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Bearman hopes to follow Piastri F1 testing example

Formula 2 frontrunner and Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman hopes to emulate McLaren breakout star Oscar Piastri's rigorous testing programme to prepare for a Formula 1 seat.

Oliver Bearman, Haas F1 Team

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Bearman dovetailed his maiden F2 campaign, which yielded four wins and a sixth place in the standings, with two FP1 sessions for Ferrari customer Haas. He then ran a full day for the American team in F1's post-season Abu Dhabi test, as well as undertaking simulator duties.

The young Briton hopes his impressive 2023 grand prix weekend cameos will lead to more mileage in 2024 as he aims to follow in McLaren driver Piastri's footsteps.

The 2021 F2 champion logged plenty of miles with a two-year-old Alpine car during his stint as a reserve driver last year before being snapped up by McLaren for a race seat in 2023.

Piastri's extensive preparation yielded results right away as he delivered one of the most impressive debut season in recent years, including victory in the Qatar sprint race.

When asked by Autosport if Piastri has set the gold standard on how to prepare for an F1 seat, Bearman replied: "Yeah, he showed that preparation is really important. Once you join F1 you're going up against guys with a lot of races under their belt.

"Coming as a rookie is a difficult job, so it's something that we've thought about and it will be really important that before I start an F1 campaign, I need to be really prepared.

"Hopefully that looks like more FP1s and maybe some private testing as well. I don't have any say on that, but in an ideal world that would be how I approach an F1 season."

Oliver Bearman, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

Oliver Bearman, Haas VF-23

Young drivers are helped by F1's Testing of a Previous Car or TPC rules, which mandate that private testing can only be done with a car that is at least two seasons out of date.

For 2024 that means the 2022 class of machinery will become eligible, so drivers can freely sample the current era ground-effect generation of cars for the first time.

Bearman believes that change will be a big advantage for youngsters preparing for F1.

"Yeah, exactly," the 18-year-old said.

"I've tested the 2021 car. It's still an F1 car, I think it's even a little bit faster than the current generation.

"But the fact that from next year you can use the 2022 cars will be really helpful, because it's the same generation of car and not much has changed since then.

"So, that's good to know and hopefully we can make use of that as well."

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When asked what his career planning looks like, Bearman is bullish he will be ready for F1 in 2025 after what is expected to be another season in F2 with Prema - alongside Mercedes protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli - combined with a yet to be defined F1 testing plan.

"I know I'd be ready to go, I know I have what it takes," he added.

"Of course preparation will be important. First of all, I have to do a good enough job to make that step one. But I have no doubt that if I get a call-up, I'm ready to go."

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