicating he was content with his team as it stands.

“He deserves a chance next year, I guess,” Komatsu said, adding caution to the discussion about Bearman’s future with Haas.

“Penalty aside, Kev’s done fantastic today. Nico delivered as well. So how can I sit here and say, [Bearman is] ‘our driver for next year’? Based on today’s performance, [it’s] Nico and Kevin.”

Komatsu was not surprised by Bearman’s abilities, recalling his impression from Bearman’s practice runs with Haas:

“Of course, we ran him in Mexico FP1 and Abu Dhabi and straight away it was totally clear to me and most of us that he is something special.”

Bearman is due to return to his Formula 2 duties next week in Melbourne and will be on standby as a reserve driver, pending Sainz’s recovery. The Brit had taken pole for the feature race before his sudden promotion to F1 at the weekend.