Nyck De Vries, 2019 F2 champion and reigning Formula E champion, will replace Alex Albon in the FP1 of the 2022 Formula 1 Spanish GP this Friday at the Montmelò circuit in Barcelona.
By regulation, each team must give a rookie the opportunity to take part to a free practice session at least twice, during the year. But Williams' choice to pick De Vries this year appears peculiar.
For days there have been some rumors that see Williams ready to make a seat swap between Latifi and De Vries. Jost Capito, the team manager of the English team, that is now in the hands of the Dorilton Capital investment fund, has confirmed that he has faith in Latifi and that he won't be deprived of the opportunity of completing this 2022 season. But, in the meantime, Williams will be able to get a taste of the value of Nyck De Vries.
De Vries commented on the event on Motorsport.com, saying this week is a great opportunity to prove himself, and said he foresees difficulties in adapting to the new car.
"I'm obviously very thankful and grateful for the opportunity to run in an FP1 session and kind of get to know the team, but also to kind of get myself out there during a Formula 1 weekend," the Dutchman said.
"I haven't really thought about real targets; it's only a one hour session, and you get like three runs on two different compounds, which are both on the extreme end of the spectrum.
"So it's going to be a very interesting, exciting challenge. But I'm looking forward to the experience, and hopefully I can do well."
It’s the first time for him behind the wheel of a F1 car this different, after this year’s revolution that affected pretty much every aspect of the new single-seaters, so he said he doesn’t know what to aspect from the FW44.
"In all honesty, from a kind of expectations point of view, I don't really know what to expect," – he stated - "I think I'm going to be thrown a little bit in the deep, I've only driven an F1 car twice, which was both rookie tests in 2020 and '21 with Mercedes.
"But the last time I've actually driven a very quick car on a track, it's been a little while ago, so will require some adaptations from the street tracks we know."