Two more Toyota Racing Series alumni have been offered Free Practice outings in Formula 1 later this year with Robert Shwartzman and Callum Ilott getting the call-up.
2018 TRS champion Shwartzman will make his debut F1 appearance at the curtain-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a yet-to-be-announced team.
Ilott, meanwhile, will slot behind the wheel of the Ferrari-powered Haas at next week’s Eifel Grand Prix from the Nürburgring.
The Brit contested the TRS during the 2015 season where he had exceptional race results with ETEC Motorsport which included finishing fourth on three occasions, once at Hampton Downs and twice at Manfeild.
Shwartzman will make his FP1 appearance with either Haas or Alfa. Both are customer teams of Scuderia Ferrari and it hints that the Ferrari Academy driver is in contention for one of the few remaining vacant seats on the 2021 grid.
Mick Schumacher was the other FDA driver confirmed to take part in an official F1 session. The German will join Ilott at the Eifel Grand Prix and will replace Antonio Giovinazzi in the second Alfa Romeo seat.
Ilott and Schumacher have already tested an F1 car. Ilott tested for Alfa Romeo at Barcelona after this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, and Schumacher drove for Ferrari at Bahrain after last year’s race in Sakhir,
Schumacher has been heavily linked to a seat on the F1 grid next year after impressing in his sophomore Formula 2 season with Prema. The German leads the championship over Ilott with two rounds remaining. Shwartzman meanwhile is fifth.
The announcement comes after fellow TRS graduate and F2 rival Yuki Tsunoda was confirmed to test with AlphaTauri in this year’s post-season young driver’s test at the Yas Marina circuit.
Four ex-TRS drivers are on the current F1 roster with Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi the only two confirmed for next year. Both Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat are yet to announce where their intentions lie for 2021.
Unfortunately, Kiwi and fellow FDA member Marcus Armstrong have missed out on an F1 testing opportunity. It comes after a troublesome debut season with ART GP where Armstrong has struggled to unlock his full potential.
The Kiwi is yet to firm his plans for 2021 but will either look to jump ship to a rival team or dig deep to help ART out of its hole to keep the F1 paddock interest in his performances.