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Mekies reveals F2 runner-up Shwartzman to run Ferrari’s FP1 rookie sessions in 2022

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 10: Robert Shwartzman of Russia and Prema Racing (1) prepares to drive

Ferrari Race Director Laurent Mekies has revealed that last season's Formula 2 championship runner-up Robert Shwartzman will be driving the F1-75 in both of the Scuderia’s allocated rookie FP1 sessions this season.

The 22-year-old has been a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2017 and has been working as the team's test driver for the 2022 season, having left Formula 2 at the end of the 2021 campaign – after finishing second in the championship behind Oscar Piastri.

And under F1's new 2022 rules, the teams are required to give a minimum of two FP1 sessions to young drivers throughout the season – with only Williams, Red Bull and Mercedes having used one of their two allocated slots so far this year.

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Shwartzman – who has already driven Formula 1 machinery, having taken part in the 2021 post-season young drivers test for Ferrari and Haas – is now set to fulfil Ferrari’s two allocated FP1 sessions at two of the remaining nine races this season.

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Shwartzman has previously driven for Ferrari at the 2021 post-season test in Abu Dhabi

When asked in Hungary what Ferrari’s plans for the FP1 sessions were after the summer break, Mekies said: “For us it's Robert Shwartzman that will do our two FP1s. We haven't exactly decided on which events it's going to be.

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“You would not pick races like Singapore or races where the race drivers need more running. I don't think we have an issue in doing it during one of the weekends where we have Pirelli testing.”

Along with that, AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost has revealed that the Italian outfit will run reserve driver and Red Bull Junior Liam Lawson in FP1 at the Belgian Grand Prix. However, Tost did not confirm which of his current race drivers would be sitting out for the session.

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