Isack Hadjar has been doing extra work in the simulator as he his gearing for his first FP1 run in F1 Mexico GP, with several others in action too.
With the sprint events and Pirelli tyre rule at two events, F1 teams had limited chances to run young drivers in FP1 session. Now at the fag end of the 2023 season, a lot of the teams are to run young drivers this weekend in Mexico GP.
One of them will be AlphaTauri’s Hadjar who will replace Yuki Tsunoda in FP1. The Frenchman is current racing in F2 as a Red Bull junior and has got a chance ahead of the likes of Ayumu Iwasa and Dennis Hauger with a F1 test chance in a competitive session.
Hadjar has been in the simulator not just preparing for the FP1 run but also filling up for Liam Lawson, who was subbing for Daniel Ricciardo to help them during the weekends. “I’m super excited to be driving in FP1, but at the same time, I’m a bit apprehensive, as I’ve never driven a Formula 1 car,” he said.
“To do so for the first time at an official practice session for a Grand Prix is quite something. The team has not set me any targets, so I don’t feel under any particular pressure, and I think I’m as well prepared as I can be. After Daniel was injured and Liam stepped in, I did a lot more work in the simulator to help the race drivers prepare, so I have a good understanding of how all the controls in the cockpit work.
“I’ve spent time in Faenza getting to know the team, and the engineer who will work with me in FP1 was also with me at the sim, so we know one another already. The altitude in Mexico means this is an unusual track to drive with less downforce than usual, but I can’t wait to get in the car and do my best for the team.
“Since I started karting as a young child, I have dreamed of being in Formula 1, and I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri and Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity,” summed up Hadjar, who could get another run with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.
Hadjar won’t be the only FP1 driver with Alfa Romeo confirming Theo Pourchaire as well in place of Valtteri Bottas. The likes of Frederik Vesti, Oliver Bearman and Jack Doohan were already confirmed to take part by Mercedes, Haas and Alpine respectively.
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