Oliver Bearman compared to Lewis Hamilton over lack of key Max Verstappen ‘game’ trait

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton and Oliver Bearman

Lewis Hamilton was impressed with "mega" Oliver Bearman

Johnny Herbert has compared Oliver Bearman’s “calculated” racing approach to that of Lewis Hamilton, while Max Verstappen arrived in the sport by making himself “very wide” on track.

Herbert added that he fully understood Verstappen’s approach as he looked to make an impact on the sport, while in Bearman it was “very exciting” to see another young driver step up who “seems to have all the ingredients” at short notice.

Johnny Herbert likens Oliver Bearman approach to Lewis Hamilton

Bearman replaced the unwell Carlos Sainz with only an hour’s notice at Ferrari, with one further hour of practice before heading straight into qualifying.

He followed that up with a fan-voted Driver of the Day performance to finish an impressive seventh in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and Herbert believes he “absolutely should” return to a Formula 1 cockpit in the future as a result.

“When he got in the car the maturity came out. I know Frederic Vasseur said: ‘He is good, but he still has a lot to learn’. But I thought that was a classic quote from Frederic trying to keep everyone calm, but I don’t think we should do that,” Herbert told the Dutch edition of RacingNews365.

“The issue now is that he should be given the chance to be in a Formula 1 car in the future. Indeed, he absolutely should be, it’s a bit the same as with Liam Lawson. He should also be in a Formula 1 car.

“But I think it’s lovely for someone so young, like Max when he came in, that someone seems to have all the ingredients.

“Think speed, a good set of brains that he doesn’t get himself into trouble with, that he can deal with pressure, takes that pressure off himself and then performs on the track as well. So there are a lot of positive ingredients and that’s exciting, very exciting.”

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When making a comparison to when the current World Champion broke through into Formula 1, Herbert believes his elbows-out style in his early years was part of an “intimidating role” he was looking to forge for himself on track.

In contrast to that, three-time Grand Prix winner Herbert believes that Hamilton does a similar tactic in a different manner to his rivals, but the “calculated” approach Bearman took in Jeddah puts him more in line with his compatriot.

“Verstappen made himself very wide and I fully understand that. It was part of an intimidating role he was trying to play,” Herbert explained.

“I remember everyone saying that years ago about Ayrton Senna: if you looked in your mirrors and saw his yellow helmet, the drivers would pull over.

“Max did the same thing and is still playing that game now. Lewis does that too, but in a very different way. You don’t see it as often with him as with Max. Ollie is probably more like Lewis in that way. Ollie is not aggressive, he is just calculated, very calculated.”

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