Haas confirm Bearman and Ocon “on our list” for 2025

Paolo D’Alessandro, Jaden Diaz

Haas are enjoying a better start to the season than expected. The car is proving to be competitive, updates are working, and an aggressive development plan is in force. Owner Gene Haas has promised future investments should the new Team Principal, Ayao Komatsu, demonstrate the ability to use them efficiently. So far, the team’s work has been positive, with Hulkenberg and Magnussen delivering crucial points.

The team’s lineup is a very hot topic ahead of 2025. Nico Hulkenberg will leave for Sauber next year, while Kevin Magnussen is increasingly at risk. One of the most popular names to join Haas is Ferrari junior Ollie Bearman.

Haas confirms Ocon talks, but there are others. Ferrari aims to get Oliver Bearman into F1

In fact, the possibility of two new drivers racing for Haas in 2025 is plausible. The team’s positive results and general growth at Haas are attracting drivers. Esteban Ocon is certainly among these. The Frenchman’s situation and environment at Alpine is very complex, especially with regard to teammate Pierre Gasly.

Today, moving to Haas would also be a step forward from a technical point of view. Regardless of Alpine’s manufacturer status, Haas are currently the faster team.

“Esteban is on our list, but we also talk to other people,” reveals Ayao Komatsu.

However, the Haas team principal made sure not to reveal all his cards:

“The driver market and negotiating contracts is something I’m learning very quickly. I hope to do the best I can,” said the Japanese engineer. 

Komatsu is now tasked with navigating the team through this hyper-active market

However, that’s not the only hot name that has come to Ayao Komatsu’s attention. Haas F1’s very close partnership with Ferrari makes Ollie Bearman‘s value rise significantly

Komatsu himself is very excited about Bearman’s progress:

“His performance in FP1 with us will be more important than the championship in F2.” After Imola, the Japanese team boss once again proved to be very satisfied with Bearman’s work.

“We can’t tell him anything at all. He did a very good job completing the program,” said the Japanese team principal.

When asked what type of driver he was looking for, Komatsu gave a very clear description:

“A fast driver, capable of giving clear feedback and contributing to the development of the car, but also of the team,” he explained. 

He then specified that hiring a rookie is not an inherent problem:

“It depends on who: Kimi Antonelli, Ollie Bearman, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin… We can’t put them all in the same category, right? The fact that Ollie is a rookie is not a problem.


So far this year, Haas are competing against VCARB in the standings. In Monaco, both cars were forced to retire after excessive damage from the massive Lap 1 incident.

“We are fighting with them, as we saw in Imola. In Qualifying, they were certainly faster, but their race pace was nothing special.

“However, we must improve in the execution of the race. We must be perfect, explained the Japanese Team Principal.

The last race where Haas actually completed a race distance, Imola, saw Komatsu give similar comments. He argued that a better result was possible with better operational execution:

“After the race, we saw that with Nico, there were some things we could have done differently, but it’s not his fault.

“It was up to us to help him. While with Kevin, if we had made the right pit at the right time, we could have fought with Tsunoda for points,” Komatsu admitted candidly.

According to Komatsu, the team’s strategy in Jeddah (where Magnussen effectively became a shield for Hulkenberg) was effective.

The Haas engineer also rejects doubts about his team being numerically inferior to others in terms of personnel:

“It’s true, a few more people would be useful. But in the end, one decides, so it’s also useless to have 20 people, also because talking with everyone would then just be chaos.”

Since taking office as Team Principal, the Japanese engineer has made some crucial technical changes. As confirmed by Andrea De Zordo, Haas’ Technical Director, Komatsu’s hand is clearly visible within the team, and there is a different harmony.

“The communication between the various departments and factories we have has improved a lot. There is much more dialogue, and the procedures have improved accordingly.”