This year will see two ‘Young Driver’ test sessions, with teams able to choose between running up-and-coming drivers in the week following the next championship round at Silverstone, or waiting until later in the year for the traditional test at Abu Dhabi.
The word of a separate test at Silverstone has been kicking around for some months, but any official announcement was delayed while all parties sought to deal with the red tape that effectively made the track unavailable due to the track’s contractual clauses with Formula One Management.
It is now understood that the test will take place on the Thursday and Friday in the week following July’s British Grand Prix. At least three teams – believed to be Williams, HRTF1 and Marussia – are believed to have put their hands up to test at the Northamptonshire circuit.
There are talks in place to try and expand it to a three-day test session – mirroring the length of the test at Abu Dhabi – by expanding the session to include Wednesday. This could make the Silverstone test a more attractive prospect to more teams who would be keen to avoid the additional expense and stress to team personnel that another flyaway event would hold.
Regardless of what changes are made to the Silverstone test schedule, at least three teams – McLaren, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso – have indicated that they will test at Abu Dhabi later in the year.