Five Formula 2 drivers will take part in Formula 1’s opening practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix.Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Friday.
Isack Hadjar will make his debut in an F1 practice session for AlphaTauri. The Red Bull junior will take over from Yuki Tsunoda. The session will be Hadjar’s first ever run in an F1 car as he is yet to complete a private test with Red Bull.
Alfa Romeo have confirmed Theo Pourchaire will drive for them again this weekend, in Valtteri Bottas’ car. The current F2 points leader made his F1 practice debut at the Circuit of the Americas last year.
They will share the track with three their F2 rivals. Frederik Vesti, Pourchaire’s closest rival at the top of the F2 table, will drive for Mercedes. Alpine reserve Jack Doohan, currently fourth in the F2 standings, will drive for them as he did at the same track 12 months ago. Ferrari have loaned out their junior driver Oliver Bearman to Haas for the Friday session.
F2 rookie Hadjar lies 14th in the F2 standings. The 19-year-old has picked up one podium and two other top-five finishes from his first 24 races in the series. He is in contention to finish the year as high as 11th in the standings. He is behind five other Red Bull juniors who have all been overlooked so far this season when it comes to F1 practice call-ups, including Dennis Hauger who recently announced his coming departure from the scheme.
Hadjar won four races in the French Formula 4 championship on his way up the single-seater ladder to F2, won on the streets of Monaco in the Formula Regional European Championship and claimed three victories en route to fourth in the FIA Formula 3 standings last year.
With Hadjar’s appearance, AlphaTauri will fulfil their requirement under F1’s rules to run one rookie in each of their cars. They have already run two sufficiently inexperienced drivers – Nyck de Vries and Liam Lawson – in the car now occupied by Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull, however, still need to hand over each of their two cars to a driver with fewer than three F1 starts to their name for a practice session before the season ends.
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