Formula 1 reserve driver on the verge of a surprise return?

A potential Kevin Magnussen race ban could result in a surprise Formula 1 return for Oliver Bearman after his sensational debut in Jeddah.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Miami Grand Prix, Formula 1
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Miami Grand Prix, Formula 1 / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Any Formula 1 driver accruing 12 points on an FIA Super License over the course of a 12-month span triggers a one-race ban, and after starting Miami Grand Prix weekend at Miami International Autodrome with five points, one driver now finds himself with 10.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen now has 10 penalty points, tops in the series, and none of them are set to expire until March 2025. He collected five in Miami alone, and seven of the 10 have been collected over the two most recent race weekends, meaning that he will likely need to be perfect throughout the rest of the 24-race season to avoid a race ban.

There are 18 races -- and four sprint races -- remaining on the 2024 schedule, though fortunately for Magnussen, the 2025 season isn't scheduled to get underway until after three of his current 10 points expire.

Kevin Magnussen at risk of a ban

Magnussen was given his first three penalty points for causing a collision with Williams' Alex Albon during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March, and these points are set to expire on Sunday, March 9, 2025, one week before next season is scheduled to get underway.

Then during the Chinese Grand Prix last month, he was given two more for causing a collision with RB's Yuki Tsunoda.

In Miami, he was given three for leaving the track and gaining an advantage on multiple occasions during the sprint race. During the Miami Grand Prix itself, he caused a collision with Williams' Logan Sargeant, resulting in additional two being added to his record.

A Magnussen ban could result in a sensational return for Haas and Ferrari reserve driver Oliver Bearman, who made his Formula 1 debut in Saudi Arabia in place of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. during Sainz's bout with appendicitis.

Bearman finished in seventh place after starting in 11th and has since been widely tipped to be on his way to a promotion to the Haas team full-time next year.

Magnussen's contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season, and teammate Nico Hulkenberg has already been announced as a part of Sauber's 2025 lineup ahead of the full Audi takeover in 2026.

Based on Magnussen's current driving habits, Bearman could end up betting back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car during a Grand Prix weekend sooner rather than later. As it stands, he is still in 12th place in the driver standings thanks to the sixth points he scored in Jeddah back in March.

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The next race on the 2024 Formula 1 schedule is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 19. ESPN2 is set to provide live coverage from Imola Circuit starting at 8:55 a.m. ET. The track did not host a race last year due to flooding. Red Bull's Max Verstappen is the two-time reigning race winner. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!