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Frederic Vasseur

Rookie confirmed to replace Sainz in Dutch GP practice

The Spanish driver will be replaced by a Ferrari reserve driver for the session.

Sainz Silverstone
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz is set to miss the first practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix as he makes way for Ferrari official reserve driver Robert Shwartzman.

Under the current regulations, Formula 1 teams must run a rookie who has completed fewer than two Grands Prix at a minimum of two race weekends per-season.

Ferrari is one of the first teams to run a driver in place of their usual lineup so far in 2023, with AlphaTauri being the only other team when Nyck de Vries made his debut with them in Bahrain.

Team Principal Frederic Vasseur confirmed the plan when asked by RacingNews365: "Robert will do Zandvoort in Carlos' car and he will do another one - probably Abu Dhabi - in Charles' car."

Shwartzman has previously carried out FP1 rookie duties for the team at the US and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix last year. Ferrari also have British driver Oliver Bearman and Monegasque Arthur Leclerc - Charles' brother - competing in the F2 championship.

But Vasseur was clear on where their priorities should lie: "They have to be focused on the on the F2 championship."

"We'll try to give them testing opportunities, either in the 2021 car or something else before the end of the season. But I want to push them to stay focused on the F2 championship."

Teams limited on options

Vasseur noted the limited amount of options that F1 teams have to test rookies under the rules, which is impacted by the weekend format changes throughout the season.

F1 still has three Sprint events to complete in Qatar, the United States and Brazil, while Monza will be the second race that will take part in the Alternative Tyre Allocation trial.

"I gave them [drivers] the choice of where they wanted to do it, [because] I know that it's not an easy situation. Carlos was very direct," said Vasseur.

"It's not so easy to decide. For sure you can't do it in Singapore, Japan or Las Vegas.

"Then you have the Sprint events at Qatar and Austin, then you have the races with the tyre allocation which are a bit different.

"It means that at the end of the day, you don't have so many options."

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