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F3 star O’Sullivan to drive for Williams in F1 Abu Dhabi FP1

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O’Sullivan will get additional mileage within the rookie take a look at that follows the race weekend, the place he’ll share driving duties within the second FW45 with fellow Method 3 graduate Franco Colapinto.

2021 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award winner O’Sullivan emerged because the best-placed of the 4 Willams juniors within the F3 sequence, logging 4 wins on his method to second place behind current McLaren signing Gabriel Bortoleto.

The 18-year-old solely simply outscored Colapinto, who received twice and was solely 9 factors adrift in fourth place. He’ll graduate to F2 with ART next year.

O’Sullivan handed step one of qualifying for a free-practice solely F1 tremendous licence because of the factors he accrued in F3 and GB3, however he additionally needed to full 300kms in what the FIA laws name “a consultant” F1 automobile.

He achieved that when Williams organized for him to drive Alpine’s A521 in a non-public take a look at in Bahrain final month.

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O’Sullivan had beforehand pushed an F1 automobile, having completed 32 laps of Silverstone in an Aston Martin AMR21 in October final 12 months as a part of his Autosport prize.

He’ll change Alex Albon in Abu Dhabi, whereas Logan Sargeant’s Bahrain debut counted as a rookie run with the opposite automobile.

Photograph by: Williams

Zak O’Sullivan, Prema Racing

Talking completely to Autosport, Williams staff principal James Vowles stated there was a risk of trying outdoors for a driver to fill the FP1 slot ought to O’Sullivan not have certified for a licence.

“There have been choices to place in others that weren’t within the driver programme,” stated Vowles. “However we very a lot really centered on ensuring that we put our personal driver within the automobile, and never others, as a result of that is the funding that we’re making.

“By way of Zak himself, whereas he’s coming from F3, he has pushed a F1 automobile earlier than.

“He received the Aston Martin BRDC Autosport Award, and had a Positive lead to that. And to really do that occasion, it’s important to do 300kms or so in an F1 automobile. It wasn’t a Williams F1 automobile, it was an Alpine.

“Nevertheless it’s sufficient that it offers me confidence he’ll carry out very properly. If you happen to have a look at his season and the way he’s as a person, he is a really clever driver who is aware of how you can extract essentially the most out of equipment.

“He is aware of that truly, he isn’t right here to set a lap time. He is right here to construct his expertise base as the results of it. And I believe he is an extremely succesful driver, and deserving of this chance in Abu Dhabi.”

“I’m actually excited to take part in FP1 at Abu Dhabi,” stated O’Sullivan. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the FW45 for the primary time, and get some good mileage beneath my belt.

“Along with that, I’m returning to the automobile for the post-season rookie take a look at to additional my growth with the staff. Large because of Williams Racing for the chance and for placing their religion in me to drive the 2023 automobile.”

Franco Colapinto, Williams Driver Academy

Photograph by: Williams

Franco Colapinto, Williams Driver Academy

Colapinto, who will make his F2 debut in Abu Dhabi earlier than his Williams rookie take a look at run the next week stated: “I’m extraordinarily grateful to Williams Racing for giving me the chance to drive an F1 automobile in solely my first 12 months within the Academy.

“I’ve been dreaming of today since I used to be a child and have been working actually arduous for this. To have this opportunity on the official younger driver take a look at is an actual honour.

“Thanks to the staff for entrusting me with the FW45. Being a part of the Academy this 12 months has opened my eyes in so many various areas and I really feel able to make this step. I can’t wait.”

The Argentine driver can even graduate to F2 subsequent 12 months, making his sequence debut within the 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi with MP Motorsport earlier than persevering with with the staff subsequent 12 months. 

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