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Red Bull-backed rising star Ayumu Iwasa to make F1 weekend debut with RB during practice at Japanese GP

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 28: Ayumu Iwasa of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri

RB have announced that Super Formula racer Ayumu Iwasa will make his Formula 1 weekend debut at the Japanese Grand Prix by appearing in free practice with the team.

Iwasa, 22, is set to drive Daniel Ricciardo’s car during FP1 at Suzuka, meaning an all-Japanese RB line-up – alongside Yuki Tsunoda – for the opening 60-minute session.

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Iwasa finished fourth in last year’s F2 standings, taking three race victories and three further podiums across the season, along with one pole position.

He made the move to the Japan-based Super Formula championship for 2024, scoring points on debut at the Suzuka opener earlier this month.

While the outing will mark Iwasa’s practice debut, it will not be his first time in an F1 car, having driven for the then-named AlphaTauri at last year’s F1 post-season test in Abu Dhabi.

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"I'll be driving for FP1 of F1 Japanese GP!" wrote Iwasa on social media. "I'm so excited to drive F1 car again... and it's my first official session of F1.

"I'm very looking forward to drive Visa Cash App RB F1 Team car in front of many fans there!!!"

Under F1’s current regulations, each team must run a rookie – by definition a driver who has started two or fewer Grands Prix – in two FP1 sessions over the course of each campaign.

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