Frederik Vesti, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

F1: How Mercedes prepares rookie Vesti for FP1

Every season, two FP1 sessions must be completed by a rookie driver. In Mexico, Mercedes will have Fred Vesti driving the W14.

Fred and the Team explain why these rookie sessions are so important and what preparation is required.

“It’s my first ever Free Practice so obviously my expectations are high, but there is a check list that I need to go through and tick all the boxes and that’s where I’m going to keep my focus.”

Fred Vesti is quite rightly excited to make his maiden appearance in an F1 car on a Grand Prix weekend. Whilst it will be a proud moment for the Dane, he is aware that he has an important job to do. How do we make sure a rookie driver is ready for that task?

“We can replicate plenty of things in the simulator. For Fred Vesti’s outing, we’ve got a session prepared with George’s race engineers so that he can go through all the comms, all the language that they use, get ready for that and then also he will be helping us doing our pre-event work,” says Senior Performance and Simulation Engineer, Zhaoming Li.

Holly Chapman, Trackside Power Unit Engineer, adds: “To make sure a rookie driver like Vesti is fully prepared for driving the car, we’ll go through a pack of slides with them, which covers all the basics that they need to know. As they become more experienced, we can then add to that, but we really tailor it to the rookie at that time.”

The learning also continues on once the driver is on track. Hugues Bretonnier, Senior Performance Engineer, comments: “As with the race drivers, there will be an opportunity between runs to have a look at the data. We can discuss with the engineers how he can build up his confidence, progress the speed in a couple of corners maybe, using different tools on board and adjust the setup to try and progress with our weekend according to our run plan.”

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