Potential mandated rookie running in next year’s Formula 1 season may put Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong in an F1 car more often.
F1 are strongly considering making it compulsory for each team to use a rookie driver in select Free Practice sessions in 2022.
While it is currently optional for teams to run a third driver in FP1 on Fridays, it is a trend only seen between a handful of smaller teams.
But with several junior talents waiting on the sideline for their next big break, F1’s managing team want to see more drive in official practice sessions.
“I think it’s next year they’ll need to run a young driver on a Friday, every team a certain number of occasions,” F1 managing director Ross Brawn said.
Kiwi drivers Lawson and Armstrong are contracted to F1 junior teams.
Lawson is part of the Red Bull Junior programme, while Armstrong is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Both have had small tastes in older-spec F1 cars, though neither is yet to have driven in an official free practice session.
Should the new rules come into play next year, we might not have to wait too long to see the New Zealand flag back on the F1 grid.
The proposed idea has backing from several teams.
“It is the best exposure we can give to the kids and I’m not sure FP1 is a very relevant session [for regular drivers],” Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur said.
“We were very supportive in putting mandatory sessions in place,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl added.
How F1 defines a rookie won’t be decided until closer to the new year.
Lawson and Armstrong have three more F2 rounds this season.
The championship resumes this weekend with a trio of races at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia.
Main Image: Marcus Armstrong in a 2018 Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano