Recent GP3 winner Conor Daly is a spectator at the Formula One young driver test taking place this week in Silverstone, England. Whilst working towards the possibility of actually testing a Formula One car sometime in the future, his thoughts are also directed with some concern towards the recent decisions by the Formula One World Council. Apparently it has been decided that for free practice on Friday morning (FP1) an extra set of tires will be allocated and during the season there will now be four two day test sessions. The concern is that current Friday morning practice sessions that some teams like Force India, Williams and Caterham have used to develop their test and reserve drivers, will now have an additional 'performance' set of tires and the regular drivers will not want to miss the session.
Additionally the young driver test of recent years will in all likelihood also be eliminated in favor of four two day tests. These will be out and out performance tests and it is doubtful that teams will want their regular drivers to miss any of those days.
"To get into Formula One appears to have just gotten a whole lot more difficult for a young driver," said Daly. "It might be that the only option will be to have a big commercial backer or somehow try to be exceptional in the junior formula like GP3 & GP2 - but with everything now being spec cars etc., there is no consistency to results in recent years no matter how good a driver is."
With America about to add more Formula One stops to their Austin date in November, Daly hopes that somehow the support that American drivers may need to compete against the rest of the world does not become a restriction.
"I'm trying to concentrate on results and personal development. There are elements of the future that I have no control over and I can't worry about that, but I must admit it is a concern," said Daly.
Daly's next GP3 races take place at the Hungaroring, Hungary next weekend, July 27-28th.
Daly drives for the French based ART Grand Prix team, which is regarded as one of Europe's best junior teams. Past drivers to have gone through ART include current Formula One drivers such as; Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi and Paul DiResta.
GP3 is part of the Formula One support program with all races except Valencia taking place at rounds of the Formula One World Championship. The final rounds will be held in Abu Dhabi on November 1st-3rd.