Formula 1 action hits Silverstone for the next three days

The much-discussed ‘Young Drivers’ test takes place over the next three days at Silverstone, with all participating teams now having named the drivers that they will run.

As we have previously reported, this will be a departure from the traditional ‘Young Drivers’ tests in previous years, because each team will also field one (or both) of their established drivers over the course of the test to evaluate the new tyre compounds Pirelli will run for the remainder of the season.

In making some of the announcements, it could also indicate who of the established runners remain in favour with their employers and who doesn’t.

Take a look at Red Bull Racing, for instance. It has managed to squeeze in half a day’s running for Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, but it hasn’t afforded the same opportunity to the Australian’s teammate Jean-Éric Vergne, which could suggest that the Frenchman – despite outscoring Ricciardo to-date in 2013 – is perhaps not within the drinks giant’s long-term plans.

Lotus, Sauber and Williams have all opted to field just one of their frontline drivers. Despite his loathing for test sessions, Kimi Räikkönen will lead Lotus’ charge, getting the final day’s running after Nicolas Prost and the highly-rated Davide Valsecchi have their respective one-day outings. Despite scoring a podium last time out, Räikkönen’s teammate Romain Grosjean will not put on his overalls this week.

It’s a similar story over at Sauber. Contrary to speculation that he was set to part ways with the Swiss team, Nico Hülkenberg will have a half-day behind the wheel of the troubled C32, with reserve driver Robin Frijns and Kimiya Sato (brother of former F1 racer Takuma Sato) sharing the other days. Hülkenberg’s teammate Esteban Gutierrez – who has had an extremely disappointing debut F1 season – will not be driving.

Over at Williams, Valtteri Bottas won’t get to sample the new tyres, with the honours going to regular driver Pastor Maldonado. The well-funded Venezuelan will be joined by Formula 2 champion Daniel Juncadella and Williams test driver Susie Wolff.

Ferrari is running the least number of drivers, giving its latest protégé Davide Rigon two-and-a-half days’ running, while Felipe Massa gets an outing on the final day. Fernando Alonso, interestingly, is taking a break from the cockpit this week and so he won’t get to sample the new tyres until the field regroups for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July. Given the Spaniard is still very much in the championship hunt, it will be interesting to see whether the team’s strategy has the risk of backfiring.

McLaren is the only outfit opting to solely run its three development drivers. Longstanding test drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey will be joined by the team’s new hotshot, Kevin Magnussen, son of former McLaren racer Jan Magnussen. With established runners not being allowed to evaluate any development parts and with the Woking squad clearly in need of some major upgrades to its troublesome MP4-28, the decision to sideline Jenson Button and Sergio Perez is a sensible one.

As confirmed, Mercedes will be the only team missing in action, with the Brackley team having been banned from proceedings following its secret tyre test in May. The team will still receive all of the tyre data gather by Pirelli over the course of the three days, although not being on-track will give it a significant disadvantage. Then again, the team only has itself to blame…

Team Day(s) Running Driver
Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 Wed AM, Thur AM António Félix da Costa
  Wed PM Daniel Ricciardo AUS
  Thur AM António Félix da Costa
  Thur AM Mark Webber AUS
  Fri AM Carlos Sainz Jr ESP
Fri PM Sebastian Vettel DEU
Scuderia Ferrari F138 Wed AM & PM Davide Rigon
  Thu AM & PM Davide Rigon
Fri AM Felipe Massa BRA
  Fri PM Davide Rigon
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 Wed AM & PM Kevin Magnussen
  Thu AM & PM Oliver Turvey GBR
Fri AM & PM Gary Paffett GBR
Lotus F1 Team Renault E21 Wed AM & PM Nicolas Prost FRA
Thu AM & PM Davide Valsecchi
Fri AM & PM Kimi Räikkönen FIN
Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C32 Wed AM & PM Robin Frijns
  Thu AM Robin Frijns
  Thu PM Nico Hülkenberg DEU
  Fri AM & PM Kimiya Sato JPN
Sahara Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM06 TBA James Calado GBR
TBA Paul di Resta GBR
TBA Adrian Sutil DEU
Williams F1 Team Renault FW35 Wed AM & PM Daniel Juncadella ESP
Thu AM & PM Pastor Maldonado VEN
Fri AM & PM Susie Wolff GBR
Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 Wed AM & PM Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN
  Thu AM Carlos Sainz Jr ESP
  Thu PM Daniel Ricciardo AUS
  Fri AM Jean-Éric Vergne FRA
Fri PM Daniil Kyvat RUS
Caterham F1 Team Renault CT03 Wed AM & PM Alexander Rossi
  Thu AM & PM Will Stevens GBR
Fri AM Charles Pic FRA
  Fri PM Giedo van der Garde
Marussia Racing Cosworth MR02 Wed AM Tio Ellinas CYP
Wed PM Max Chilton GBR
Thu AM & PM Rodolfo González VEN
  Fri AM Rodolfo González VEN
  Fri PM Jules Bianchi FRA
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team F1W04   Banned from running  

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.