Mercedes confirm Hamilton replacement for Abu Dhabi FP1

Mercedes confirm Hamilton replacement for Abu Dhabi FP1

Mercedes has confirmed that Frederik Vesti will make an appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP1 replacing Lewis Hamilton.

Junior driver Frederik Vesti will participate in Mercedes’ first Free Practice (FP1) in the Abu Dhabi season finale this weekend piloting Lewis Hamilton’s W13, the team has confirmed.

This comes after he drove George Russell’s car in the first of the two required practice sessions last month at the Mexico City Grand Prix. This time, he will take the wheel for the second session in the season finale.

Vesti is going to keep working with Mercedes as he will also take part in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi the following week after the Grand Prix.

“Driving in FP1 in Abu Dhabi is another step in my career,” Vesti said. “Getting my first experience of an official session on an F1 weekend in Mexico was a big moment.

“I learnt so much, and it was great being able to support the team and work with Lewis and George. I’m looking forward to building on that experience at Yas Marina.

“It’s a track I know well and that will no doubt make it easier to get up to speed in the one hour of practice.

“I’m extremely excited to get back behind-the-wheel of the W14 for FP1 and then the post-season test. Once again, I want to say a big thank you to the team for giving me this opportunity.”

Vesti who doubles up as a Formula 2 driver, has so far this season claimed four victories and three other podium finishes, placing in second place in the 2023 F2 Championship. There’s still one round left, so he could potentially clinch the title.

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“Fred acquitted himself well during his first FP1 session in Mexico City, running through the programme smoothly and helping us begin the weekend in a positive manner,” Mercedes trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin said.

“We look forward to having him back in the car for Abu Dhabi. It will be a busy weekend for Fred, given his F2 commitments.

Vesti will be competing in the Formula 2 championship season finale alongside his FP1 commitments. Currently, he is 25 points behind Sauber Academy driver Theo Pourchaire who is leading in the championship standings.

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