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when today's stars first tested an F1 car

Sebastian Vettel (GER) tests a Williams BMW FW27.
Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain,

Last week saw a whole host of young drivers get behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time. But when did members of the current grid get their first taste of the ultimate racing machinery? We've dug through the archives...

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso (ESP), the 1999 Open Moviestar by Nissan Champion test drove the Minardi

Fernando Alonso first tested an F1 car at Jerez in December 1999, following a meteoric debut year in single seaters in which he won the Open by Nissan championship (later the World Series) at his first attempt. Minardi were impressed - and the Italian tea

Valtteri Bottas

2011 Formula One Young Driver Test - Tuesday
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab

Having joined Williams as test driver in 2010, Valtteri Bottas conducted some straight line test work for the team before being handed his first serious test chance at the 2011 end-of-year Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi - some two months after he had clin

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001.
Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December

Fresh from winning the 2009 Japanese F3 crown, Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a maiden F1 test outing with newly-crowned F1 champions Brawn Grand Prix at Jerez. The Swede clocked 136 laps in the BGP 001 over three days of December running. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault R28.
Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Thursday 12 June

A few days after a short demo run at Silverstone, Romain Grosjean made his proper F1 test bow for Renault at Barcelona in June 2008, racking up 60 laps in the Renault R28. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW29.
Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 4

Nico Hulkenberg made a big splash in his debut F1 test with Williams at Jerez in December 2007, lapping quicker than the team's regular driver Kazuki Nakajima. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England,

19-year-old Daniil Kvyat enjoyed his first proper run-out for Toro Rosso at the 2013 young driver test at Silverstone. He must have made a good impression - later in the year he'd make his F1 practice debut with the team. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton

2004 Autosport Young Driver Test.
Silverstone, England. 1 December 2004.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

Future three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a first taste of F1 power at Silverstone in December 2004. The Briton enjoyed 21 laps behind the wheel of a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19. © LAT Photographic.

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day One, Yas Marina Circuit,

Having joined McLaren's young driver programme in 2010, Kevin Magnussen was handed a maiden outing with the team at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi in November 2012. He impressed immediately, going fastest on the opening day and staying there for the r

Felipe Massa

2001 Formula One Testing
Mugello, Italy. 19th September 2001.
Euro F3000 champ Felipe Massa tests

Sauber handed baby-faced Euro F3000 champion Felipe Massa his F1 test debut in September 2001, with the Brazilian completing two days of running at Mugello in the C20. © LAT Photographic

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus E22.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Abu

He's driven for Manor and Force India in F1, but it was Lotus who gave Esteban Ocon his first taste of F1 machinery at Abu Dhabi in November 2014. © Sutton Images

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Force India VJM07.
Formula One Testing, Yas Marina

Like Ocon, Jolyon Palmer experienced F1 machinery for the first time at the 2014 post-season test in Abu Dhabi. The Briton, fresh from winning the GP2 Series, completed 37 laps for Force India. © Sutton Images

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez (MEX) BMW Sauber C29.
Formula One Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,

Fresh from finishing runner-up in GP2 in 2010 - and having already inked a Sauber deal for 2011 - Sergio Perez enjoyed his first F1 drive with the Swiss team at the end-of-year Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen(FIN) Tests for Sauber, Mugello, September 2000, only 8/10ths off Schumachers

20-year-old Kimi Raikkonen was granted a debut test by Peter Sauber after a very short but hugely impressive run in Formula Renault. His pace over three days of testing at Mugello in September 2000 - he got within 1s of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher on day two - landed him a race seat in 2001. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 
Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December 2009,

Daniel Ricciardo made a strong impression on his F1 test debut at Jerez in December 2009 - the newly crowned British F3 champion topped the timesheets ahead of his fellow young drivers. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone,

A day before fellow Red Bull junior Daniil Kvyat made his debut, Carlos Sainz was given a chance behind the wheel of Toro Rosso's STR8 at Silverstone. The teenage Spaniard then tested for senior squad Red Bull the next day. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MP4-29.
Formula One Testing, Day Two,

McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne outlined his potential by lapping only marginally slower than regular driver Jenson Button during the two-day test at Barcelona in May 2014. © Sutton Images

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9.
Formula One World

Max Verstappen is the only driver on this list to have driven an F1 car for the first time at a Grand Prix event. The teenage sensation took part in FP1 at Suzuka in 2014, just a year after first climbing into a racing car. © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel (GER) tests a Williams BMW FW27.
Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain,

Sebastian Vettel was just 18 when he tested an F1 car for the first time, driving Williams' BMW-powered FW27 at Jerez in September 2005 as a reward for dominating German Formula BMW in 2004. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Pascal Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
Formula One Testing, Yas Marina

Just days after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had dueled for the 2014 world title in Abu Dhabi, Pascal Wehrlein climbed aboard the championship-winning Mercedes AMG F1 W05 at the same venue for his F1 debut. © Sutton Images



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