Formula 1

Shwartzman Ready for ‘Great Honour’ of Running Free Practice with Ferrari at COTA

1 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Robert Shwartzman admits the 2022 season has been ‘very different’ for him as he has not competed in any championship, but he is excited by the chance to get behind Scuderia Ferrari’s F1-75 this week as part of his reserve driver role.

With all teams mandated to run junior drivers in at least two free practice sessions throughout the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, Ferrari have opted to give the young Russian – through an Israeli licence – the chance to run in both the Circuit of the Americas this weekend and at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Shwartzman is naturally thrilled to be getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari this weekend, and he hopes to see how it compares to driving the car in the simulator, which he has focused on predominantly during 2022 as part of being the team’s reserve driver.

“2022 has been a very different year for me as it was planned that I would not race in any championships,” said Shwartzman.  “Instead, I am working full-time for the Scuderia, doing a lot of work in the simulator and I am very happy to have been part of this year’s team effort.

“The experience I have gained this year has taught me a lot, and helped me become a more complete racing driver.

“Debuting in an official F1 session with Scuderia Ferrari is first of all a great honour and to be the first driver to have this opportunity after so many years makes what I will do on Friday really special.

“I am obviously thrilled but at the same time I am also very keen to drive this car for the first time and see how close the work we’ve been doing in the simulator is to reality.”

Shwartzman has not driven the Circuit of the Americas before, although he has spent a lot of time preparing for his chance in the simulator, although he knows it will not compare to driving it for real on Friday.

“The COTA track is a very interesting and quite challenging,” Shwartzman said.  “I have never driven on this track so this will be my first time there.

“I have prepared for it mainly on the simulator and I am really looking forward to driving on it for real.”

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