Helmut Marko reveals Oliver Bearman talks as RB seat rumours addressed

Jamie Woodhouse
Oliver Bearman, left and Helmut Marko, right.

Oliver Bearman and Helmut Marko.

Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko confirmed talks had already been held with Oliver Bearman, though it appears an RB seat is not on the cards.

With Carlos Sainz ruled out of action following Thursday practice in Saudi Arabia due to appendicitis, Ferrari called upon their 18-year-old reserve driver Bearman for the remainder of the race weekend, Bearman having been in Jeddah initially for Formula 2 duties where he had claimed pole position for the feature race.

Red Bull refuse to train Ferrari driver Oliver Bearman

Quickly though Bearman had to switch focus to his Formula 1 debut and turned many heads in the paddock with what he produced, the British racer narrowly missing out on a top-10 grid slot before racing to an impressive P7 finish.

That has generated plenty of speculation over a permanent home on the F1 grid for Bearman, which for a moment seemed was potentially waiting at Red Bull’s second team RB, as Marko confirmed that an “informative conversation” has been held with Bearman while he has been part of Ferrari’s ranks. However, Marko shut down the idea.

With Bearman potentially in-line to follow in Charles Leclerc’s footsteps and graduate to the Ferrari team should his impressive progression continue, Marko said it would not be in Red Bull’s best interests to develop a driver for their rival.

“We actually had an informative conversation with him, but he was already at the Ferrari Academy by then,” Marko told OE24 when the Bearman to RB suggestion was brought up.

“It is inconceivable that we would train him for Ferrari.”

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That firm stance from Marko comes at a time when he is already applying pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, who has struggled in the first two rounds of F1 2024 against team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

But, while it will not be with RB, Marko made it clear that Bearman should be on the grid, suggesting Ferrari customer Haas as potentially his ideal home, the team with which Bearman has already made two FP1 appearances with more scheduled throughout the current season.

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton are contracted to Ferrari on multi-year deals from 2025.

“They [Ferrari] bought Hamilton at a high price and have a long-term contract with Leclerc,” said Marko. “I would put the boy [Bearman] in a smaller team like Haas next year.

“A year of learning has never done anyone any harm, it also takes the pressure off.”

Bearman is back on F2 duties at the Australian Grand Prix, as he looks to claw his way back into the title picture.

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