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Zak O’Sullivan: Who is the Williams driver set to make F1 FP1 debut in Abu Dhabi?

Williams have revealed that Academy driver Zak O’Sullivan will make his Formula 1 debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Zak O'Sullivan, Williams Academy

Zak O’Sullivan will make his first F1 appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix during Free Practice 1 (FP1).

The rookie driver will replace Alex Albon during the session, before taking part in the post-season Young Driver Test with fellow Williams Driver Academy member Franco Colapinto.

Read more: How O’Sullivan F1 practice run shows Williams on right track with young drivers

The news came just days after it was announced that O’Sullivan would be driving in Formula 2 in 2024.

In 2023, F1 regulations have meant that it is mandatory for teams to complete a pair of FP1 outings with drivers who have completed less than two grands prix. Each Formula 1 driver is obliged to give up their seat once a season to ensure that this can take place.

Williams have already completed one of their FP1 rookie drives, when Logan Sargeant made his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain. Because the driver had not completed two grands prix, this meant the team had fulfilled one of the two mandatory sessions.

O’Sullivan said: “I’m really excited to participate in FP1 at Abu Dhabi.

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the FW45 for the first time, and get some good mileage under my belt.

“In addition to that, I’m returning to the car for the post-season rookie test to further my development with the team. Huge thanks to Williams Racing for the opportunity and for putting their faith in me to drive the 2023 car.”

Who is Zak O’Sullivan?

Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Zak O’Sullivan is a British racing driver of Irish descent and grew up in Cheltenham. The driver began his career in karting at the age of eight and has worked his way through the motorsport ladder to his F2 seat.

O’Sullivan was given the nickname ‘Rain Man’ for his speed in the wet during his debut year of karting across Europe. He has been a Williams Racing Academy driver since 2022 and participates in simulator work for the team.

How old is Zak O’Sullivan? 

Zak O’Sullivan was born on 6 February 2005, making him 18-years-old.

What has happened in Zak O’Sullivan’s motorsport career?

Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Zak O’Sullivan began karting at the age of eight and won three out of his first five races. In 2014, the driver began racing competitively and took his first championship at the age of 11.

His victory made him one of the youngest drivers to ever win the British Super One Rookie Championship and he later also secured the British GP Kartmasters Championship.

O’Sullivan made his F4 British Championship debut in 2020 before competing in the GB3 Championship for 2021, where he was crowned champion.

He also won the 2021 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, participating in his first F1 test as part of his prize.

In 2022, O’Sullivan was also announced to be joining the Williams Racing Driver Academy before making his Formula 3 debut with Carlin, scoring two podiums and taking pole position for his home race at Silverstone. 

He moved to Prema Racing for 2023, finishing as runner-up in the standings behind Gabriel Bortoleto. O'Sullivan took the most wins of any driver - four - with five podiums and one pole position.

He will graduate to F2 in 2024 with ART Grand Prix, who currently lead the teams' championship with one round remaining.

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