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Wolff admits big 'shame' over Mercedes F1 driver

Wolff admits big 'shame' over Mercedes F1 driver

F1 News

Wolff admits big 'shame' over Mercedes F1 driver

Wolff admits big 'shame' over Mercedes F1 driver

Toto Wolff has said that it was a 'shame' that Frederik Vesti had to complete a 'low speed programme' during his Formula 1 debut during FP1 at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes junior driver took part in his first F1 race weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, stepping into the car in place of George Russell on Friday, as part of F1 rules that state teams must give rookies a chance in at least two practice sessions throughout the season.

Vesti completed plenty of laps in the session, but only lined up on the timing screens down in 19th position, 3.219 seconds off the pace of Max Verstappen.

His debut came as four other rookies also stepped into cars during FP1, including Jack Doohan for Alpine, Theo Pourchaire for Alfa Romeo, Isack Hadjar for AlphaTauri and Oliver Bearman for Haas.

Mercedes junior driver Frederik Vesti has impressed in F2 this season
Frederik Vesti did take part in the F1 young drivers test at the end of 2022
British driver Ollie Bearman was another rookie who was given an opportunity in FP1

Wolff: 'Part of the development of the car'

Although Mercedes' pace in general seemed to be down on Friday, with Lewis Hamilton only able to finish 11th in FP1, Vesti may have been slightly disappointed to have not been able to showcase the extent of his talents during the session.

However, Wolff assured Sky Sports F1 that the 21-year-old Dane did exactly what was expected from him during his first practice session in F1.

“First of all, it’s in the regs, everybody has to do it," he said.

"Fred went and did a test programme for us which doesn’t put him in a favourable position on lap time which is always a shame when rookies run, you wanna have them there, but it was part of the development of the car today.

“I think when you put a programme together when you know that it’s not about pushing the limits on braking or high speed, it was a programme designed for the low speed so you can take a few more risks there without binning the car into the wall and that was good.”

READ MORE: Verstappen pips surprise challenger in FP3 at Mexican Grand Prix

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