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F1

Which rookies are in line for FP1 outings this year?

All F1 teams must give two FP1 sessions to rookies this year

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To news overview © XPBimages

Robert Shwartzman will get behind the wheel of the Ferrari SF-23 at this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix, starting the run of Formula 1 rookie practice outings this year.

The sport’s regulations outline that all F1 teams must field a rookie in two practice sessions during the campaign, which was first exercised last season.

By definition, a rookie is a driver who has competed in two or fewer F1 Grands Prix.

As McLaren, AlphaTauri and Williams all started the 2023 campaign with a rookie driver as part of their line-ups, those teams have already fulfilled the requirements.

But the other seven outfits haven’t and Shwartzman, a Formula 2 race winner and Ferrari’s reserve driver, will get the ball rolling when replacing Carlos Sainz during FP1 from Zandvoort before getting behind the wheel again later this year, most likely in Abu Dhabi - a place of choice for the teams running rookies due to the post-season test that follows the season finale.

But who are the other rookies set to make an appearance this season?

Red Bull

Red Bull currently has the largest pool of junior drivers at its expense, but it is Liam Lawson that is the favourite to be handed an outing.

Lawson, who is currently contending for the Super Formula title in Japan, has been tipped to race at AlphaTauri next year as Red Bull aims to promote from within once again.

The New Zealander already has three FP1 outings to his name, driving in Belgium and Mexico last year with AlphaTauri before getting behind the wheel of the Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.

Another option for Red Bull, if it wishes to hand two of its rookies more F1 experience, is Ayumu Iwasa.

The Japanese driver is vying for the Formula 2 title and could be an option for Red Bull for the event at Suzuka to please the Japanese audience.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Mercedes

Although Shwartzman is the first non-full-time rookie driver that will take to the track this year, he wasn’t the first to be announced.

Mercedes has already declared that Frederik Vesti would drive the opening practice session in Mexico.

Vesti will also likely fulfil the second FP1 outing later this year, however, that will likely take place in Abu Dhabi - clashing with what could be the title-deciding event in F2.

Up until the most recent round in Belgium, Vesti, who has been part of the Mercedes family since 2021, headed the F2 standings.

Aston Martin

On the day he won the F2 title last year, Felipe Drugovich signed to Aston Martin’s newly formed Driver Development Programme.

Drugovich already has experience in the AMR23 as he replaced an injured Lance Stroll at pre-season testing from Bahrain as part of his reserve duties for the year.

The Brazilian will be driving the car at two events but will be unlikely to make an appearance at his home round at Interlagos as the event is a Sprint round and only one practice session taking place.

Alpine

Already making FP1 appearances at the back end of the 2022 season, Jack Doohan will likely be handed another this year.

The Australian’s second F2 season didn’t start off in the fashion he would’ve hoped, but a recent strong run of form has propelled him up the Drivers’ Championship.

Although a title push is likely out of the question, Doohan remains one of Alpine’s leading academy drivers.

However, he could be forced to split driving duties with fellow academy member Victor Martins, who is having a positive rookie campaign in F2.

Fresh from his title glory in Formula 3 last year, Martins is only one position behind Doohan in the standings and could very well be rewarded with an FP1 outing come the end of the season.

Alfa Romeo

As he continues to push his way towards F1, Théo Pourchaire will seemingly add to his experience later this year by taking part in two FP1 sessions.

Part of the Sauber Junior Programme, Pourchaire took a gamble by opting to remain in F2 this year for a third season.

However, so far it is paying off as the Frenchman currently finds himself leading the standings with just three rounds remaining in the campaign.

Although F1 outings pose the risk of distracting Pourchaire as he hunts the F2 title, Alfa Romeo has few options outside of him, and in any case, the 20-year-old will be eager to prove his F1 readiness as he targets a full-time seat.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Haas

Pietro Fittipaldi has been Haas’ test and reserve driver for several seasons now, and will likely once again fulfil the FP1 requirements later this year.

Although he has two F1 races under his belt when he subbed for Romain Grosjean at the end of 2020, Fittipaldi is still categorised as a rookie.

Having made appearances in Mexico and Abu Dhabi last year, the Brazilian driver will likely be behind the wheel again in 2023 to replace both Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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