Hulkenberg claims Bearman now faces extra pressure for F2 success: “If he is not doing well there, the Jeddah race will be forgotten in two days”

Photo Credits: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Following a sensational F1 debut at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Oliver Bearman is a name on everyone’s lips as a potential regular starter on an F1 grid in 2025. Haas F1 Team could be the team that benefits from his talent. Although Nico Hulkenberg warns that there is now a lot more pressure on Bearman to perform well in Formula 2 before even thinking about Formula 1.

Haas F1 Team have a very well-known association with Scuderia Ferrari. With that in mind, on a recent episode of the F1 Nation Podcast, Sky Sports presenter Natalie Pinkham shared her thoughts on who she feels Haas F1 Team would replace to get Oliver Bearman on the grid in 2025: “I feel like Kevin [Magnussen] had a sort of second coming with the sport. I think he wouldn’t feel as if he hadn’t given it his all. I’m not saying he’s done in the sport because he’s still young, especially compared to some of the others but he’s had a second crack which he wasn’t expecting, and I feel like he’s very philosophical as well. Now he’s a dad, he knows that there’s a world and a life outside of F1. So, naturally, I guess you would say it would be Kevin.”

Meanwhile, Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg has remarked that having performed so well in Saudi Arabia – with a P7 finish – there is now even more pressure on Bearman as he returns to challenging for the F2 Drivers’ World Championship. As well as this, the question was put to Hulkenberg as to whether he feels the current Haas F1 Team driver lineup faces competition from Bearman to remain with the team next year.  

“I think it’s way too early to say that. He [Bearman] has a big job on his hands in F2, first of all, because if he is not doing well there, the Jeddah race will be forgotten in two days.

“So, I think there is quite a bit of pressure there for him to deliver in F2 now actually.”

Hulkenberg saw first-hand the skill of the latest British sensation seeing how he was battling with Bearman for several laps last time out in Jeddah. Earlier, in this interview to media, the German racer quipped that he was surprised it took so long for the Ferrari driver to pass him before also paying tribute to some of Bearman’s recent drives.

“I don’t know what took him so long to get past me, it took him five laps. Last year, he was doing a good job in Mexico and Abu Dhabi. I think he did a solid job also in Jeddah, drove a good race with no mistakes. He is in the second-best car after all, and you see how valuable that is and what kind of a difference that makes.

“It was a bit tough for everyone in the midfield, and for us, to see that, but that’s the way it is.” stated Hulkenberg.

A lot has been written about Bearman’s F1 debut after his late call up to Ferrari in Carlos Sainz’ absence. However, the recent remarks from Hulkenberg show that he was not all that surprised by the outcome due to the experience Bearman had already received.

“He raced in F2 last year, he did quali for F2 and I think he has done a lot of simulator stuff for the F1 car too. It looked like he felt at home very quickly and that he was well prepared.” concluded Hulkenberg.

Having been unable to start from his hard-earned pole position in Jeddah, Bearman will surely be looking to be back at the front again in Melbourne with his familiar rivals alongside him. Due to the fact that  Sainz has recovered from surgery and is well enough to participate in this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, Bearman now has plenty of time to focus on his F2 pursuits. Bearman certainly showed in Jeddah that he thrives under pressure and there are many who feel the British talent will soon be thriving in Formula One sooner rather than later.