The opening Practice session of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas will have some familiar faces at the wheel of various Formula 1 cars for a number of teams.

Drivers from the 2022 F2 grid drivers that are part of F1 academies will be getting their chance at driving modern machinery, including a familiar face in the form of a Vice Champion.

Here is the lowdown of who is testing for which team at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of the US Grand Prix.

Théo Pourchaire – Alfa Romeo

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Currently second in the Drivers’ Championship, Théo Pourchaire will be getting his first outing for the Alfa Romeo team on Friday. His Sauber Academy link remains, and the team formerly titled Sauber will give him his first outing on a Grand Prix weekend at COTA. The ART Grand Prix man will take over driving duties from Valtteri Bottas during the opening session of the weekend in Texas.

“I am thrilled to be making my Free Practice debut in Austin; it will be my second time behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, but in some ways, it will feel like it’s the first time, as this time it will be during an official Grand Prix session. It feels like a dream coming true, and I want to thank Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for putting their trust in me and granting me this amazing opportunity: I am looking forward to being on track, and I will make sure to get the most out of it and to do my best to support the team as they prepare for the United States Grand Prix.”

Logan Sargeant - Williams

It’ll be something of a homecoming for Logan Sargeant as he gets behind the wheel of the Williams FW44 on home soil this weekend. The Carlin driver will take part in his first official session on an F1 race weekend, driving in place of Nicholas Latifi. He will be helping the team with its pre-race programme and play a pivotal role in it’s preparations for Round 19 of the F1 season.

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“To be making my FP1 debut at COTA in my home country is special moment for me,” Sargeant said of his opportunity. “I’d like to thank Williams and Dorilton Motor Sports for this opportunity and the support they’ve given me since I joined the Academy this time last year in Austin.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in the simulator at Grove and shadowing the team at previous race weekends to help with my preparations for FP1. It’ll be interesting to see how the new generation of cars compare to what I previously drove at the Young Driver Test last year. I’m excited to jump in the car and make the most of the session.”

Robert Shwartzman - Ferrari

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Last but not least, 2021 Vice Champion Robert Shwartzman will be suiting up in Ferrari red this weekend, driving FP1 in place of 2017 F2 Champion Charles Leclerc. The former PREMA Racing driver scored two wins and a further six podiums in his final F2 campaign before stepping up as test driver for the Scuderia in 2022. He has prior F1 experience in the form of the Young Driver Test following on from last year’s final race in Abu Dhabi.

"2022 has been a very different year for me as it was planned that I would not race in any championships. Instead, I am working full-time for the Scuderia, doing a lot of work in the simulator and I am very happy to have been part of this year’s team effort. The experience I have gained this year has taught me a lot, and helped me become a more complete racing driver. Debuting in an official F1 session with Scuderia Ferrari is first of all a great honour and to be the first driver to have this opportunity after so many years makes what I will do on Friday really special. I am obviously thrilled but at the same time I am also very keen to drive this car for the first time and see how close the work we’ve been doing in the simulator is to reality.

"The COTA track is a very interesting and quite challenging. I have never driven on this track so this will be my first time there. I have prepared for it mainly on the simulator and I am really looking forward to driving on it for real.”

First Practice for the US Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 2PM local time.