Formula One Open Wheel

Gelael Given Toro Rosso Practice Opportunities

Three drivers have already been given time in cars during Formula 1 practices in 2017, but another will join them in half of the remaining events.

Arden Formula 2 racer Sean Gelael will take part in four first practice sessions in the last eight races for Toro Rosso.

His period in the STR12 will begin at Singapore before continuing at the Malaysia, United States and Mexican Grands Prix.

Gelael has already been involved in two days of testing for the team as part of the sport’s rules over allowing young drivers – those with no more than two Grand Prix starts – a chance to gain mileage.

He competed on day one of the two-day Bahrain tests after the race in the country and was eighth overall with a time of 1m33.885s after 78 laps, 2.527s off the best time set by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

A second opportunity came in the session after the Hungarian event, again competing on the first day for 101 laps, setting a 1m20.341s, 2.595s behind F2 rival Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari.

Team principal Franz Tost described how positive Gelael’s role was to the team.

“During the tests in Bahrain and Budapest Sean performed very well, helping the team in a very professional way, with a mature approach to the complex task of providing engineers with useful feedback,” Tost said. “Everyone within the team was impressed by his performance, his technical understanding, and his commitment.”

It is not currently confirmed which of regular drivers Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat will step aside from their seats at each round.

A chance to practice for the Italian team is usually rare, with Kvyat and Max Verstappen’s appearances in 2013 and 2014 being indications of a future drive.

Gelael currently sits 20th in the F2 drivers’ championship after 16 races with three points.


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By Cameron Paterson

Cameron Paterson has been a watcher of Formula 1 since 2007, a casual television watch evolved to watching and reading anything related to something with wheels and an engine. A fan of writing, it was a no-brainer about what to do to try and get into motorsport, consistently discussing things about this great sport since 2016.