This week’s guest in the Modex Brand Ambassadors interview series is Ollie Bearman, FIA Formula 3 Racing Driver, 2021 Italian & ADAC Formula 4 Champion and member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. We spoke with Ollie about the highlights of his racing career, the link between technology and performance in motoring, his core values and his hobbies.
Ollie began motor racing in 2013, as an 8-year-old, at club level British karting. It quickly became clear that he was exceptionally talented. Within one year, Ollie finished in the top 5 in the British Karting GP and a year later, he claimed 4th place in the British National Cadet Championship.
The next two years saw Oliver win the Kartmasters British Grand Prix and become the British vice-champion in the cadet class. In 2018, Ollie moved from cadets to junior karting. In 2019, he swept the international junior X30 class, winning the Winter Cup in Valencia, followed by the European Series and World Championships held in Le Mans, France. As Ollie transitioned from karting to cars in 2020, he made front row on his debut in the fiercely competitive German and Italian F4 championships, despite a limited testing program.
In 2021, Ollie moved to Van Amersfoort Racing to pursue the Italian and German Formula 4 titles. He won both championships convincingly, and in doing so he became the first driver to win the title in both championships, taking 17 victories along the way. This impressive feat saw him named a Ferrari Driver Academy member at the end of 2021.
Childhood passion for motor racing
Ollie recalls the origins of his passion for cars and motor racing: “Racing was very much a passion of my dad who, when I was very young, took me to a local karting track in the UK. Though I was barely tall enough to reach the pedals, the moment I hit the accelerator and heard the sound of the engine revs rise, I knew this was the sport for me!”
Asked to define performance, Ollie says it is “the thing that measures the execution of a plan or a process. Good or bad, performance helps me analyze myself as a racing driver and highlights my strengths and weaknesses.” Ollie goes on to praise the people he works with: “I am lucky to have a great team of specialists to help me develop and refine my skills. From the group of highly experienced professionals at the Ferrari Driver Academy to my own coaches, I feel I have support in all areas so that I can perform to the best of my ability.”
Career highlights and challenges
“I have had some great moments in my racing career so far, both in cars and in karts. A very special moment for me was when I signed for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One Junior Programme. I have a picture of myself signing the contract and I cherish it greatly.” As for his biggest achievements, Ollie mentions winning both the 2021 FIA F4 championships in Germany and Italy. “It was an amazing season with super high pressure, but winning both titles is something I am really proud of!”
Ollie also brings up the challenges he’s faced so far, defining them as moments that have helped him evolve as a racing driver. “In 2020, at the age of 14, I moved up to senior level karting. The first race was the Winter Cup in Spain and featured some of the best karting pilots in the world. Despite being the youngest driver on the grid and competing against many drivers whom I had watched before and truly respected, I won the race and became the first British driver to win the Winter Cup as a Junior and a Senior in back-to-back years.”
Evolving as a racing driver
Ollie talks about the things he does to become a better racing driver:. “Thanks to the Ferrari Driver Academy, I follow a strict schedule spanning gym work, technical classes, simulator training and mental conditioning – all focused on making me the best driver I can be.”
As for the values he appreciates the most, Ollie says: “Becoming a champion in anything requires total dedication, commitment and mental strength. These are the values that I try to live by; I do believe they make the difference between good and great.”
“Performance” in tech and “tech for good”
For Ollie, performance in technology has to do with utilizing tech to gain speed and efficiency. “In my opinion, ‘tech for good’ refers to creating a technology that positively impacts people’s day-to-day life.” He adds: “In motorsport, technology is hugely important. Not only it’s something that helps the race car go faster, but it is also used to analyze a driver’s performance and make race cars – and the sport, in general – much safer.”
We asked Ollie to tell us what made him want to be a Modex Brand Ambassador. “Modex is at the forefront of technology and uses its understanding of blockchain technology to create solutions that make people’s lives more efficient, safer and more productive. This is really unique, and I am proud to represent Modex as a Brand Ambassador!”
Enjoying the outdoors
“When I am not racing, I enjoy spending time with my family, going on bike rides, being active and being outdoors”, says our guest about his hobbies.
At the end of our conversation, we asked Ollie if he is supporting any organizations or charities. “While there isn’t a specific charity that I’m supporting right now, I am very fond of animals and I support animal rights initiatives whenever I can.”