Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula 1 car will be driven by Formula E champion Nyck de Vries during the French Grand Prix’s opening practice on Friday.
Mercedes has assigned reserve driver Nyck de Vries to this Friday’s opening session at the Circuit Paul Ricard in compliance with Formula One’s mandate that teams run a junior driver in at least two practice sessions this season.
The action marks Mercedes’ first compliance with the new rule for 2022 requiring teams to run a rookie driver in two Friday practice sessions during the season. A rookie driver is one who may not have participated in more than two F1 world championship races during their career.
This year, Mercedes is letting its racing drivers choose when to retire for a Friday practice, and Hamilton went with Paul Ricard. Later on in the year, George Russell will do the same on an unspecified circuit.
“Nyck is replacing Lewis in first practice this weekend, as part of the allocated sessions for young drivers this year,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “So, we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”
De Vries had a rookie outing with Williams earlier in 2022 at the Spanish GP in May where he took control of Alex Albon’s car and outpaced Nicholas Latifi. He was one of the drivers associated with the Williams seat that ultimately went to Alex Albon this year.
De Vries, a former McLaren protégé and 2019 Formula 2 champion, is currently anticipated to continue in Formula E with the Maserati team that will replace Mercedes in the coming season and to combine that with a World Endurance Championship programme with Toyota.