Lewis Hamilton has surprise stance on helping Oliver Bearman after F1 promotion

Lewis Hamilton is adamant he won’t take Oliver Bearman under his wing when the British teenager joins the Formula 1 grid next year.

Bearman has been confirmed as a Haas racer, having signed a multi-year contract with the American team. He remains a Ferrari junior driver and the Italians are grooming the 19-year-old to make the step up when Hamilton retires.

The seven-time champion is sure, though, that his fellow Brit doesn’t need his help to thrive in the sport. He said: “I haven’t been asked to [take Bearman under his wing] and it hasn’t been a thought.

“I don’t think he needs me to – he’s a sharp enough lad. Naturally, as one of the older drivers here, my door is always open if anyone has any questions or if advice is needed.”

Bearman is admired at Haas having impressed in several practice runs in their cars. But his promotion to F1 was effectively sealed in March with a superb debut, finishing seventh for Ferrari in Jeddah, filling in at short notice for the ill Carlos Sainz.

His signing means a quarter of the grid will be made up of Brits. As well as Bearman and Hamilton, George Russell and Lando Norris fly the Union Flag and, though Alex Albon races for Thailand, the Williams driver was born in London and grew up in Suffolk.

Bearman’s compatriots are all in agreement that the latest addition to their ranks has what it takes to make the grade. Hamilton added: “He did a phenomenal job earlier on this year. He’s a bright young talent and I think it’s great that the UK is pumping out a lot of very talented drivers. It’s amazing for the sport.”

Oliver Bearman speaks to reporters at Silverstone
Oliver Bearman speaks to reporters at Silverstone 
Image:
Getty Images)

His Mercedes team-mate Russell said: “Ollie is a great driver and it’s great to see four Brits on the grid. It just goes to show the strength of British motorsport. When we were racing in karting, the level of competition was so, so high and I think that translates into 20 percent of the F1 grid being Brits, and obviously Alex is half British as well. It’s great to see him there and I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”

And Norris concurred: “He deserves it – he showed in Saudi what a great job he can do under pressure to perform. I’m excited to see him on the grid and I look forward to racing him.”

Meanwhile, Bearman told reporters: “I received a video from [Hamilton] in 2015 or 2016 which said, ‘Keep pushing, hopefully you can make it to F1 one day’. And here I am! It’s crazy to share the track with these guys I watched racing. It’s something really special and a pinch yourself moment. These guys are huge stars and people that I look up to. It’s quite amazing that I’ll share the circuit with them.”

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