Ferrari had already announced Hungary, and now the date is set: Robert Shwartzman will compete in the first free practice session for Ferrari in Austin. The Scuderia announced this on Twitter. Ferrari’s reserve driver will either take over the cockpit from Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz at the American Grand Prix.
Robert Shwartzman, who will be flying the Israeli flag instead of the Russian flag to start in 2022, completes the first of two mandatory rookie assignments for the Scuderia. He has already been promised the second. “Robert Shwartzman will contest both FP1 sessions for us,” confirmed Laurent Mekies in Hungary. It has not yet been decided when the second assignment will be for the Russian-Israeli driver. “But we won’t choose Singapore or a circuit like that where our regular drivers need any training time.” It will be possible at the weekend of the race, where the Pirelli test also takes place.
The Ferrari rookie will also be joined in Austin by another competitor: Logan Sargeant. He will take over from the Williams of Nicholas Latifi in FP1. Not a connoisseur, but also a Ferrari colleague and founder in Austin: Antonio Giovinazzi.
Robert Shwartzman has been part of the Ferrari Driving Academy since 2018. Since this year he has been employed as a test driver at the Scuderia. A year earlier, Shwartzman finished second to Oscar Piastri in the Formula 2 championship with Prema. Instead of driving another year in Formula 2, the 22-year-old opted for a reserve role at Ferrari and is doing a lot of work in the Scuderia’s simulator.
There was a lot of praise from Mattia Binotto early on: “Robert is a fantastic driver! No matter when he gets in the car, he is fast.” The Ferrari team boss regrets that the 22-year-old does not have a regular place in Formula 1. “There are drivers who are good in the junior series, but ultimately it is not enough for Formula 1. Robert is the opposite!”
“He was very good in Formula 3 and Formula 2, but he is even better in Formula 1 cars,” enthuses Mattia Binotto, and he deserves a place on the grid.”
Shwartzman was able to get his first Formula 1 experience at the Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi in 2021. There he drove a Ferrari SF21 and a Haas VF-21. At the Circuit of the Americas on October 21, Shwartzman will now be able to test Ferrari’s latest model, the F1-75.