Oliver Bearman reacts after eye-catching F1 debut in Mexico

Michelle Foster
Ferrari protege Oliver Bearman in the Haas ahead of his FP1 run.

Oliver Bearman impressed in his FP1 run for Haas.

Ferrari protégé Oliver Bearman says his practice session in Mexico with Haas was the “fastest hour” of his life with the Briton keen to get back in the car.

As Haas fulfilled one of their two young driver practice slots for the campaign, Bearman replaced Kevin Magnussen for the opening session at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Formula 2 driver turned heads as he kept pace with the vastly experienced Nico Hulkenberg, finishing FP1 just two-tenths down on the German.

Oliver Bearman impressed on his Haas debut

It was, Bearman says, the fastest hour ever in his life.

“Having that experience for the first time, to be on track with all the other guys, it was super cool,” he said in a video posted by Haas.

“I was a little bit nervous going for the first time but I managed to get confidence from really quickly in the car and put it on the limit.

“Overall it was a good session on that side. We covered the run plan and did everything we wanted to do.

“In terms of my personal performance, I was quite happy with how I went about it and my execution. So overall it was a really positive session.

“I can’t say enough thanks to the guys at Haas.

“When the session finished I was a bit sad, I was saying it was the fastest hour of my life. It’s never gone by so quickly. But you know what they say, time flies.

“It was sad that it was over so fast and I wanted to do the whole weekend but obviously that’s not the case. But it was nice to get the praise from the guys, nice to make them happy.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024 driver line-up: Who is confirmed for next season’s grid?

Ranked: The 10 best F1 driver pairings of the 21st century

However, before Bearman could put in a lap in the Haas he had a test to pass, extricating himself from the car within the mandated five seconds.

He revealed he was nervous ahead of that given his height.

“It was nice to actually finally get in the Haas,” he said. “I think it suited me.

“Jumping out the car is always a bit nervous, you have to get it under a certain time and I’m quite tall so everything will be more difficult.

“But we managed to do it and that’s always good, a few nerves were relieved.”

Bearman was one of five juniors in action at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in FP1 including Jack Doohan, Frederik Vesti, Theo Pourchaire and Isack Hadjar.

Read next: Liam Lawson’s Super Formula return marred by violent 130R crash for rivals