Lewis Hamilton and George Russell congratulate Ferrari wonderkid Oliver Bearman on his F1 debut after the 18-year-old Brit finished seventh at the Saudi Arabian GP

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell went out of their way to congratulate Ferrari sensation and fellow Brit Oliver Bearman on his F1 debut in Saudi Arabia.

The Mercedes drivers waited for him to get out of his car at the end of the race and hugged the 18-year-old from Essex.

Bearman finished seventh in Jeddah after stepping in for Carlos Sainz, who was ruled out of the race with appendicitis.

He even managed to finish ahead of Hamilton, who could only finish ninth on a day where Max Verstappen once again ran out as winner.

Along with Lando Norris, the three made this the first time that four British drivers have started an F1 race together since the 2013 Brazilian GP.

Lewis Hamilton congratulated Oliver Bearman as he got out of his car after the race in Jeddah

Lewis Hamilton congratulated Oliver Bearman as he got out of his car after the race in Jeddah

George Russell was also on hand to give the 18-year-old some attention after his seventh-placed finish

George Russell was also on hand to give the 18-year-old some attention after his seventh-placed finish

Bearman, broke Lando Norris’ record as Britain’s youngest F1 competitor, with the McLaren driver having been 19 years, four months and four days old when he debuted in 2019.

He also becomes the 12th Briton to drive for Ferrari, pipping seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to driver’s seat ahead of his arrival next season.

Ferrari’s reserve driver, who turns 19 in May, is stepping up from Formula Two for the race weekend in Saudi Arabia – but has already made his impact in Jeddah and has a growing online profile, reportedly dating TikTok star Estelle Oglivy, who has 72,000 followers.

Bearman, driving for Prema, topped the F2 qualifying times at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Thursday but has been withdrawn from their sprint and feature races to make his F1 bow.

It marks a remarkable elevation for Bearman, who will join legends Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on the track this weekend.

He was just 18 months old when Lewis Hamilton made his Formula One debut and was not even born when Alonso, 42, won his first title.

Bearman has shown his exceptional talent from a young age after finishing in the top five in the British Karting GP in 2013, a year after taking up motor racing as an eight-year-old.

He went on to win the Kartmasters British Grand Prix and become the British vice-champion in the cadet class, before moving from cadet to junior level in 2018.

Bearman impressed on his debut F1 weekend as he stepped in for Carlos Sainz, who has had appentidicitis

Bearman impressed on his debut F1 weekend as he stepped in for Carlos Sainz, who has had appentidicitis

Bearman, 18, made his transition from karts to cars just four years ago and is a hugely promising prospect

 Bearman, 18, made his transition from karts to cars just four years ago and is a hugely promising prospect

His transition from karts to cars came just four years ago when he competed in the German and Italian F4 championships. Bearman became the first driver to win the title in both championships in 2021, winning 17 races in total.

Bearman’s success led to him joining the Ferrari Driver Academy at the end of 2021.

His move to the academy required Bearman to make the bold decision to quit King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford.

The young driver admitted to Mail Sport last year that his ‘pro-education’ mum Terri needed convincing to allow him to leave the grammar school, his family and two dogs behind.

Bearman eventually earned his mother’s approval join the academy in Modena, located 12 miles north of Ferrari’s Maranello factory in northern Italy. He has since developed an Italian twang.

‘Maybe I got a bit lucky not to get the Essex accent,’ he told Mail Sport last year. ‘A lot of people have told me my accent has changed, even if I don’t notice it.

‘I spend a lot of time with Italians, and communicating with people whose first language is not English isn’t easy, so I have changed my word order and ended up with this everywhere accent.

‘When I moved to Modena it happened pretty quickly. It was like going to university two years early, but I have loved every moment so far. My mum was very pro-school and very pro-education, but we managed to convince her in the end.

The teenager is reportedly dating Estelle Oglivy, who has 72,000 followers on TikTok

The teenager is reportedly dating Estelle Oglivy, who has 72,000 followers on TikTok

Oliver Bearman's father, David Bearman, prior to qualifying ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

Oliver Bearman’s father, David Bearman, prior to qualifying ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

Ogilvy shares her outfits on TikTok

She has amassed plenty of followers

Ogilvy often shares her outfits on TikTok and has built up thousands of followers

The 18-year-old described the achievement as an ‘added bonus’ after taking part for the American team Haas.

He finished 15th in first practice, just 1.6 seconds behind Red Bull’s unstoppable missile Max Verstappen and three-tenths short of Nico Hulkenberg, a veteran of 200 starts — in the other Haas.

Bearman was only 18 months old when Hamilton made his F1 debut, aged 22, and admitted he was shocked to share the track with the legendary driver.

‘When I heard Hamilton was coming up behind me on a push lap I was like, “Wow, I will get out of the way”,’ Bearman said. However, it was Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, who was his boyhood hero.

Bearman started in motor sport at the age of eight and enjoyed success on the karting circuit

Bearman started in motor sport at the age of eight and enjoyed success on the karting circuit

The teenager needed to convince his mother Terri, right, to drop out of his private school

The teenager needed to convince his mother Terri, right, to drop out of his private school

Bearman dropped out of King Edward VI Grammar School to move to Modena and pursue his career in racing

Bearman dropped out of King Edward VI Grammar School to move to Modena and pursue his career in racing

‘I heard Jenson was praising me on Sky, and that was amazing for me,’ he added. ‘I don’t know why, but he was always the guy I loved and really looked up to. It is cool he recognised my performance in practice, and I will try to speak to him here — that is my goal.’

Bearman had been expected to enjoy further F1 practice sessions this year for the Ferrari-powered Haas, but will instead take to the grid for the whole race weekend in Saudi Arabia.

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