Since this season, F1 teams have had the obligation to run twice a year a driver with two Grand Prix starts or less during a free practice session on Friday morning.
But with six races still to go in 2022, some teams still haven’t done a single one of those runs. And by observing the next circuits on which F1 will go, we can already think that some will not be the most favorable for the rolling of a young driver.
Back on the calendar after three years of absence, Singapore and Suzuka are two very technical and complicated tracks, including for the starters who will certainly need to reacclimatize. And drivers like Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Yuki Tsunoda or even Guanyu Zhou have not yet driven there in F1. Additionally, the Japanese track will allow drivers to test Pirelli tires for 2023.
For its part, Interlagos will host the third and final Sprint of the 2022 season. It therefore seems very unlikely that a starter will give up his seat during the only free practice session preceding qualifying. Mexico City, Austin and Abu Dhabi therefore seem to be the three most suitable Grands Prix for the teams, none of which have yet completed these two mandatory runs.
Very clear situation at Ferrari and Aston, will Piastri drive with Alpine?
Despite the uncertainty that still reigns among some teams, others already have an established program for the end of the season.
At the house of Red Bull, Juri Vips was driving the RB18 at Barcelona but the Estonian has since been fired from the Austrian firm’s junior programme. Liaw Lawson, who had already driven aboard the AlphaTauri at Spa, could therefore drive a second time.
The situation is clear in Ferrari since Robert Schwartzman, member of the Scuderia academy, will take part in the EL1 in Austin then in Abu Dhabi.
On the side of Mercedes F1Nyck de Vries had driven in the French Grand Prix and it is possible that the German team, depending on the evolution of the Dutchman’s contractual situation, will choose to bring him back to his W13.
The situation is somewhat more complex with Alpine F1who reserved his two sessions for Oscar Piastri before the Australian signed with McLaren F1 for the 2023 season. It is not impossible that he will drive on board the A522, but the Woking team is doing its best to repatriate him in advance. IndyCar drivers Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward could also have their chance in the MCL36.
We can say thatAlfa Romeo F1 played well this year: Guanyu Zhou was a beginner in Bahrain and his practice in EL1 during the opening Grand Prix therefore fulfills the criteria for compulsory practice. Théo Pourchaire, driver of the Sauber sector, should do the second run in Mexico or in the United States.
Liam Lawson therefore rode for Alpha Tauri at Spa but it is not yet known who will be chosen for the second session or where it will take place.
On the other hand, everything is very clear Aston Martin F1 : Nyck de Vries drove the AMR22 at Monza and Felipe Drugovitch, his new development driver who has just been crowned F2 champion, will take the wheel during EL1 in Abu Dhabi.
At the house of Williams F1Nyck de Vries, again, was at the wheel of the FW44 in Barcelona, while Logan Sargeant, a member of the British team’s network, will drive at home in the United States.
Finally, Haas F1 must still carry out its two obligatory runs. Pietro Fittipaldi, who had played two races for the American team at the end of 2020, is expected to be chosen.