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Bearman: IndyCar or Formula E are the 'next best option'

Bearman: IndyCar or Formula E are the ‘next best option’

Oliver Bearman, currently racing in Formula 2, took part in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Ferrari, replacing Carlos Sainz

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Oliver Bearman of PREMA Racing has shared his opinion on what the “next best” options are if joining Formula 1 is not possible.

Bearman: IndyCar or Formula E are the 'next best option'
Oliver Bearman drives on track during practice ahead of Round 4 Imola of the Formula 2 Championship. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

2024 has seen two Formula 2 drivers currently in the championship compete in other racing series. The first is Taylor Barnard in Formula E and the second is Oliver Bearman.

Bearman is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and is the reserve driver for this season. He is also the reserve driver for Haas F1 and took part in FP1 for the American team on Friday, following F2’s practice.

However, Bearman is 12th in the current Formula One Drivers’ Championship, having raced for Ferrari in Round Two in Jeddah. The British driver replaced Carlos Sainz and scored six points on his debut weekend.

Naturally, Bearman has been tipped to take a Haas seat next year. Nico Hulkenberg has signed with Sauber for 2025 and Magnussen is yet to renew his contract, which ends after this season.

It’s a well-known fact that it can be challenging to make the jump up to Formula 1 because of the lack of available seats. However, several Formula 2 drivers have turned to other racing series following their time in the junior categories.

Bearman admits his next steps

Ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, FormulaNerds spoke to Bearman in a Virtual Media Roundtable. There, we asked him for his thoughts on Formula E and IndyCar, two series which F2 drivers such as Jehan Daruvala and Théo Pourchaire have joined respectively.

Speaking to FormulaNerds, Bearman confirmed the main goal for everyone is to drive in F1. However, he admitted that if that’s not possible, other options are just as good. The PREMA Racing driver said:

“Of course, the main goal for everyone is to get to F1. I think that’s the first avenue you try to explore.

“Then, of course, if that’s not possible and often it’s the case that it’s not possible, there’s only one or two seats every year, then the next best option is Formula E and IndyCar, which are both great series in their own right and very competitive as well.

“For me, personally, of course, F1 is my target. But if that’s not the case the next step is IndyCar or Formula E.”

‘We deserve more and we’re going to go and get it’

Despite having driven for Ferrari in Jeddah, Bearman is still very much focused on his year in F2. PREMA Racing didn’t get off to the start they would have liked in Bahrain. However, they have since turned it around. Unfortunately for Bearman, the weekend he achieved pole position, he was called up to F1.

With Magnussen nearing a race ban, should he incur any more penalties, it is likely that Bearman would be called up once again. However, he told media, including FormulaNerds, that his focus is F2.

“In Saudi, I proved I was ready to jump in at short notice. I’m quite happy with the job I did there. Hopefully, it’s not the case to drive it again because, of course, my main focus is F2, at least for this season.

“But I keep my phone on loud. If I get the call, I’m ready to go. I’m of course, much better prepared, every time I jump in the car I’ve got more mileage so that’s obviously a good thing as well.”

Bearman was also asked whether or not the conversations surrounding him about moving up to F1 are helping him or are a hindrance. He admitted that the weekend in Jeddah was “a bit of a hindrance” for his F2 championship because he was in prime position to score some good points, but didn’t get the chance.

However, he did highlight that as “a person who is trying to get to F1” it helped in a lot of ways. Bearman continued saying that when he is in the Formula 2 car, he is “fully focused on that.” The Ferrari Junior also expressed what his goal is right now, which is success for PREMA.

“My goal right now is to put the car on the podium and to put the car on the top step because I know that’s what we’ve worked really hard for and we’ve come close in places like Jeddah before extreme circumstances stopped that.

“I think we deserve more and we’re going to go and get it.”

PREMA Racing are currently eighth on 42 points in the Teams’ Championship. With both Bearman and Andrea Kimi Antonelli hot prospects for F1, they will both need to showcase strong performances in F2.

Headline Image: GettyImages

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