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21st Jul 2022

Why Lewis Hamilton won’t be racing in FP1 at French Grand Prix

Daniel Brown

The Briton will return to the car for FP2.

Lewis Hamilton will miss the first practice session at the French Grand Prix due to a little-known rule, it has been revealed.

For the 2022 F1 season, all ten teams are required to run a ‘young driver’ in two FP1 sessions, with Nyck de Vries – a 2019 F2 and 2020-21 Formula E champion – set to replace Mercedes driver Hamilton in Friday’s FP1 at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Mercedes revealed that the 27-year-old would be replacing Hamilton – who will return to the car for FP2 – in FP1, while George Russell will be replaced by a ‘young driver’ later in the season.

“Nyck de Vries will be driving in place of Lewis Hamilton in FP1,” Mercedes revealed.

“Over the course of the season, each driver is required to give up one of their first practice sessions for a young driver.

“Lewis has selected FP1 in France for his session, and George’s will take place later in the season.”

Team principal Toto Wolff admitted that he’s looking forward to seeing how De Vries gets on in an F1 car, adding: “Nyck is replacing Lewis in first practice this weekend as part of the allocated sessions for young drivers this year.

“So we are looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”

De Vries was set to race in F1 this season, however, Williams opted to go with Alex Albon instead.

Alfa Romeo also putting ‘young driver’ in car

Mercedes aren’t the only team fielding a reserve driver for FP1 this weekend, with Alfa Romeo putting former F1 race winner Robert Kubica in ex-Merc driver Valtteri Bottas’ car for opening practice.

It will be the Polish driver’s second FP1 outing of the season following a run at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

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