Robert Shwartzman is back in the Ferrari machine for his first FP1 run of F1 2023 in this weekend’s Dutch GP as part of rookie run.
After Mercedes confirmed Frederik Vesti for a FP1 run in Mexico GP, Ferrari have done so with Shwartzman for this weekend’s Dutch GP as part of the rookie run. He will make his 2023 debut amid his endurance campaign to replace Carlos Sainz.
Vasseur revealed that it was the driver choice for when they wish to swap and Sainz was fine to do so in Dutch GP, while Charles Leclerc may do so in Abu Dhabi considering the mixed run of races – some being street circuits and some having sprint races.
“Robert will do Zandvoort in Carlos’ car, and he’ll do another one, probably Abu Dhabi, in Charles’ car,” said Vasseur. “It was the choice of the driver, I gave them the choice to do it where they want to do it. I know that it’s not an easy situation. But Carlos was ok with the idea.
“It’s not so easy to decide because for sure you can’t do it in Singapore, in Japan, in Las Vegas. Also, you have some sprint events in Austin, Qatar, so that you can’t do it. Then you have the races with the tyre allocation a bit different, it’s also so tricky to do it. It means that at the end of the day, you don’t have so many options,” summed up Vasseur.
Even though Ferrari have younger driver in their ranks other than Shwartzman, Vasseur stuck with the Russian as they wanted the likes of Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc to keep their focus on the F2 championship rather than indulge in F1 running.
“They have to be focused on the F2 championship,” said Vasseur. “And we will try to give them opportunities of testing either on the 2021 car or something else before the end of the season. But I want to push them to stay focussed on the F2 championship.”
Talking about his FP1 run, Shwartzman is happy to get another go in the F1 car at Zandvoort. “I am very excited to be driving the SF-23 after having worked on its development in the simulator,” he said. “Driving a Formula 1 car during a round of the World Championship is really special and something to be proud of, especially with Scuderia Ferrari, the team that has supported me throughout my career.
“Before the summer break, I did a half day’s testing to get used to being in the cockpit once again, as it’s been quite a while since I last drove a Formula 1 car. Even though it was in an SF21, which is very different from this year’s car and runs on 13 inch tyres, it was still very useful preparation for this Free Practice in Zandvoort. It will be interesting for me to compare the SF-23 with last year’s F1-75 which I drove twice, at last year’s United States and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.”
Here’s Frederic Vasseur on Max Verstappen not damaging F1
Here’s Charles Leclerc on P2 being target
Here’s Frederic Vasseur on being miles away with proper team structure
Here’s Carlos Sainz in agreement regarding contract talks
Here’s Charles Leclerc on Ferrari not doing what it is supposed to
Here’s Frederic Vassuer on needing consistency