Formula 1 record world champion Lewis Hamilton will initially sit out his anniversary weekend. As his racing team Mercedes announced on Wednesday, the Dutchman Nyck de Vries (27) will take over the Englishman’s cockpit in the first free practice session.

The reason: In the course of a season, young drivers without much experience have to be used in two practice sessions. Hamilton (37) therefore opted for the first practice session on Friday in Le Castellet. His teammate George Russell (24) will sit out for a session later in the season.

Hamilton will contest his 300th Grand Prix in Formula One this weekend, the record holder with 349 starts being Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen, who retired from Alfa Romeo at the end of last season.