With the season now winding down, teams are giving more inexperienced drivers a chance to shine in a way that could really shake things up during FP1 in Mexico.
As part of F1’s new mandatory rule, every team on the grid must to use two rookie drivers during two FP1 sessions over the season. Here are the junior drivers that will be behind the wheel in FP1 in Mexico City!
Given Mick Schumacher’s precarious Haas future, Pietro Fittipaldi’s outing at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as Kevin Magnussen’s stand-in could be vital in the fight for F1’s last 2023 seat.
Ahead of the session, the grandson of two-time F1 champ Emerson Fittipaldi said he’s driven the VF-22 in pre-season but hailed the chance to take part in a race weekend as “an amazing opportunity.”
Like Fittipaldi, who covered for Romain Grosjean post-Bahrain 2020, Nyck De Vries will also be returning to the F1 fold in FP1.
The Dutchman may have signed for AlphaTauri next year, but he’ll actually return to the Mercedes fold on Saturday, replacing George Russell.
Curiously, in his place at Red Bull’s sister team, Liam Lawson is set to drive in FP1. The Kiwi’s deputising for Yuki Tsunoda in his second practice showing after covering for Pierre Gasly in Spa back in August.
While Logan Sargeant made his practice debut at last weekend’s US Grand Prix, he’s now agreed to drive for Williams full-time next season (if he gets enough Super Licence points, that is).
To get more time in the car, the rookie has been handed a drive in place of future teammate Alex Albon.
Making his F1 weekend debut this weekend is Alpine Academy and F2 star Jack Doohan. The Aussie will get an opportunity to show the team what he’s made of during the session at the expense of Esteban Ocon.
Doohan has had a few runs in the A521, but he says getting the chance to share the track with F1’s finest “will be unbelievable” and “something he’s dreamt of since he’s been a little kid.”
Though Doohan lost out on a seat at the French outfit next year to Pierre Gasly, he currently sits an impressive fourth in F2 this season. He’ll now get the chance to show off his skills in front of Mexico’s vibrant fanbase!
Which rookie driver are you looking forward to seeing most in FP1?