F1 hopeful’s cheeky joke as Oliver Bearman gets Ferrari nod for Saudi Arabia

Thomas Maher
Jack Doohan, Oliver Bearman, 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Jack Doohan made a cheeky joke after Oliver Bearman got called up to race for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia.

Jack Doohan joked about finding out the causes of appendicitis as fellow F1 reserve driver Oliver Bearman was called up for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia.

Bearman has been called up to action for Ferrari this weekend in Saudi Arabia, following usual race driver Carlos Sainz being diagnosed with appendicitis and needing surgery on Friday morning.

Jack Doohan: What causes appendicitis?

With Bearman being called up from Formula 2, where he was due to race from pole position for Prema prior to getting the call from Ferrari, fellow F1 reserve driver Jack Doohan joked about the situation as he spoke to Sky F1 after FP3.

After Bearman put in a solid session to finish some six-tenths off the pace of Charles Leclerc having only had one flying lap on the soft tyre, Doohan was asked about whether he’d love to be given the opportunity to race for Alpine and be called up from his reserve driver role.

“I was thinking… I was looking at the pharmacy this morning when I heard the noise thinking ‘What causes appendicitis?'” he joked.

“Not really. I don’t wish that upon anyone!”

Doohan, who raced in F2 as a rival of Bearman last season, paid tribute for the strong job the British driver had done after jumping into an F1 car mid-weekend with minimal preparation.

“But yeah, I was very happy for him. It was a big task,” he said.

“But, to be honest, seeing and watching, he handled it very, very well from the first laps when he was out there with Lewis [Hamilton] and Valtteri [Bottas].

“Straightaway, he was on the pace very well.

“He actually finished six or seven-tenths away from Charles which, in the big picture, could seem like a lot but that was his first time and only lap on that soft set of tyres.

“To go out there and do that is no small task.”

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As for the extent of the challenge facing Bearman as he swaps his F2 car for a highly strung F1 machine, Doohan said the biggest ask will be fully exploiting the potential of the Ferrari SF-24.

“For him, it’s really finding the depth of how much potential the car has,” he said.

“He’s stepped in the Haas a couple of times, and the Ferrari as well to a certain extent. It’s the second-fastest car on the grid. So there’s going to be a lot of potential there and so much time to be found.

“Jumping in, his next session is qualifying. So there’s no time really to find his feet, he’s got to jump in and be set.

“They did a few runs on the medium into a sort of high, medium fuel run, it seemed, and his pace was quite strong, straight into one lap on the soft and that was his introduction.

“They have a short period of time to see… what’s going to be most important is managing that out lap with traffic to give him the most confidence that he can to push on the soft tyre.

“It seemed like he handled FP3 well, let’s see, there’s more pressure in qualifying. But, like I said, he’s a top driver, and also in a Ferrari, so I’m sure he’ll do great.”

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