Home Featured O’Sullivan and Colapinto to get first Williams F1 mileage in Abu Dhabi

O’Sullivan and Colapinto to get first Williams F1 mileage in Abu Dhabi

by Peter Allen

Photo: Williams Racing

Zak O’Sullivan will take part in Formula 1 free practice for Williams at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with academy colleague Franco Colapinto to join him for the subsequent rookie test.

O’Sullivan has been a Williams junior since the start of 2022, and this year finished second in the FIA Formula 3 standings. Next year, he will move up to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix.

O’Sullivan drive an F1 car for the first time a year ago with Aston Martin as his prize for winning the 2021 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award. Autosport reports that he has since also driven an Alpine to reach the 300 kilometres required to take part in an official race weekend session.

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

Colapinto finished fourth in the F3 standings, just nine points behind O’Sullivan, after joining the Williams academy at the start of the year.

The Abu Dhabi test will be his first F1 running, and will follow his F2 debut at the season finale with MP Motorsport, with which he has also signed for next season.

“I am extremely grateful to Williams Racing for giving me the opportunity to drive an F1 car in only my first year in the Academy,” he said.

“I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a kid and have been working really hard for this. To have this chance at the official young driver test is a real honour. Thank you to the team for entrusting me with the FW45.

“Being part of the Academy this year has opened my eyes in so many different areas and I feel ready to make this step. I can’t wait.”