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Mercedes Reserve to Replace Hamilton on Friday

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It has been announced that Mercedes reserve, Nyck de Vries, will be replacing Lewis Hamilton for FP1.

Chris Medland reported on Twitter that Nyck de Vries will be taking part due to Formula 1’s new deal with young drivers. The new rule is to help younger drivers get experience in Formula 1.

The rule is also extremely important in getting super licence points. Every session can help count towards getting super licence points. Once a driver gets 40 points they are eligible to compete in Formula 1.

Nyck de Vries, who is the current Formula E World Champion has been with the Mercedes group for a few years now. He’s currently the reserve driver for Mercedes alongside ex-F1 racer Stoffel Vandoorne. De Vries was promoted to test and reserve driver last season as the old reserve driver, Geroge Russell, didn’t need the role for some reason…

As Medland reported, De Vries will be partaking in Mercedes first young driver practice of the season this weekend. He will drive in FP1 on Friday at the Paul Ricard circuit.

It is apparent that Lewis Hamilton chose to miss the FP1 session at Paul Ricard. Mercedes agreement is that each driver will give up their car for one Free Practice session per year to allow a younger driver to get experience. Also to meet the FIA requirements.

Hamilton opted for Paul Ricard to be the one he misses. This makes sense as it is a typically more comfortable circuit and is less challenging than other ones, perhaps.

George Russell is reportedly choosing to give up his Free Practice session later in the season.

Giving up two FP1 sessions per year is great for Formula One rookies but not great for the teams with the new regulations. As the cars are new, how they perform around different circuits is still a question.

This is not Nyck de Vries first time in a Formula One car. At the Spanish Grand Prix this year, de Vries drove for Williams in the Friday Practice Session.

De Vries replaced Alex Albon on that Friday and finished 18th on the timesheets. Impressively, de Vries a tenth faster than “teammate” Latifi. The Williams team took note of his performance. Dave Robson, head of vehicle performance, said that the dutchman “definitely deserves a place on the grid”.

If de Vries puts in a good performance on Friday, many more will be saying the same thing. As the Mercedes reserve, he will be in a stronger car which he knows more about. Friday could be a very successful day.


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