Lewis Hamilton will get some time off ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes have confirmed junior driver Frederik Vesti will take part in their first Free Practice session (FP1), prior to this weekend’s season finale. Last month he participated in FP1 at the Mexico City GP, in place of George Russell and will now fulfil the second of the two obligatory sessions where teams must run a rookie, behind the seat of Hamilton’s car.

The 21-year-old Dane will also get a full day’s running in the W14 during end-of-season testing.

Vesti is currently second in the 2023 F2 Championship, having claimed four victories and three other podium finishes so far this season. He still has a chance of claiming the title, with one round remaining.

"Driving in FP1 in Abu Dhabi is another step in my career,” Vesti said. “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. 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."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, commented: "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."

2023-11-20T19:19:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd