Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries will make his Formula 1 race debut when he carries out driving duties for Williams in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix. Under the 2022 rules, every team has to use two Friday sessions for a rookie driver over the course of the season. The 27-year-old Dutchman, who is the reigning Formula E world champion, will borrow Alex Albon's FW44 for the 60-minute session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. "Firstly, I'd really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1. It's great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula 1 weekend," de Vries said.
"Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I'm very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now." De Vries shared the Mercedes reserve role with Stoffel Vandoorne and has previously tested F1 machinery when he drove the Silver Arrows in last year's post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test. His appearance for Williams fulfils one of the British team's two mandated young driver sessions, which is a new rule introduced for this season. Williams said that de Vries will "aid the team's preparation work ahead of qualifying and the Grand Prix". "We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car's strengths and weaknesses," said Williams' head of vehicle performance Dave Robson. First practice for the Spanish Grand Prix takes place on Friday.