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Shwartzman believes he could've been as quick as Sainz with more practice runs

Ferrari test driver Robert Shwartzman thinks more runs in practice would've put him closer to the front runners.

Shwartzman US
To news overview © Ferrari

After becoming the first driver in 46 years since Ferrari ran more than two drivers on a Grand Prix weekend, Robert Shwartzman said he felt "amazing" after completing his first laps in the F1-75.

Shwartzman made his F1 debut standing in for Charles Leclerc along with three other drivers, as the teams utilised US GP FP1 as an opportunity to conform to the new rules regarding rookies this year.

Classified as someone with "two or fewer grands prix under their belt," teams must give up two free practice sessions this year for both cars.

"It was awesome and hard, obviously I haven't driven a car in a while and this year most of my work was on the sim," he told media.

"Your body forgets all the feelings [on a sim] of driving the real car, so getting the real bumps the G forces was something very new.

"The track was challenging, bumpy and windy, which took some getting used to.

"The only target for me mainly was to have the progression, to go step by step, not do any mistakes and do what Ferrari asked me, which we did."

With more laps I could get close to the guys in front, says Shwartzman

Shwartzman, who finished second in the 2021 Formula 2 championship, completed 21 laps in FP1 although only eight of them were proper timed efforts on the Soft tyre.

Even though he finished 16th ahead of all the rookies taking part, his best effort of a 1:38.951 was still two seconds off the session best set by Carlos Sainz.

If he was given time to complete more laps, Shwartzman believes he could've put in an effort that would be closer to the top times.

"Unfortunately the last lap where it could be even more better, I had to abort," he explained.

"But every lap was nearly like half a second faster, so I was getting better and better.

"I feel like if I had another like few laps or even like 10 laps, I could get very close to the guys in front.

"It's just generally good experience. Unfortunately, it was very short. I only had six push ups but still every every lap counts and it's very important for me to get the experience."

Shwartzman will be back behind the wheel of the F1-75 at F1's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

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