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Williams to run Formula E champion as rookie driver at Spanish GP

Williams will run Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries behind the wheel of their FW44 during Friday practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, as one of two mandated young driver sessions the team must complete this season.

Williams have confirmed that reigning Formula E World Champion Nyck De Vries will join the team for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, taking to the track during Friday's FP1 session. The Dutch driver will replace Alex Albon for the hour-long practice, fulfilling one of the two mandated young driver sessions the team must complete this season. The 27-year-old, who has been a young driver with both McLaren and Mercedes, was crowned F2 champion back in 2019 before going on to race in Formula E and sports cars. He has been a regular in the F1 paddock since then, thanks to his association with Mercedes, and has tested in IndyCar. The news also comes after a weekend that saw de Vries secure victory for Mercedes at the Berlin E-Prix II. But now, for the very first time, he will be given the chance to prove his talents behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car during a Grand Prix weekend.

De Vries already preparing for Williams session

De Vries has started his preparations with the Williams team ahead of his brief one-hour cameo. It could well prove to be the first of multiple FP1 sessions for the driver in 2022, with an FP1 session with Mercedes also a possibility. "Firstly, I'd really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1. It's great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula 1 weekend," said de Vries. "Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I'm very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now." Adding to de Vries' comments, Williams' Sporting Director, Sven Smeets, said: "I'm looking forward to seeing Nyck join the team for FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix. "As he is a very talented and experienced driver, I have no doubt that he'll maximise his time in the FW44 and deliver a strong, capable performance for the team."

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