Colapinto on his 'mega' FP1 chance at Silverstone (2024)

Franco Colapinto described his chance to become the first Argentine in nearly two decades to drive a Formula 1 car in a race weekend session as a “mega opportunity”.

The 21-year-old will drive for Williams in British Grand Prix first practice and has received the chance as part of his role as a Williams Driver Academy racer. It comes off the back of a superb run of form in feeder series F2 where he has won one race and scored two second places in the last four rounds to sit fifth in the standings.

READ MORE: F2 racer Colapinto to drive Sargeant's Williams during first practice at Silverstone

“It will be a very special moment,” he told “For any racing driver, it’s something you are hoping for – to have your first FP1. To get this opportunity and this trust from Williams – they have been so supportive last year – I’m extremely happy, and very proud.

“It’s a mega opportunity. I’m excited. I know it is short, only one hour [of running] but Silverstone is the nicest track to drive an F1 car with all these high-speed corners. I’m really looking forward to it and will try to do a good job.”

Colapinto on his 'mega' FP1 chance at Silverstone (1)

Silverstone is a track where Colapinto has fond memories of having won there in F3 last year and he will be in the simulator at Williams HQ in Grove this week to finetune his preparations before taking over Logan Sargeant’s car for the first session of the weekend.

He’ll be super busy on Friday, kicking off the day with practice in F2. There’s just one hour and 45 minutes before he gets out again, this time in the Williams for FP1, before jumping out and rushing back to the F2 paddock to prepare for qualifying one hour and 35 minutes later.

“It’ll be nice to feel how the car is versus a F2 car straight away,” he says. “It’s going to be a nice challenge – and an amazing opportunity.”

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Colapinto stepped up to F2 this year off the back of an impressive fourth-place finish in F3 last year – and after a slow start, the Argentine has started to find an impressive rhythm.

“The expectation at the start of the year was a bit too high and I was not doing little steps, but I was doing pretty big steps," he explained.

“I was sometimes falling off those steps a bit and I was struggling to do the process I wanted. When I started to do it step by step, I was a bit more precise and a bit more into the details.

“Testing in Barcelona [before the following F2 race in Imola] helped me a lot. I didn’t have any testing in a F2 car [before his F2 debut] so that didn’t help me adapt to the car as it’s very different to F3.

“That Barcelona test helped me to refine things. Since then, I won in Imola and I had my best qualifying since then. I’ve been quite consistent, top five in the last three qualifying [sessions]. It’s looking better.”

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Argentina has produced some incredible F1 drivers, including five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and 12-time race winner Carlos Reutemann – but an Argentine hasn’t taken part in a Formula 1 race weekend since Gaston Mazzacane did so way back in 2001.

“I would have loved when I was young to have someone from my country to support,” says Colapinto. “I’m happy I have so much support from my country.

“There were loads of Argentinians waiting for me at the entrance to the track in Barcelona. It’s not a pressure, just super nice to have people wanting you to do well and who are happy when you have a good result.

“To receive so much love from your country is a nice thing. It has been such a long time since an Argentine driver drove on a race weekend, and I think they will enjoy it lot. It’s a historic moment.”


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Colapinto on his 'mega' FP1 chance at Silverstone (2)

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Colapinto on his 'mega' FP1 chance at Silverstone (2024)


What is FP1 in Formula 1? ›

Free Practice 1 (FP1): The day usually begins with the first practice session. This session allows teams and drivers to familiarize themselves with the track, test car setups, and gather data.

What is the scoring breakdown for F1? ›

Since the introduction of the F1 points system in 2010, the winner of a Grand Prix receives 25 points. The second place receives 18 points, third place 15 points, and tenth place gets only 1 point. Additionally, if a driver within the top 10 sets the fastest lap, he'll receive one extra point.

What does the FP1 stand for? ›

How does a Grand Prix weekend work? The standard Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend sees each event take place over three days – typically Friday through Sunday. On Friday, there are two one-hour practice sessions – Free Practice 1 (FP1) and Free Practice 2 (FP2).

Who was fastest in F1 practice today? ›

FORMULA 1 QATAR AIRWAYS BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2024Great Britain 2024 Practice 1 results
PositionTeam NameTime
1Lando NorrisNORMcLaren1:27.420
2Lance StrollSTRAston Martin+0.134s
3Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren+0.211s
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing+0.309s
1 more row
4 days ago

What is the scoring system for F1 2024? ›

Currently, the scoring system goes 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 but the new regulations would see that changed to 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 meaning from seventh downwards would change.

What is the 12 points in F1? ›

What are penalty points used for in Formula 1? Formula 1's penalty points system is in place to keep driver behaviour under control, in the same way as regular road users, with 12 points on their FIA Super Licence over a 12-month period resulting in a one-race ban.

How fast do F1 cars go? ›

While the maximum speed of an F1 race car peaks at approximately 233 mph (374.97 km/h), this pinnacle velocity is solely realised during extended straight-line dashes by the swiftest cars. Within the confines of a standard circuit, these vehicles can achieve an average speed of up to 200 mph (312.86 km/h).

What is FP1 FP2 and FP3? ›

FP1, FP2, FP3

These are the three one-hour Free Practice sessions that take place during the weekend prior to qualifying (two on Friday, one on Saturday morning). It allows drivers and engineers to setup their cars for optimum performance in qualifying and for the race.

What's the point of practice in F1? ›

The practice sessions allow the drivers to learn the circuit and the teams to test their cars. Teams may test new parts on their cars. The car's wings and suspension settings may be changed to make the car faster.

What does P1 mean in F1? ›

What does P mean in F1 racing? P means “Position”. Drivers are notified by their teams of their position (and the position of other cars) with the letter P followed by a number. So, for example, during qualifying, after completing a flying lap the driver may be told “P1”, meaning he has the pole position.

What is practice 1 and 2 in F1? ›

Free practice sessions

Free practice one: the first session is held on Friday morning; typically used to get used to the track and verify the initial setup from the simulators. Free practice two: the second session is held on Friday afternoon; further work is done to refine qualifying and race setup.


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