Russian driver finds solution to ban as he completes Ferrari test day ahead of FP1 appearance

Robert Schwartzman raced under the Russian flag in Formula 2 last season.

Robert Schwartzman was back behind the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car for the first-time since January, after completing 681 km of the Mugello Circuit.

It’s been a quiet year for the 2021 Formula 2 runner-up, who saw his 2022 campaign end before it had even started.

The Israeli-born driver previously raced under the now-banned Russian flag.

Despite being born near the Israeli city of Tel-Aviv, Schwartzman has dual-nationality, having been raised in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg.

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It is because of his dual-nationality that he has been allowed to get an Israeli licence to race under, with all Russian drivers now forced to race under a neutral flag due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

As well as this, Russian drivers aren’t allowed to express support for their country, something which has resulted in punishment when seen in other sports.

Ferrari themselves revealed that their junior driver “wore the Israeli colours” at Mugello, whilst driving the team’s SF21.

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It was the first-time that the 22-year-old drove under a flag that wasn’t Russian, something which has clearly taken time to sort out.

The ban on the Russian flag has seen drivers from a variety of categories have to drop out, including, former Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin.

How long the ban will last is a question that no one can answer; however, under the Israeli flag, Schwartzman can resume his career.

The former PREMA driver has been linked to a seat in Formula 1 for the last two seasons; it’s highly unlikely now, though, that he’ll be able to move until a seat at Haas becomes available.

Schwartzman is set to get at couple of FP1 sessions this year, with Ferrari confirming that the Russo-Israeli driver will be used by either Ferrari or Haas as part of the young-driver programme.

“Today was very useful for Robert as he is due to drive in at least two free practice sessions at Formula One world championship events this season,” said Ferrari.

All teams must use a young driver in two FP1 sessions this season, with the sport wanting to give more track-time to the stars of the future.

Schwartzman’s track-time could also come at Alfa Romeo, who use Ferrari engines.