Hamilton hands his car over to Vesti for Abu Dhabi FP1

Hamilton hands his car over to Vesti for Abu Dhabi FP1

Hamilton hands his car over to Vesti for Abu Dhabi FP1

Lewis Hamilton will hand his W14 over to Formula 2 driver Frederik Vesti during FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 season finale this weekend.

Vesti, who drives for Prema Racing in F2 and is currently second in the Formula 1 feeder series’ standings will be also driving the Mercedes W14 in the post-season Abu Dhabi test the Tuesday after the race.

The Danish F2 driver was also on FP1 duty for Mercedes in the Mexico City Grand Prix where he drove in place of George Russell, and his Abu Dhabi outing will be the second and final one of the two mandatory practice sessions every team has to offer for a young driver in 2023.

Vesti commented on his upcoming Abu Dhabi outing in the Mercedes W14, he said: “Driving in FP1 in Abu Dhabi is another step in my career.

“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,” he added. “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,” 21-year-old Vesti concluded.

Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin added: “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.

“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.

“He has shown he has the maturity and confidence to handle this though, and I am sure he will get the most out of it across the weekend,” the Mercedes engineer concluded.

Vesti has taken four wins and secured three podium finishes so far in the 2023 F2 season, his second year in the category.

He heads to the final round in Abu Dhabi 25 points behind series leader Theo Pourchaire, still in the running for the Title.