British rookie set for F1 practice debut at Suzuka

Will Stevens F1

Will Stevens is set to contest FP1 at Suzuka for Marussia after defecting from rival squad Caterham.

23-year-old Stevens had a longstanding association with Caterham, having been part of the team's young driver programme in recent seasons. However he has now split with the Leafield-based outfit following their change of ownership during the summer.

That has paved the way for him to make his F1 practice debut at Suzuka on Friday, where he will replace fellow Brit Max Chilton.

The Japanese outing will not be his first taste of F1 machinery, however, as Stevens has run the past two Young Driver tests with Caterham.

The Brit is currently contesting his third season of Formula Renault 3.5. He enjoyed an excellent 2013 season, finishing fourth behind McLaren juniors Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne and Red Bull's Antonio Felix da Costa. However he has endured a less fruitful 2014 campaign and currently sits sixth, well over 100 points shy of top spot.

Stevens will join Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen in making his FP1 debut this weekend.

His situation closely mirrors that of Alexander Rossi. The American was also a Caterham junior until the team's ownership change, then defected to Marussia and ran FP1 for them at Spa.