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Who are the rookies taking part in US GP practice?

A record number of rookies will be getting behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car during the first practice session at Circuit of the Americas.

There will be five 'rookie' drivers taking place in United States Grand Prix FP1, including four drivers that have never participated on a competitive weekend before. Introduced this year to encourage more teams to field upcoming talent, both regular drivers in a team must now give up a free practice session for a driver who has made two or fewer F1 race starts. With just four Grand Prix weekends to go teams realistically only have three more opportunities to field a rookie driver, as it is unlikely a team will request a driver to give up FP1 on the Brazil sprint weekend. While former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi returns to fulfil the role for Haas, here are the four other drivers who will get their first taste of current machinery on an official weekend.

Robert Shwartzman

Having yet to run any rookie so far this season, Ferrari Junior driver Robert Shwartzman steps up to take over the F1-75 from Charles Leclerc for this first time at Austin. While Shwartzman hasn't raced in any championship competitively so far this season, he does have good junior series credentials. He became the Formula 3 champion in 2019 and was runner up in Formula 2 in 2021 to his then-teammate Oscar Piastri. Ferrari will run him again in place of Carlos Sainz during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Alex Palou

The 2021 IndyCar champion takes over from Daniel Ricciardo to make his first official F1 debut. The move to field Alex Palou comes following another contract dispute at McLaren, this time relating to the services of the IndyCar driver and whether he is contracted to race with Chip Ganassi in 2023. This was later resolved in favour of Ganassi, but McLaren still gave Palou a run as part of their 'testing of previous cars' programme along with fellow IndyCar star Patricio O'Ward. After impressing at both tests at Barcelona and Austria , McLaren offered Palou an opportunity to drive their MCL36 this weekend. Mexican O'Ward will be driving Lando Norris' car in FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Logan Sergeant

Williams Academy driver Logan Sergeant will be making his F1 debut in front of his home crowd at the Circuit of the Americas. After finishing a career best 3rd in the championship in F3, Sergeant made a full-time switch to F2 this year and achieved two races wins at the Silverstone and Red Bull Ring rounds. Currently sitting third in the F2 standings, Sergeant will be taking over from Nicholas Latifi who is set to depart from the team at the end of the season. There is speculation that the American could take up the second seat alongside Alex Albon in 2023.

Theo Pourchaire

Theo Pourchaire will make his F1 weekend debut with Alfa Romeo as part of the Sauber Academy programme. After impressing with his consistency to become an outside challenger for the 2020 F3 title along with Piastri and Sargeant, a switch to F2 for 2021 yielded lacklustre results Pourchaire due to a mid-season injury. For 2022 he stepped up to challenge for the title, but a string of reliability issues and some inconsistent results enabled Felipe Drugovitch to win it early in Monza. Currently sitting second in the F2 standings, the 19 year-old Frenchman has won three races so far this season and is looking to take the spoils as runner up. He is often tipped to have a future at Alfa Romeo, but that is unlikely to happen as early as 2023 due to the team sticking with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.

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