Scuderia Ferrari has confirmed that Robert Shwartzman will be given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the F1-75 cars of either Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz to take part in the first free practice session for the 2022 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. The decision is also part of the Maranello team’s obligation to have two FP1 sessions run by rookies. Each Formula 1 driver has to give up one practice session for a young driver through the course of 2022, and the Italian side has yet to fill its quota in the current F1 championship.
Scuderia Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies previously revealed that Robert Shwartzman, who turns 23 on Friday, was the main favourite to take part in both these Friday free practice sessions, as the location for the second FP1 has not yet been confirmed:
“For us it’s Robert Shwartzman that will do our two FP1s. We haven’t exactly decided on which events it’s going to be. You would not pick races like Singapore or races where the race drivers need more running. I don’t think we have an issue in doing it during one of the weekends where we have Pirelli testing.” – Laurent Mekies explained.
Robert Shwartzman, who is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, last competed in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for 2020 and 2021. The Russo-Israeli racing driver was runner-up to Prema teammate Oscar Piastri in last year’s FIA Formula 2 championship and won the FIA F3 crown in 2019. He decided not to continue in Formula 2 for the 2022 campaign and was given the chance to be one of Scuderia Ferrari’s test drivers this year. Robert Shwartzman therefore carries out work in the Ferrari simulator to help the team prepare for the race weekends.
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At the same time, he also has real-life experience of Formula 1 machinery, as he got the opportunity to drive both the Ferrari SF21 and Haas VF-21 at the end of last year, during the young driver test which took place at the Yas Marina Circuit.
By switching from a Russian to an Israeli racing licence, Tel Aviv-born Robert Shwartzman is allowed to take part in F1 grand prix weekends. Scuderia Ferrari has yet to outline which driver will sit out the practice session in Austin.
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