Williams Racing Academy Driver Franco Colapinto has been given the green light to test in Formula 1 on November 28. The Visit Argentina-supported talent will drive a Williams Racing FW45 at the official F1 Young Driver Test.
Colapinto joined the Williams Racing Driver Academy in January. Since then, the 20-year-old has been sporting the iconic team’s livery on track and tasked with doing simulation work using the team’s state-of-the-art simulator over the course of 2023, helping to develop the car he will now get to drive on track.
The Argentinian driver has recently announced that he will step up to FIA Formula 2, taking part in the final round of the 2023 FIA F2 championship with MP Motorsport on November 24-26. Right after his first Formula 2 experience, on November 28 he will get to turn the wheel of a Formula 1 car. It will be a very busy week for Franco, driving for 3 days in F2 over the weekend and the F1 test on Tuesday will all be new to him. Straight after finishing his F1 test, he will start the 2024 season by testing for 3 days in the F2 car for the official F2 post-season testing. Driving two completely new cars for 6 days in a 7 day period will be tough on him physically but he is well prepared for this exciting opportunity.
Argentina has a rich motorsport history, Fangio, Reutemann and Gonzalez are the only Grand Prix winners, we have to go back 42 years at the Belgium Grand Prix to see the last Argentinian race winner. It has been over 20 years since an Argentinian driver took part in an official F1 session.
It was more than 40 years ago when Carlos Alberto Reutemann, everyone’s ‘’Lole’’ joined Williams Racing. He claimed 3 wins and 16 podium finishes throughout the three seasons he’s been with the Grove team, finishing runner-up in the 1981 F1 world championship. Now Franco Colapinto is carrying on his legacy, driving a Williams car four decades after Lole.
“I am extremely grateful to Williams Racing for giving me the opportunity to drive an F1 car in only my first year in the Academy. I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a kid and have been working really hard for this. To have this chance at the official young driver test is a real honour. I must not forget all the support I have received to get here, none of this would have been possible without the Argentinan government in particular, Visit Argentina and Marca País have been instrumental in making this all happen.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter, Managing Director, Bullet Sports Management:
“We have hit some important milestones over the past year but this is the most significant. Driving an F1 car is a dream for every racing driver, no matter the age or the championship they are driving in. Being part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy has been a priceless experience for Franco in all aspects, and to be offered this opportunity in his first year in the program is a real privilege. Thank you to everyone who helped Franco to make it possible. Williams Racing, the country of Argentina, Globant, YPF and all of our partners.”