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Ferrari explain retaining Russian Shwartzman

Ferrari explain retaining Russian Shwartzman

F1 News

Ferrari explain retaining Russian Shwartzman

Ferrari explain retaining Russian Shwartzman

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed Robert Shwartzman will continue in his role as test driver and be given future opportunities to drive with the team.

Shwartzman has progressed through his junior formula career under the Russian flag with heavy backing from companies based in the country.

That includes SMP Racing, the company that also nurtured talent such as former F1 drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Vitaly Petrov.

But following Russia's widely-condemned invasion of Ukraine in February that is still ongoing, the FIA came down hard and ensured no driver could run under the country's licence or flag.

The close relationship between Nikita Mazepin, his father Dmitry and Russian President Vladimir Putin cost the former Haas driver his place in F1, whilst in other categories, Russian-backed G-Drive fell off the Le Mans 24 Hour entry list.

But asked how Ferrari's ties with Shwartzman had evolved with the situation, Binotto explained: "Robert is born in Israel, he's got an Israeli passport.

"In terms of the licence, it’s not a Russian one, and he was in agreement as well with Russian companies that somehow he interrupted any agreement he's got with those companies.

"So at the moment he is still our test driver and he will remain as that."

F1 teams are obliged to give young drivers practice outings in two FP1 sessions this season as a way of creating a pathway for talent from support series.

On whether Shwartzman could be in the Ferrari for a rookie session, Binotto said: "If we will have in the future any opportunities to let him drive, we will probably let him drive."

Additional reporting by Ian Parkes

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