April 23, 2024

Lewis Hamilton, no longer the first Briton to compete for Ferrari in 25 years, was pleased by Ferrari rookie Oliver Bearman, who nearly lost him a Q3 position in qualifying.

Bearman will make his Grand Prix debut this weekend in Saudi Arabia after Ferrari summoned him up to replace Carlos Sainz, who underwent appendix surgery.

Lewis Hamilton’s advice for Ollie Bearman ahead of Saudi Arabian GP

Despite only having one practice hour before qualifying, the 18-year-old Briton drove the SF-24 to 11th on the grid.

He missed out on a Q3 spot by a tiny 0.036s, being beaten to the final spot in the pole position shoot-off by seven-time World Champion Hamilton.

The 39-year-old, who will join Ferrari next season, was pleased by his compatriot.

“He nearly took me out!” Hamilton stated. “He did such an excellent job.

“To jump into FP3 without any practice and deliver like he has… mega, mega.” I’m really amazed, and it shows how talented he is. Also, the automobile looks pretty excellent, and he clearly has confidence right away.”

When Bearman stepped into Sainz’s Ferrari on Friday, he became the youngest-ever Ferrari driver and the third-youngest in F1, trailing only Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll.

“I was 22 [on my debut],” Hamilton continued. “At 18, I was in F3 and far from ready for F1, but times have changed.

“If I had come in at 18, my career would not have looked like it does now, so I’m pleased I waited.

“But Max arrived early, as others have done. Because I waited, I had 12 consecutive podium finishes in the first 12 races of my career, so I am delighted I had that foundation.”

 

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However, with only one practice hour on Friday afternoon and minimal long runs, Hamilton believes his teammate faces a “massive challenge” in Saturday’s race.

But, he continued, Bearman seemed to be up for it.

“He has not even done any long runs, he’s obviously had experience of F2 but it will be a massive challenge,” the Mercedes driver was quoted as saying.

“I think he’s ready; he looks in terrific shape, and I believe the vehicle was nice to the tyres in the last race.

“He just needs to keep it cool and just enjoy it.”

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