Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
46 days
09 May
Next event in
64 days
23 May
Race in
81 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
95 days
13 Jun
Race in
103 days
27 Jun
Race in
116 days
04 Jul
Next event in
120 days
18 Jul
Race in
137 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
151 days
29 Aug
Race in
179 days
05 Sep
Race in
186 days
12 Sep
Race in
193 days
26 Sep
Race in
207 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
211 days
10 Oct
Race in
221 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
236 days
31 Oct
Race in
243 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
263 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
278 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
284 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
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok Prime

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict.

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021