After abruptly putting a halt to the recruitment of rookies, deemed too risky to throw into the mix due to increasingly limited test sessions, and following the tumultuous split with Mick Schumacher, Gunther Steiner has now changed course.
With both Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen set to be out of contract next year and no longer being youngsters, it’s clear that Haas wants to start looking around. In this regard, Oliver Bearman will be one of the special observers this year in Formula 2 for a possible entry into the top class in 2025.
Oliver Bearman is fighting for a move to Formula 1 in the coming months. For the first time in 73 years of history, all drivers have been confirmed for the next season. According to Gunther Steiner, however, this has merely delayed an inevitable driver market shuffle that will take place in the early months of 2024: “We all know what will happen in the driver market. In 2025, the doors will open.”
“At some point, there will be new drivers entering F1 because some of them will continue their careers. So you always think and see what happens. You keep an eye on the situation, but it’s too early to make decisions.”
“Next year, many will start moving very early in the season to ensure that they are in a good position in 2025. If you move too early, the price goes up; if you move late, maybe there’s nothing left. There is always a balance between what you want to do.”
Oliver Bearman could also aggressively enter the driver market, a young driver from the Ferrari Driver Academy who is coming off a great debut season in F2 in 2023.
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The Englishman, who will race alongside Kimi Antonelli at PREMA this year, has already debuted with Haas during the FP1 sessions in the Mexican and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, smoothly completing the work program and showing decent speed.
The Bearman option is supported by Gunther Steiner’s recent statements, as he has reopened the doors to young drivers after the disagreements with Mick Schumacher: “It was a rigid position at that time. But then the choice will be annulled because, as I said before, in 2025, there will be some drivers ending their careers.”
“You have to consider whether hiring a rookie is the ideal situation. What are the negatives and positives? At some point, you have no choice, and then you try to do your best.”
If Haas decides to once again bet on a young driver, Gunther Steiner has stated that the team will be more mature this time: “We will be more mature than last year, so we will be better prepared. But, as I said before, at some point, you can no longer choose what to do.” – he concluded.