Gallery: First F1 tests of current drivers

Wondering when current grand prix drivers tested an F1 car for the first time? We've compiled a list..

Gallery: First F1 tests of current drivers

December 1999: Fernando Alonso

December 1999: Fernando Alonso
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

December 1999: Fernando Alonso

December 1999: Fernando Alonso
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

After winning the Euro Open by Nissan championship, Fernando Alonso was invited to an F1 test by Minardi in 1999. He immediately impressed his bosses and landed a full-time drive with the squad for the 2001 season.

September 2000: Kimi Räikkönen

September 2000: Kimi Räikkönen
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Photo by: Jeff Bloxham / Motorsport Images

September 2000: Kimi Räikkönen

September 2000: Kimi Räikkönen
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen, then just 20-year-old, travelled to Mugello in September 2000 to test the Sauber C19. He came within one second of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and was offered to drive for the squad for the following season.

September 2001: Felipe Massa

September 2001: Felipe Massa
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

September 2001: Felipe Massa

September 2001: Felipe Massa
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

Like Raikkonen, Felipe Massa got his first taste of a Formula 1 car with Sauber at Mugello. He made his debut with the Swiss squad a few years later in 2004.

December 2004: Lewis Hamilton

December 2004: Lewis Hamilton
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

December 2004: Lewis Hamilton

December 2004: Lewis Hamilton
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

McLaren-backed Lewis Hamilton got his first taste of an F1 car at Silverstone in December 2004. He drove the race-winning MP4-19.

September 2005: Sebastian Vettel

September 2005: Sebastian Vettel
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Photo by: Sutton Images

September 2005: Sebastian Vettel

September 2005: Sebastian Vettel
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Photo by: Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel got to drive a Formula 1 car at the age of just 18 in 2005. The test came as a reward for winning the Formula BMW championship the previous year.

December 2007: Nico Hülkenberg

December 2007: Nico Hülkenberg
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Photo by: XPB Images

December 2007: Nico Hülkenberg

December 2007: Nico Hülkenberg
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Photo by: XPB Images

After winning the A1 GP series and a highly-successful debut season in Formula 3 Euro series, Williams invited Nico Hulkenberg to the post-season F1 test at Jerez in 2007.

June 2008: Romain Grosjean

June 2008: Romain Grosjean
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Photo by: XPB Images

June 2008: Romain Grosjean

June 2008: Romain Grosjean
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Photo by: XPB Images

Romain Grosjean's first F1 outing came with Renault in June 2008, an year before his grand prix debut.

December 2009: Marcus Ericsson

December 2009: Marcus Ericsson
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Photo by: XPB Images

December 2009: Marcus Ericsson

December 2009: Marcus Ericsson
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Photo by: XPB Images

Marcus Ericsson drove for the championship-winning Brawn GP team at the end of the 2009 season before it was sold to Mercedes.

December 2009: Daniel Ricciardo

December 2009: Daniel Ricciardo
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Photo by: XPB Images

December 2009: Daniel Ricciardo

December 2009: Daniel Ricciardo
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Photo by: XPB Images

Fresh off his title in the British F3 championship Daniel Ricciardo took part in the Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi in 2009.

November 2010: Sergio Perez

November 2010: Sergio Perez
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Photo by: GP2 Series Media Service

November 2010: Sergio Perez

November 2010: Sergio Perez
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Photo by: XPB Images

Sauber gave Sergio Perez the opportunity to test a Formula 1 car for the first time at Abu Dhabi in 2009. The test came shortly after he finished runner-up in GP2, F1's official feeder series.

November 2011: Valtteri Bottas

November 2011: Valtteri Bottas
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Photo by: XPB Images

November 2011: Valtteri Bottas

November 2011: Valtteri Bottas
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Photo by: XPB Images

Valtteri Bottas joined Williams as a test driver in 2010, but had to wait another year until he tested a Formula 1 car for the first time. Like some other drivers on the current grid, he also sampled the car at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

November 2012: Kevin Magnussen

November 2012: Kevin Magnussen
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Photo by: XPB Images

November 2012: Kevin Magnussen

November 2012: Kevin Magnussen
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Photo by: XPB Images

Kevin Magnussen used to be a part of McLaren's young driver programme and the British squad gave him the opportunity to test their multiple race-winning 2012 F1 car at the end of the season.

Juli 2013: Daniil Kvyat

Juli 2013: Daniil Kvyat
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Photo by: XPB Images

July 2013: Daniil Kvyat

July 2013: Daniil Kvyat
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Photo by: XPB Images

Daniil Kvyat tested for Toro Rosso at Silverstone in 2013 and was promoted to the race seat a year later.

July 2013: Carlos Sainz Jr.

July 2013: Carlos Sainz Jr.
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Photo by: XPB Images

July 2013: Carlos Sainz Jr.

July 2013: Carlos Sainz Jr.
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Photo by: XPB Images

As a member of the Red Bull driving academy, Carlos Sainz Jr's first F1 test naturally came with the energy drink's brand junior outfit, Toro Rosso.

May 2014: Stoffel Vandoorne

May 2014: Stoffel Vandoorne
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Photo by: XPB Images

May 2014: Stoffel Vandoorne

May 2014: Stoffel Vandoorne
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Photo by: XPB Images

Stoffel Vandoorne took part in the in-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona in May 2014. He had to wait until 2017 to make his full-time F1 debut.

November 2014: Pascal Wehrlein

November 2014: Pascal Wehrlein
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Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

November 2014: Pascal Wehrlein

November 2014: Pascal Wehrlein
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Photo by: XPB Images

Pascal Wehrlein tested Mercedes' first championship-winning car of the modern era at the end of the 2014 season. He won the DTM series the following year and was rewarded with a Manor drive in '16.

October 2014: Max Verstappen

October 2014: Max Verstappen
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Photo by: XPB Images

October 2014: Max Verstappen

October 2014: Max Verstappen
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Photo by: XPB Images

Interestingly, Max Verstappen got behind the wheels of an F1 car for the first time during practice for the 2014 Japanese GP. Next year he joined Toro Rosso full-time.

November 2014: Esteban Ocon

November 2014: Esteban Ocon
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Photo by: XPB Images

November 2014: Esteban Ocon

November 2014: Esteban Ocon
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Photo by: XPB Images

It was at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2014 where Esteban Ocon tested the Lotus E22 at a tender age of 18.

November 2014: Jolyon Palmer

November 2014: Jolyon Palmer
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Photo by: XPB Images

November 2014: Jolyon Palmer

November 2014: Jolyon Palmer
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Photo by: XPB Images

During the same young drivers test, Jolyon Palmer was behind the wheels of Force India's F1 car.

February 2017: Lance Stroll

February 2017: Lance Stroll
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Photo by: Motorsport Images

February 2017: Lance Stroll

February 2017: Lance Stroll
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Photo by: XPB Images

A few weeks before his grand prix debut, Lance Stroll took part in the Barcelona pre-season test. However, one must note that he had been privately (and extensively) testing older Williams F1 cars from 2016.
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