F1 groups in race to make use of up rookie FP1 classes

Beneath a rule launched for 2022, each race drivers have to surrender a free follow session for a driver who has made two or fewer begins.

Early within the season, most groups had been in no hurry to area rookies as they felt their race drivers wanted all of the mileage they might get within the new vehicles. Latterly some have maintained that focus as they’re in tight battles within the constructors’ championship.

As well as, the finances cap implies that groups are warier than ever a couple of rookie producing costly injury, as occurred with Alfonso Celis and Pressure India in Mexico in 2017.

Groups now have solely six races left through which to area a rookie on Friday, and of these Brazil – which as a dash weekend sees FP1 adopted by qualifying – is clearly off the desk.

That leaves simply 5 different occasions, a number of of which additionally function compromises. The dangers related to Singapore imply that the road venue will not be chosen, particularly as race drivers have not been there since 2019 and must alter to vehicles which can be anticipated to be difficult to deal with.

Historically Japan is never used for FP1 working, given how straightforward it’s to go off and injury a automobile. Once more it has been lacking from the schedule since 2019 and race drivers must stand up to hurry, with dangerous climate additionally a risk.

Nonetheless, it isn’t unattainable for a rookie to run at Suzuka, as Max Verstappen proved with Toro Rosso in 2014.

An added complication for each Suzuka and Austin is that the venues have been chosen for 2023 Pirelli tyre testing in an prolonged 90-minute FP2 session. On the one hand that offers race drivers extra monitor time in the event that they miss FP1, however on the opposite, they’re obliged to do tyre testing and thus the run plan for the day is extra difficult than at different races.

Mexico is being stored as a backup by Pirelli ought to one of many different tyre testing classes be affected by rain, however in any other case it’s more likely to be a preferred selection for rookie working.

Abu Dhabi is definite to see a number of rookies in FP1, just because it is the final probability. Groups additionally regard it as comparatively secure, given the in depth run-off, and as well as, there’s much less strain on spare elements as there isn’t a race to comply with.

The complication for these at the moment racing in F2 is that in addition they must cope with the sequence finale, with an in depth battle for place behind the highest two. Groups don’t love rookies to have to leap from one automobile to the opposite on the identical weekend, though Liam Lawson did it in Belgium final month.

This is what the groups have achieved to this point, and what they’re planning:


Nyck de Vries stood in for Lewis Hamilton in France, and the Dutchman is about to do another session for the crew. The complication is that if he indicators a 2023 race deal his new crew might want him to do some FP1 working.

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes W13

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes W13

Picture by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Photographs

Pink Bull Racing

Juri Vips had an outing for Pink Bull in Spain, earlier than being dropped by the drinks firm just a few weeks later. Liam Lawson is more likely to do the second run rather than Verstappen, though he is additionally scheduled to slot in an AlphaTauri outing.


Robert Shwartzman has been working arduous within the simulator for Ferrari, and he will get his reward with FP1 runs in Austin and Abu Dhabi. It is the primary time that the Italian crew has ever used an FP1 session for a 3rd driver.


Oscar Piastri was alleged to undertake the FP1 working for Alpine, however for apparent causes plans are actually in flux. Jack Doohan, who is about to drive the 2021 automobile in Budapest this week, is the logical selection for the 2 classes, and he stays a candidate for the race drive. Nonetheless, if de Vries will get the nod for the seat there might be a push to get him within the automobile.


McLaren’s plans are additionally not clear. The crew would like to get Piastri within the automobile if Alpine agrees to launch him early. Nonetheless, it additionally has IndyCar racers Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou lined up, all of whom have pushed the 2021 automobile and are certified to run in FP1s. Zak Brown had hinted that O’Ward will drive in Mexico, however not one of the three has been assured a run.

Alex Palou, McLaren F1 testing at Barcelona

Alex Palou, McLaren F1 testing at Barcelona

Picture by: Monaco Enhance Administration


Liam Lawson drove for the crew at Spa and is about to do one other session. Nonetheless, plans might change if the crew indicators de Vries and it turns into logical to provide him some mileage.

Aston Martin

The crew had no junior programme of its personal and so agreed to make use of shared Mercedes reserve de Vries at Monza. Nonetheless that weekend the crew agreed on a driver growth cope with F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, and the Brazilian will drive in Abu Dhabi.


Like Aston Martin Williams was completely happy to provide de Vries a run in Spain, and that additional preparation paid off when he was known as in to race at Monza. The crew confirmed some weeks in the past that Logan Sargeant will drive at his residence race in Austin.

Alfa Romeo

The Swiss crew learn the foundations correctly and the FIA agreed that Zhou Guanyu’s debut weekend in Bahrain might rely as a rookie session. Theo Pourchaire shall be with the crew within the USA and Mexico and is about to deputise for Valtteri Bottas in a kind of races – Mexico is extra probably because the crew is reluctant to mix rookie working with a Pirelli check.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Picture by: Alessio Morgese


Haas has but to verify its plans, however until there is a urgent purpose to area one other driver then Pietro Fittipaldi will undertake the rookie working. Nonetheless he will not be capable of do Austin as Antonio Giovinazzi shall be driving there, and leaving each drivers out of FP1 can be difficult for the crew at its residence race.

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