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Ferrari to use reserve driver Robert Shwartzman in FP1 at Dutch GP

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Ferrari will run its reserve driver Robert Shwartzman in the opening practice session at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Each Formula 1 team is obliged to run ‘young drivers’ in two practice sessions during the season, and Shwartzman is assuming that position for Ferrari for a third time after contesting FP1 at last year’s United States and Abu Dhabi grands prix.

Shwartzman joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in late 2017, days before the final round of the Formula Renault Eurocup which he would end up finishing third in.

He won the Toyota Racing Series and came third in FIA European Formula 3 in 2018, won the FIA F3 Championship in 2019, took four race wins as a Formula 2 rookie in 2020 and was runner-up in the series two years ago with another two wins.

There was no F1 seat awaiting him after that, and Ferrari made him its test driver for last season while retaining him in its driver development programme. Shwartzman again missed out on an F1 seat for 2023, and a place in Ferrari’s hypercar line-up, but did start the year by conducting an IndyCar test with Chip Ganassi Racing.

He also drove in Formula E’s rookie test for DS Penske, straight after starting his racing programme for this year which is co-piloting a factory-blessed AF Corse-run Ferrari 296 GTE in GT World Challenge Europe’s Endurance Cup.

In his latest F1 outing at Zandvoort, Shwartzman will be taking over the car of Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari also has to run a ‘young driver’ in Charles Leclerc’s car later in the season, and Shwartzman is expected to be called up again for that.