ADAC Formel 4 

ADAC Formula 4·7.11.2021

A profile of ADAC Formula 4 champion Oliver Bearman

16-year-old wins the title in the final race. Bearman succeeds Jonny Edgar – Formula 3 in 2022? Bearman comes out on top in thrilling title race with Tim Tramnitz.

In the final race of the season, it was clear for all to see just how far Oliver Bearman has developed as a driver. Instead of putting all his eggs in one basket and attempting to force his way to another race win, Bearman turned down a number of overtaking opportunities to maintain his fourth place – safe in the knowledge that this would suffice to win the title. Why take risks when you can win the championship in a controlled manner? In the end, the 16-year-old celebrated the title win in ADAC Formula 4, wrapping things up in style in the final race of the season at the Nürburgring.

Oliver Bearman (#87) won six races this season © Photo: ADAC

“I am super happy. This season has been awesome. I could definitely have had a chance of winning this race too, but I did not want to take too many risks and just wanted to bring the title home,” said Bearman, who also won the Italian Formula 4 championship this year and is looking to take the next step in motorsport in 2022. “I obviously dream of starting in Formula 1 at some point.”

His role models include drivers like record Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and superstar Max Verstappen. “They are ruthless and drive like machines,” he said. “However, there are obviously also people like Michael Schumacher, who defined a whole era. Achievements like that drive me on.”

Pure joy for Oliver Bearman © Photo: ADAC

Bearman refused to be put off by a number of setbacks on his way to winning the championship. In Hockenheim, for example, he had one victory scratched off after the race, due to an aggressive manoeuvre. Instead, he received a time penalty. In race one at the Nürburgring, he made a rare error and missed out on a better result. However, with the title on the line, Bearman returned to form: He won one race and finished fourth on Sunday, earning himself enough points to finish ahead of Tim Tramnitz (16, Hamburg, US Racing) in the title race. In the end, this year’s top two drivers were separated by 26 points.

They both started as team-mates for US Racing in the 2020 season, during which Bearman undoubtedly showed signs of just how fast he can be. All the young Brit was missing was a little consistency, as he ultimately finished seventh in the overall standings. The next step for Bearman was the move to Van Amersfoort Racing, where he made incredibly quick progress and indicated from the start of the season that he was the man to beat this year.

In winning the ADAC Formula 4 title, he continued a bizarre run. With one exception, the winner of the first race of the season has always gone on to win the championship. That now also applies to Bearman, who claimed the first of his six race wins at the season-opener at the Red Bull Ring in June. The only exception to this ADAC Formula 4 rule came in 2019, when Theo Pourchaire was crowned champion but Gianluca Petecof won the opening race.

Unstoppable: Oliver Bearman © Photo: ADAC

Bearman was eight years old in 2013 when he started out in karting and entered the championship at his local Trent Valley Kart Club. He then lined up in the national Super 1 championships, where he finished runner-up in the Cadet class in both 2016 and 2017. The Brit then won the Kartmasters British Grand Prix in 2017 and ended his karting career in 2019 with victory in the IAME International Final, the IAME Euro Series and the IAME Winter Cup.

He took the step up to Formula racing in 2020, and there can be no doubt that Bearman has certainly settled into this scene now. In ADAC Formula 4, he succeeds Jonny Edgar who was triumphant in 2020. Bearman also follows Edgar as the second British champion in the ADAC’s high-speed school.

One thing is certain: Bearman will take another step up the motorsport ladder in 2022. He attended the Formula 3 test at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Spain from 1st to 3rd November. In winning the title in ADAC Formula 4, he has now proven that he is ready for the next challenge.