Bearman explains F1 race number choice as he unveils ‘amazing’ Hamilton video

Recently signed Haas driver Oliver Bearman has explained his choice of a Formula 1 racing number, after also revealing the story of a video message Lewis Hamilton sent him as a child.

Bearman’s 2025 contract with Haas was announced on Thursday ahead of his home race in Britain, marking his move to a full-time Formula 1 seat following a one-off appearance in Saudi Arabia for Ferrari.

Exclusive column by Oliver Bearman: On the threshold of the F1 dream

One of the most important decisions a new F1 driver has to make is choosing a permanent race number. Bearman temporarily wore #38 when he replaced Sainz in Jeddah.

Next year, Bearman will race with number #87, a number he has raced with his entire career and one that has special meaning to his family.

“I’m going to use 87, that’s confirmed,” he explained. “I couldn’t dial my number in Jeddah. And first of all, even if I had, that was the last thing I was worried about!

“It [#87] is the number I have raced with from the beginning and it is the number my father raced with – because I was born on May 8th and my brother was born on August 7th.

“So 87 is the number of choice, and it will remain that way.”

Oliver Bearman, Ferrari SF-24

Oliver Bearman, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Although Bearman had been tipped for a place at Haas for some time, he said he was only definitively approved after last weekend’s Austrian GP.

“Honestly, until it was finally confirmed after the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, because in Formula 1 it’s not really official until you put pen to paper,” he said.

“I knew this was what we were working towards and that we had been close for a while. But you can never celebrate too soon because F1 is a fast-moving world and you are only as good as your last race.

“I was of course relieved when it finally happened, and I shared that moment with my manager, who has been with me the whole way, and that was quite an emotional moment.”

Bearman also said that looking back at the path he took to get into Formula 1 prompted him to watch a video Hamilton sent him almost a decade ago.

Asked about Hamilton next year, Bearman said: “It’s crazy. And actually, I looked back and I got a video from him in 2015 or 2016, where he said, ‘Keep pushing, hopefully you can make it to Formula 1 one day.’ And here I am.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team, Oliver Bearman, Scuderia Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 Team, Oliver Bearman, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“It’s crazy to share the track with these guys that I see racing. Even Fernando [Alonso]It’s something very special, and it’s a pinch-yourself moment, because these guys are big stars in my eyes and someone I look up to, and it’s really great that I’m going to share the track with them.”

Bearman said he got the video of Hamilton through a family friend.

“I think that he [Hamilton] met one of my mom’s friends or something, and she had him make a video. It was the most amazing day of my life. And then yesterday I was reminded of it again, I saw the video again, and it was a funny moment.”

Also read:

Leave a Comment