May 12 (GMM) A third team has decided to join Red Bull in Abu Dhabi for the young drivers' test.
Due to the calendar congestion at the end of this season, and also to cut costs, most teams have opted to drop the Abu Dhabi option in favour of testing young drivers in July, at Silverstone.
But Red Bull, and its second team Toro Rosso, are sticking with the original November plan, amid criticism July is too early to be assessing young drivers.
McLaren is now following suit.
"Our plan at McLaren at the moment is to test in Abu Dhabi," said the British team's sporting director Sam Michael, who said another factor against Silverstone is that teams are only half-way through their engine mileage allocations in July.
"Engines is a significant factor," the Australian explained.
"If you want to test at the end of the year, you have so many part-mileage engines that all have a little bit of mileage on them so you can effectively do it for free, in terms of your race engines," said Michael.
"If you try and do that in the middle of the year, you can't use your race engines so you have to prepare a special test engine."