Formula 2 title contender Frederik Vesti will make his debut in a Formula 1 race weekend by driving for Mercedes in practice at the Mexican Grand Prix.George Russell’s car for the first practice session. He drove a modern F1 car for the first time last year, when Mercedes called him up for the official post-season test at the Yas Marina circuit.
All 10 teams are required to hand each of their cars to an inexperienced driver in at least one practice session over the course of the season. No team has publicly nominated any drivers for this yet, although rookie Nyck de Vries fulfilled the requirement for one of AlphaTauri’s cars at the season opener as he had yet to exceed the maximum limit of two grand prix starts.
The 21-year-old Danish racer is in his second season in F2. He spent ten races at the top of the standings before missing last weekend’s feature race at Spa-Francorchamps after crashing on his way to the grid. So far he has taken four wins and one pole position in 2023.
Mercedes began backing Vesti’s career at the start of 2021, after he finished fourth in his rookie season of FIA Formula 3. Vesti finished in the same position in his sophomore campaign, taking one win, then in his rookie F2 year he also won a race and took a pole.
He trails Theo Pourchaire by 12 points with six races remaining. If Vesti wins the title he would not be allowed to stay in the series next year.
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