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I broke the Formula 1 record, but my parents almost bought a carpet instead of their first go-kart

FORMULA 1’s latest sensation could be doing something completely different if his parents had bought a new carpet instead of a go-kart.

18-year-old Oliver Bearman put in a brilliant performance last weekend to finish seventh at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Oliver Bearman made history with his successes for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia

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Oliver Bearman made history with his successes for Ferrari in Saudi ArabiaPhoto credit: Getty
He might never have experienced this moment if his parents had bought a rug instead of a go-kart

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He might never have experienced this moment if his parents had bought a rug instead of a go-kartPhoto credit: Splash
Bearman's abilities were evident from a young age when Ferrari brought him into the academy

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Bearman’s abilities were evident from a young age when Ferrari brought him into the academyPhoto credit: Alamy
In 2011, his parents decided to buy him a go-kart instead of a new carpet

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In 2011, his parents decided to buy him a go-kart instead of a new carpetPhoto credit: Alamy

Bearman’s record-breaking moment in the spotlight came after he was called up to replace Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia as the star underwent appendicitis surgery.

The Ferrari prodigy became the youngest Brit to ever race in Formula 1 and is the third-youngest driver of all time.

Bearman managed to place ahead of his compatriots Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, as well as Nico Hülkenberg, with whom he was subsequently involved in an awkward moment.

Bearman’s passion for engines came from his father, David, who raced at the club level and quickly became a “nerd” who could recognize every make and model of car on the road from a young age.

The young racing driver’s father told us The times: “I could have named every single car on the street.

“I was a bit of a nerd back then. I had a lot of model cars at home. Many children have their own thing, mine were model cars.

“I had a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Jeep. I had my own little world there. When I got my first kart I couldn’t wait to race.”

However, things could have been very different if David and mother Terri had chosen a new carpet for Christmas 2011 instead of giving their son a go-kart.

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His father explained: “We had old linoleum that I absolutely hated.

“We either got the carpet or the go-kart for Christmas.

British F1 sensation Oliver Bearman, 18, secures an impressive 7th place in the first ever GP as Max Verstappen wins in Saudi Arabia

“We scraped together the £1,500 for the go-kart and knew it was worth it when he first got on it; He just had a big smile on his face.”

The long hours of traveling and racing on weekends for the Bearmans paid off when he joined Ferrari’s driver academy at the age of 16, left school against his mother’s wishes and moved to Modena – close to Ferrari’s headquarters in Northern Italy.

In 2023 he finished sixth in the Formula 2 championship.

Since then, Bearman has been considered a future star after being signed as part of Ferrari’s youth program.

His journey to the top began in 2021 when he won Formula 4 in both Italy and Germany. After moving up to Formula 3, the teenage sensation finished third and moved up to Formula 2 with Prema Racing in 2023.

He took part in training sessions in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi with Haas during the 2023 season before celebrating his big moment last weekend.

Sainz is expected to return to his seat for the Australian Grand Prix later this month, but Bearman remains on standby in case he needs to step in again.

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