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Formula 1 Dutch GP

Shwartzman set for F1 Zandvoort FP1 run with Ferrari

Ferrari Formula 1 reserve driver Robert Shwartzman will replace Carlos Sainz in FP1 at Zandvoort on Friday.

Laurent Mekies, Racing Director, Scuderia Ferrari, Robert Shwartzman, Reserve Driver, Scuderia Ferrari

It will be the first of two rookie sessions in 2023 for the Russian-Israeli driver, who had previous outings for the Maranello outfit in Austin and Abu Dhabi last year.

All teams have to field a rookie who has started no more than two races in two FP1 sessions during the season.

Shwartzman’s run will be the first by any reserve or non-race driver this year, although the FP1 appearances by Oscar Piastri, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries at the opening race in Bahrain also counted.

As previously reported, scheduling rookie runs is harder than ever for teams this year due to sprint weekends, F2 clashes, street events and special tyre allocations.

Ferrari has more flexibility with Shwartzman than some teams have with their rookies as he is not currently competing in F2.

Team principal Fred Vasseur confirmed that the choice of which FP1 session to give up was agreed upon after a discussion with Sainz.

“Robert will do Zandvoort in Carlos' car, and he'll do another one, probably Abu Dhabi, in Charles' car,” said Vasseur.

Robert Shwartzman, Ferrari F1-75

Robert Shwartzman, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"It was the choice of the driver, I gave them the choice to do it where they want to do it. I know that it's not an easy situation. But Carlos was [ok with] the idea.

“It's not so easy to decide because for sure you can't do it in Singapore, in Japan, in Las Vegas. Also, you have some sprint events in Austin, Qatar, so that you can’t do it.

“Then you have the races with the tyre allocation a bit different, it's also so tricky to do it. It means that at the end of the day, you don't have so many options."

Vasseur said the team had preferred to stick with Shwartzman rather than give FP1 runs to Ferrari Driver Academy members Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc, who currently lie sixth and 14th in the F2 points table respectively.

“They have to be focused on the F2 championship,” he noted. “And we will try to give them opportunities of testing either on the 2021 car or something else before the end of the season. But I want to push them to stay focussed on the F2 championship."

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