Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
40 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
54 days
09 May
Next event in
57 days
23 May
Race in
75 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
89 days
13 Jun
Race in
96 days
27 Jun
Race in
110 days
04 Jul
Next event in
113 days
18 Jul
Race in
131 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
145 days
29 Aug
Race in
173 days
05 Sep
Race in
180 days
12 Sep
Race in
187 days
26 Sep
Race in
201 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
204 days
10 Oct
Race in
214 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
229 days
31 Oct
Race in
236 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
256 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
271 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
278 days

Alonso in, Vettel out: Who can do F1’s young driver test?

Formula 1’s post season young driver test has turned in to a major controversy after the FIA ruled out adding any further exemptions as to who could take part.

Alonso in, Vettel out: Who can do F1’s young driver test?

Renault’s success in persuading the FIA to allow veteran Fernando Alonso to run ahead of his grand prix return in 2021 prompted rival teams to request if they too could get approval for new drivers to run.

For while the test had originally been intended only for those who had not taken part in more than two grands prix, the FIA accepted that allowance should be made for anyone who had not raced in 2020.

While that was good news for Renault, that move angered a number of its rivals who felt that Alonso would be getting an unfair advantage over drivers like Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel who were moving to new teams next season.

Ferrari and Racing Point in particular were eager to push to get their new drivers an early run but, as revealed by Motorsport.com, F1’s race director Michael Masi informed all the teams on Tuesday that only those who had not raced in 2020 would be eligible.

That decision has not gone down well with everyone, and has left F1 in a far from ideal situation where a number of vastly experienced or older drivers can now take part in a test that was specially arranged to help young talent.

Here is a rundown of some of the surprises in terms of drivers who can and cannot take part in the test.

Can take part

Fernando Alonso (age 39, 311 race starts)

Alonso is returning to F1 with Renault next season. And although the two-time world champion is well in excess of the original two-race limit to test, the fact he has not competed in 2020 means he is eligible.

Robert Kubica (age 36, 97 race starts)

As Alfa Romeo test and reserve driver, Robert Kubica has appeared in four free practice sessions for the team this season. However, having not raced since he left Williams at the end of 2019, he can join the test.

Sebastien Buemi (age 32, 55 race starts)

While Buemi has not raced in F1 since 2011, he has maintained close ties with Red Bull as a simulator and development driver. Having not raced last season, he gets a green light to test because of the 2020 exemption.

Jack Aitken (age 25, 1 race start)

Aitken was always down to do the young driver test for Williams, as part of his ongoing role with the team. And although he has now competed in F1 this season, after standing in for George Russell at the Sakhir GP, he will not have raced in more than two events this year – so is all clear to run.

Stoffel Vandoorne (age 28, 41 starts)

Although he is not believed to be in line for a run, Mercedes reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne could be drafted in by the German car manufacturer because he has not been called on to race this season. Had he filled in for George Russell at the Sakhir GP, he would have been instantly ruled out.

Read Also:

Cannot take part

Carlos Sainz (age 26, 117 starts)

While Carlos Sainz has competed in only a fraction of the events that compatriot Fernando Alonso has done, the fact he has raced in F1 this year for McLaren means he falls foul of the FIA criteria. Ferrari must now wait to run him in one of its cars.

Sebastian Vettel (age 33, 256 starts)

Racing Point would have liked to give Sebastian Vettel a run in its car in Abu Dhabi, prior to his arrival at the Silverstone-based team for 2021. However, he cannot do so because he raced this season.

Daniel Ricciardo (age 31, 197 starts)

Daniel Ricciardo’s switch to McLaren meant a post-season test would have been ideal for an early run. However, amid the original plans for the run to be strictly for young drivers only, his new team abandoned plans to run several weeks ago so the idea was never considered.

George Russell (age 22, 37 starts)

The post season test has often provided the opportunity for big teams to try out younger talent – with George Russell being an obvious target for Mercedes if they were unrestricted. However, despite being just 22, the fact he has raced this season means he cannot run at all.

shares
comments

Related video

Binotto: Leclerc can be a "clear leader" like Schumacher

Previous article

Binotto: Leclerc can be a "clear leader" like Schumacher

Next article

Haas condemns "abhorrent" Mazepin behaviour in Instagram video

Haas condemns "abhorrent" Mazepin behaviour in Instagram video
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again Prime

What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again

Former Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren engineer Rodi Basso on what he’s learned about successful teams, and what the famous Italian squad needs to do to get back on top in Formula 1

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Prime

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? Andrew Benson takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel and attitude that sets only a select few apart from the rest.

Formula 1
Mar 7, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return Prime

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a point-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021