SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
New F1 practice rules very good news says Shwartzman
Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman has welcomed moves to make the running of young drivers in official Formula 1 practice sessions mandatory.
At Sochi, McLaren boss Andreas Seidl told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he is "fully supportive" of the plan to make running young drivers mandatory in at least two practice sessions in 2022.
"If it's mandatory for all teams then it's fair from the sporting perspective, so I like that," he said.
Mercedes' Toto Wolff clarified that the proposal is that only drivers with "no grand prix experience" will be eligible.
"This is very, very good news," Russian Shwartzman, a Ferrari-contracted young driver who is currently third overall in Formula 2, said.
"It will allow rookies to gain real experience with Formula 1 cars.
"Hopefully it's a positive experience for the teams as well, allowing them to be more interested in young drivers by getting more opportunities to work with them."
Shwartzman, 22, had been hoping to move into F1 next year with a Ferrari-powered customer - Alfa Romeo or Haas - but he is no longer so confident.
"It's still too early to talk about it because my task and my goal is to finish the championship in Formula 2. After that, I will think about where to go next," he said.
The important thing, Shwartzman says, is that Ferrari remains supportive.
"They believe in me," he told the Russian specialist publication Sport-Express.
"I am very grateful for them letting me work with the F1 team, doing several tests and trying their best to get me onto the grid.
"They're helping me not so I just become a Formula 1 driver, but so I become a Ferrari driver in Formula 1. Their goal is to bring me into their team and I'll do everything in my power to make this happen."