All 10 Formula 1 teams will be forced to run a rookie driver on two Friday practice occasions in 2022 following a change in the sporting regulations.
With pre-season testing limited to just two tests despite brand new cars being introduced, there is little opportunity for young drivers to gain track time aside from a traditional post-season test. In order to provide more chances for rookies to get F1 experience, every team will have to run a driver who has not raced in a grand prix.
“We are fully supportive of the sporting regulations which are in place next year, that we have to do mandatory two free practice sessions with young drivers during race weekends,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said.
“In addition to the young driver testing we have post-season, because it’s just difficult nowadays to get seating time for these young guys coming out of the junior categories and therefore it’s also our responsibility to provide that seating time. Moving forward, we would also be supportive in order to provide even more.
“What is good is if it’s mandatory for all teams because then it is fair from the sporting perspective, so I like that.”
Teams will be free to choose when they provide the opportunities during the season, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the requirement to run drivers during a race weekend rather than in a test will provide an additional step in their development.
“We need to give young drivers the opportunity to have a little bit more stress during the race weekend, have a comparison against the other guy in the garage, work with the team,” Wolff said. “I very much welcome the regulations for next year.”