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Nyck de Vries to make FP1 debut this weekend; to drive Williams at Spanish GP first practice

The 27-year-old is getting a chance to race in Barcelona under the new rule introduced for this season that made it mandatory for a team to give rookie drivers an outing in FP1 on at least two occasions.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 16 May 2022 9:29 pm

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries is all set to make his Formula 1 race weekend debut as he will be driving Williams at the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix. The reigning Formula E world champion will drive Alex Albon’s FW44 for the 60-minute session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The 27-year-old is getting a chance to race in Barcelona under the new rule introduced for this season that made it mandatory for a team to give rookie drivers an outing in FP1 on at least two occasions. Notably, this will be the first official appearance on track on a grand prix weekend for the Dutch driver. Before this, de Vries had driven Mercedes in the young driver test in Abu Dhabi at the end of the 2020 season.

The Grove team say that de Vries will “aid the team’s preparation work ahead of qualifying and the Grand Prix”. “We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson.

“Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex for FP2,” he added.

Preparation for the test is going well so far: Nyck de Vries

The Dutchman also reacted to this big opportunity thrown at him. De Vries said that he is thrilled to go out on the track and drive the FW44. The 27-year-old also talked about his preparations. “Firstly, I’d really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1. It’s great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula 1 weekend”.

“Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I’m very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now,” Vries added. Notably, the first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix takes place at 14:00 local time on Friday.

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