Silverstone Young Drivers Test in July


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
So this year the FIA have dcided to give the teams 2 options with the young drivers test - whether to have it at Silverstone mid-season or at Abu Dhabi near the end of the season. Only being allowed to take part in one the teams get to choose and unsurprisingly it looks like all the teams (except Red Bull and Toro Rosso) have opted for Silverstone probably mainly because its easier to attend logistically and also will mean they get another mid-season test.

Having this test in July has come under critisism - some from the guy who owns the circuit at Abu Dhabi (shocker!) and some from Red Bull(who have to test at Abu Dhabi due to sponsorship deals) but the biggest critic has actually been Eric Boullier, who manages lots of young talent, who states that it will interupt a lot of the young guys in the middle of their seasons and will only be used as a mid-season test rather than a chance for young drivers. This of course hasn't stopped him signing Lotus up for the session in July - he wouldn't want to miss out now. He has said he hopes it rains though. If rain is forcast this could become a none event as although the teams are only allowed to attend one test they can withdraw as late as the day before and attend the Abu Dhabi test.

Whilst I think Boullier has a point about teams turning it into a mid-season test I don't think having it in Abu Dhabi makes any difference because due to the lack of testing they can have, as we saw last year, teams will still try new bits of cars etc and Mclaren ran Gary Parfeet rather than any up and coming talent. But even if they are using it as a test session I still believe this is helpful to young talent as surely it gives them experience etc. Not sure what everyone else thinks.

Pirrelli are set to run some experimental rubber at the session too which could be an eye opener for the season after. I'm not sure if people are allowed to attend the session as spectators but if you can would anyone bother to go down?

I thought this thread could be used as a news and update thread for the test so if you come across any drivers confirmed to drive in it etc just post below.
My first bit of news for my own thread is this

Chinese driver Ma Quing Ha has been confirmed as driving in the test for HRT. He will become the first Chinese driver to take part in an F1 event and more shockingly it means HRT will turn up for a test as well!

Will imagine he'll share the duties with Dani Clos who looks a dead cert to be in the race seat next year although if Ha looks good I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the car too as I'm sure he comes with a lot of Chinese backing.
Well, you can imagine the nationalism-yuan combination would appeal to HRT for 2013. It might even be better than the current nationalism-rupee line-up that they have!
It's a shame that the Young Driver bit of the Young Driver Test appears to have been ignored. I'm sure Boullier is right about the young drivers having their heads turned mid-season.

Maybe it's simply the location that swung it for most teams, with Silverstone being so close to home, it minimises the costs and the added time away at the end of a long season?

I think also though, the timing is better for the teams to learn in July what Pirelli may be bringing next year, rather than waiting until November to get the data when the cars are already designed.

Maybe though the Red Bull one in Abu Dhabi can become some sort of shootout for Webber's drive next year :D

Who is eligible for these tests RasputinLives?
jez101 the regs for the young drivers test read as follows:

One three day young driver training test, carried out on a site approved by the FIA for Formula 1 cars either, between the end of the last Event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year or, at any other time during the Championship season following the agreement of all competitors and the FIA. No driver who has competed in more than two F1 World Championship races may take part in this test and all drivers must be in possession of an International A Licence.

Which is why Mclaren were able to get away with running Gary Parfeet for the last 2 years and probably will again this year although they are actually the only team I can think of who have a long term test driver on thier books that qualifies. Williams have Bottas who's been their test driver for 2 years but to be fair he fits into the young driver cateogry quite well too. Ferrari will plump for Bianchi who also has experience as a tester but once again its hard to suggest he's not young up and coming talent. Same with Merc and Sam Bird. Gutteriez will prob get a shot with the Sauber and Razia and Rossi with Caterham.

As for others - I wouldn't be surprised to see James Caledo in the Lotus, Max Chilton in the Merc and Daly in the Force India.

I like your suggestion that Abu Dhabi will be a shoot out for Webber's seat Jez but I think that is happening between Vergne and Ricciardo all season. I reckon the Abu Dhabi test will be for the spare seat at Toro Rosso.
Shame, they could have gotten Buemi & Alguersuari back too and had the four of them each do a race weekend in a proper Red Bull!
Yeah. I'm not swallowing that "its not a young driver test" stuff from Mclaren when they've never run anyone but Parfeet in it anyways. I think that has a lot more to do with 50% of the team having Middle Eastern owners.
:givemestrength: Why mess about with this? Its alright where it is the young driver test. Well why'll Mclaren can get away with it i don't blame them for using Gary Paffett tbh, they in the rules and he's a brilliant tester :).
At least one other Chinese driver (Ho-Pin Tung) has tested an F1 car, just not an official 'Young Driver Test'.

Anyway I rather agree with Boullier, by having it at the end of the season when the machinery is at the end of its life, you ensure the teams are concentrating solely on the drivers. For McLaren, and possibly others, this could just be another car development and comparison test.
Ho-Pin Tung has a Chinese racing license and I think he has both a Dutch and Chinese passport, but he was born in the Netherlands and lived there all his life so he's not really that Chinese :p

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what new parts will be tested at this "young drivers test". They really should keep it at the end of the season, and if costs were the biggest factor in picking Silverstone over Abu Dhabi then can't they just put Silverstone at the end of the season next year?
Pirelli might want to look into that November test in Silverstone, you got to test the inters somewhere, and its not Abu Dhabi! But why not have a midseason test all the teams want it and it would be good for the sport, but then have the young drivers test after the season too?
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