Ferrari junior driver Oliver Bearman asserts that he has been set “no targets from anyone” ahead of making his Formula 1 bow in FP1 at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

It was announced earlier this month that Bearman would be driving for the Haas team in the first practice session in both Mexico and Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

The Briton is currently competing in his maiden campaign in the Formula 2 category, where he has scored four victories to sit sixth overall with one round remaining.

Asked when he was informed he would be making his debut at an F1 grand prix weekend, Bearman answered: “After I won the feature race in Monza, my boss – Marco [Matassa], the boss of the FDA – told me to come to his office after I finished the podium and everything and he told me.

“I knew something would be on the cards because it had been going really well, but it was nice to finally get the news.”

Prior to getting behind the wheel of the VF-23 in Mexico on Friday, Bearman previously drove Ferrari’s 2021 car, the SF-21, at the Maranello camp’s Fiorano test track.

Bearman admitted that the leap from F2 machinery to F1 was instantly “pretty big”, adding that the main performance gain came “mostly in [the] cornering ability of the car.”

“Of course, it was a 2021 car so the ride’s a bit better and I’d say a bit easier to drive,” he continued. “But I was quite surprised at the G-force you can pull in braking and cornering. Fiorano is only a short track but it was enough to find the potential of a Formula 1 car.”

Under the current regulations, every team on the F1 grid is obliged to give two practice sessions per season to a driver who has made fewer than two grand prix starts.

Courtesy of its close technical collaboration with Ferrari, Haas has previously run many of the marque’s academy prospects, including Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher.

“I’m sure it helps a little bit, obviously they have a good relationship with Ferrari… Of course, they’ve had rookie drivers before and they know about that I will need a little bit more info and a little bit of catching up compared to the real drivers,” he noted.

“But they’re good with that and they’ve worked with a lot of rookies so it’s seamless.”

Bearman believes the most challenging aspect of his debut outing will be managing the rapid track evolution usually evident at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“The switches is something at least I get to with the sim and with the test Fiorano, it’s quite a similar set-up to what Ferrari has so that’s nice,” he explained.

“My other issue is cars on track which could complicate things a bit, but for me I think the most complicated bit is going to be the track evolution.

“It starts very dusty here and with the altitude as well the grip level is low, so I think just getting to grips with that and understanding what the car needs will be the main difficulty.”

He added: “Of course like Guenther [Steiner, Haas Team Principal] said there’s no positives, nothing to win on a Friday – it’s a mandatory session and I just need to bring the car back.”

Alongside the group of engineers he’ll be working with on Friday, the 18-year-old has also revealed that Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has been aiding his preparation.

“Yeah especially Kevin’s been quite useful, just giving a bit of knowledge about little stuff that probably to him doesn’t seem like anything but for someone coming into the car for the first time is very useful.

“And yeah any questions they’ve always been there to answer, but also the engineers, so that’s been nice and at least I can go to sleep tonight without any questions in the back of my head.”

Meanwhile, Bearman has denied that Ferrari has outlined any specific targets for him.

“No targets, no targets from anyone – even from myself,” he contended. I think it would be silly to set any expectations, my first target is just to enjoy it.

“I’ve had it drummed into me a lot now, there’s nothing to win from here, just do a solid job, build up step-by-step and enjoy it as well. So that’s my target.”

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