Russian racing driver to fill in for Carlos Sainz or Charles Leclerc at Ferrari

Robert Shwartzman is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Scuderia Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies has announced who will be driving for the team in both of their FP1 rookie sessions in the second half of the season, with Ferrari Driver Academy star Robert Shwartzman set to take the spotlight.

2021 Formula 2 runner-up Shwartzman will drive for Ferrari in two FP1 sessions during the second half of the season; however, it’s yet to be decided which Grand Prix he’ll feature at.

A new rule for 2022 has seen every team have to use a rookie driver in two FP1 sessions, in a bid to give the next generation of F1 drivers time behind the wheel.

Whilst making the announcement, Mekies explained that it definitely won’t be happening at a venue like the Singapore Grand Prix.

“For us it’s Robert Shwartzman that will do our two FP1s,” Mekies said.

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“We haven’t exactly decided on which events it’s going to be.

“You would not pick races like Singapore or races where the race drivers need more running. I don’t think we have an issue in doing it during one of the weekends where we have Pirelli testing.”

Shwartzman has plenty of experience driving F1 machinery, having taken part in multiple tests for both Ferrari and the Haas F1 Team.

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The Russian-Israeli driver has faced a turbulent season, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

Due to his nationality, Shwartzman has been unable to race in 2022.

The young driver has changed his nationality from Russian to Israeli recently, allowing him to compete in FIA World Championships under the Israeli flag.

Shwartzman has managed to do so, having been born in Israeli; however, he used to race under the Russian flag, having spent the majority of his life in the country.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to F1 for a number of years, with Ferrari rating him very highly.

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Should Mick Schumacher not be re-signed by the Haas F1 Team, then Shwartzman could be in with a shot of driving for the American team, who he tested for at the 2021 young drivers test.

Shwartzman wasn’t the only driver to be announced as driving in an FP1 session in the second half of the season, as Scuderia AlphaTauri revealed that F2 driver and Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson would be behind the wheel of the AT03 at the Belgian Grand Prix.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost announced that Lawson would be taking the place of either Yuki Tsunoda or Pierre Gasly during FP1 at Spa; however, it’s yet to be decided which driver will sit out.