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Palou first time in action at F1 session: "I enjoyed every second of it" – GPblog

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The first free practice of the United States Grand Prix was an interesting day for the F1 juniors, as many as five different drivers replaced the F1 drivers during this session. Alex Palou who drove for McLaren says he enjoyed every second.


The first free practice of the United States Grand Prix was an interesting day for the F1 juniors, as many as five different drivers replaced the F1 drivers during this session. Alex Palou who drove for McLaren says he enjoyed every second.
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As many as five juniors in VT1

There were several reasons why the GP in Austin was a prime time for teams to schedule mandatory ‘rookie sessions’. The season is nearing the end and teams that have not yet fulfilled the obligation to have a reserve/junior driver drive in an official F1 session need to hurry. As the second free practice session lasted half an hour longer due to Pirelli testing, relatively little practice time was lost for the F1 drivers who had to give up their seats in FP1.
Besides Antonio Giovinazzi (Haas), Logan Sargeant (Williams), Theo Pourchaire (Alfa Romeo) and Robert Shwartzman(Ferrari), IndyCar champion Alex Palou was also allowed to test for McLaren. The Spaniard could be heard jubilantly over the on-board radio when the session was over: “This car is insane. ” On the McLaren website, Palou says more about his first F1 free practice: “The whole session was full of excitement. It’s hard to pick something that stood out, but going through Sector 1 in an F1 car during a qualify run – the feeling you get there is awesome.”
Although Palou admits he was not quite up to the potential of the car yet, he says he had a great time and learned a lot. “It was amazing and I enjoyed every second of it. I would have liked even more time.” It was not Palou’s first time in an F1 car. Together with Mexican Pato O’Ward, the Spaniard previously drove private tests for McLaren (in Spain and Austria), during which they drove more than 400 laps together. According to Palou, the difference between those tests and an official F1 session is huge.
Traffic on the track was a major factor and there was also a high pressure not to do anything wrong. Palou: “It was much more intense, but McLaren’s preparation work for me was great. I was lucky to be able to test beforehand. That allowed me to perform today.” The five ‘substitutes’ finished at the bottom of the timesheet. Of the five drivers, Shwartzman was the fastest, followed by Palou at a second behind.
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