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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team, Oliver Bearman, Scuderia Ferrari
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How Bearman's F1 debut will help Mercedes on its Hamilton replacement call

Oliver Bearman’s late notice Formula 1 debut in place of Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia provided Ferrari with a handy reference as it weighs up the future of its junior driver. But Mercedes will also be able to learn from the 18-year-old’s outing as it assesses its own driver options for life after Lewis Hamilton

An average speed of 155mph, around 27 corners, all lined with walls. All told, the Jeddah Corniche circuit is “super hard to jump in on”, per triple Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen. Let alone with no testing in a new car, run by the championship’s most storied squad. That’s exactly the situation in which 18-year-old British Formula 2 star Oliver Bearman shone last weekend in Saudi Arabia.

He'd been called up by Ferrari after what was originally thought to be food poisoning suffered by regular driver Carlos Sainz turned out to be appendicitis and the Spaniard required surgery. Just two hours before FP3 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, while he was on his way into the track to line up 10th for Prema Racing having topped F2 qualifying the previous day, Ferrari Academy driver Bearman got the call: Sainz’s SF-24 was his to hustle.

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