Haas F1: Bearman, Ocon and Zhou among 2025 options

Jaden Diaz

Haas narrowly missed out on points in Canada. A bold strategy call to start on wet tyres was not enough to compensate for their poor qualifying. However, they can be pleased with their consistent level of performance in 2024. Ayao Komatsu is leading a solid midfield operation, a fact reflected in the growing volume of drivers linked to the team.

Although the 2025 grid is slowly taking shape, there is no rush at Haas to make a decision. The American outfit traditionally waits until the end of the season before pulling the trigger.

Team Principal Ayao Komatsu has confirmed that Haas will maintain this approach. A handful of candidates are currently under serious consideration.

Magnussen under threat, Bearman well-positioned

Kevin Magnussen is fighting for his F1 career. After a reasonable opening few rounds, including a P10 finish in Australia, things have unravelled for the Dane.

Putting aside his pace deficit to teammate Nico Hulkenberg, the 31-year-old has committed several unforced errors. Many of these came in Miami, where Magnussen accumulated several penalty points.

However, other collisions in China and Monaco are notable. Not only are the Dane’s incidents financially costly, but they reinforce his reputation as a somewhat inconsistent driver.

AUTODROMO INTERNAZIONALE ENZO E DINO FERRARI, ITALY – MAY 18: Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team during the Emilia Romagna GP at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari on Saturday May 18, 2024 in imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)

This does not mean he is out of contention for 2025. He can still make a convincing case for Haas to renew his contract. That said, Magnussen is in a tricky position.

Oliver Bearman, on the other hand, is seen as the most likely person to drive for Haas in 2024. Even with a difficult campaign in Formula 2 so far, Ayao Komatsu is very excited about his potential.

Bearman has already impressed in a handful of FP1 sessions. Komatsu has even deemed these Free Practice outings as more significant for his F1 future than his F2 results.

In combination with the British driver’s Ferrari backing, all signs point towards his presence with Haas in 2025.

Esteban Ocon and Zhou Guanyu also in the race

Over the last few weeks, the relationship between Esteban Ocon and Alpine has collapsed. However, even before this partnership imploded, Ocon was exploring the market. Haas is one of the alternatives the Frenchman has been negotiating with.

The 27-year-old brings a combination of speed and experience to the table. His current difficulties at Alpine, which can largely be attributed to the team’s management, are unlikely to negatively impact his chances.

If he were to join the team, Ocon would be the first Grand Prix winner to drive for Haas. While nothing is confirmed, the Alpine driver is a candidate – and a very attractive one at that.

There is another name to consider in this equation, however. Although he is something of a wild card, Zhou Guanyu is in contention for a Haas seat.

Zhou Guanyu, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44; 2024 Canadian Grand Prix, Formula One World Championship

Over the last few rounds, the 25-year-old has struggled for performance. Despite glimpses of speed in Bahrain and China, Zhou’s season so far has been underwhelming.

Because of this, he can be thankful that Haas could take many more months before reaching a decision for 2025. In this timeframe, the Chinese driver can make himself an attractive option for Ayao Komatsu’s team.

He brings significant commercial value to the table and (according to AMuS) could offer Haas a sizable financial package. With his current form, joining the American team will be difficult.

However, should he start matching or outperforming teammate Valtteri Bottas, Zhou could cement himself as a viable option. In the races leading up to the summer break, a clearer image should emerge of where these names stand.