Jules Bianchi, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Fiorano, 2011

Bianchi says young drivers need more test chances

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In today’s round-up, Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi says testing restrictions make it harder for young drivers to get into F1.

Also, don’t forget to cast your votes in the quarter-finals of Champion of Champions before the semi-finals start today:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari’s Bianchi slams testing rules (Reuters)

“Definitely for young drivers it doesn’t help. Fortunately I’m at Ferrari and it’s the best place to learn. I’m able to test older cars like from two years ago and that’s good experience.”

Ecclestone hits back at Melbourne mayor (ESPN)

“If the mayor thinks I’m cranky, I can probably be able to help him by proving it. If he’s not happy with the event in Australia, if he wants to cancel the contract, we’d be happy to talk to him about that.”

Monte Magic (Grand Prix)

“The paperwork showed, quite clearly, that the former F1 driver was in 15th place thanks to setting very competitive times. You had to remind yourself that this was not only Caffi’s first attempt at arguably one of the trickiest rallies in the world, but it was also his first-ever major rally. Period.”

Ferrari using Toyota’s wind-tunnel (Autosport)

“The Toyota tunnel is one of the commercial tunnels that is more state-of-the-art, and that is why we have selected it.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Patrickl made animated versions of the Ferrari F150 and F10 comparison graphics which help illustrate some of the more noticeable differences between the two:

I animated the different pictures. I think it shows pretty well where the differences are.

Front view
Side view
Top view

From the forum

Here’s a great topic from ToriLia: Suggestions for must-watch Grands Prix from the past for newbies?

Happy birthday!

A bumper crop of birthdays today – all the best to Shery, MPJ1994, Hazel J and Graeme!

On this day in F1

Fifty years ago today the Australian Grand Prix was held for the last time before the race became a world championship event.

Lex Davison won at the wheel of a Cooper T51. The next Australian Grand Prix took place in 1985 at the Adelaide street circuit.

43 comments on “Bianchi says young drivers need more test chances”

  1. Love the animated pictures if the new fezza. Nice one Patrick

    1. Yeah, it really shows how much higher the whole chassis sits.

      1. Put your hands together for Patrickl, that is superb, you get my two thumbs up award for the day.

        Big happy birthday shout out to Shery, MPJ1994, Hazel J and Graeme!


        Ferrari elected that using the Cologne facility of the former Toyota team was its best bet.

        Partially explains why HRT got turfed out by Toyota.

        1. Yes, I have six thumbs and they’re all pointing upwards for that, hopefully someone will do the same for the other launches

        2. Partially explains why HRT got turfed out by Toyota.

          Hadn’t thought of that. You may be right.

    2. LOL, is it just me, or does the first one make it looke like the car’s breathing?

      1. ha. yeah it does

      2. LOL, now that you mention it TomD11, I can’t stop looking at the pics and going “breath in… aaannnnd breath out”

      3. I noticed that too – like a heart pumping!

    3. Thanks guys.

      1. Brilliant Patrickl, before at least I got the imression that the rear wing was lower on the new car, but youve cleared my eyes, they are of the same hight.

  2. Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi says young drivers need more testing chances.

    There’s a simple solution to that: let young drivers test the previous year’s car at a circuit that is not a part of the championship (like Imola) and in the presence of FIA officials to stop teams from gathering data.

    Speaking of that, what ever happened to Anthony Hamilton’s GP Prep Academy?

    1. Same line of thought we had there… just my idea is better ;) so took longer to post!!

      Nah, any extra young tests would be win win for the teams.

      GP Prep was banned because it gave Mclaren an unfair advantage during the testing ban ( they were using MP4-23s I think).

      1. Talladega Knight
        29th January 2011, 1:51

        Didn’t Stefan GP plan to do something similar? Weren’t they planning to start an academy using the TF110 as their car due to the fact that they weren’t a competing F1 team. If my memory serves me correctly however, this fell through as they were unable to find a tyre supplier.

        1. ….among other things.

    2. The answer is regional F1 championships. Europe, America, Asia. Opportunities for young drivers to clock up km’s and race experience, opportunities for fans to see more F1, opportunities for more people to get involved in the sport, get involved in the management of teams, involved in the engineering, the maintenance etc. It would broaden the pool of talent both on track and off track and ensure that people involved in the world championship are actually the best of the best.

      1. That would be too expensive. You would need a full support team at each race, even though they wouldn’t count towards the world championship. I don’t think the teams can afford to spend that much.

        Unless you’re talking about scrapping the world championship completely, running simultaneous regional championships and then throwing the top teams of each regional championship into an end-of-season world championship.

        1. Why would it be so expensive. Scrap GP2 and have this instead. Manufacturers could sell the previous year models, and offer servicing and maintenance options, and sell as a package to people with money, but with out the full know how on how to setup and run a team.

          1. i like it.. sure the teams would have to expand a whole lot, but it would be awesome to have an “asian champion” or “euro champion” as well as the WDC

      2. I think that’s a great idea. GP2 and F2 are so far removed from F1, it’s silly. Just neuter last year’s cars a bit by taking off some aero and extend the amount of races an engine and gearbox have to do and voila.

        1. X amount of sessions over the year where you must use your basic lauch aero package car?

    3. They didn’t cancel testing because they despise young drivers … it was because it was eye-wateringly, cripplingly, expensive. A comprehensive standing army of technicians, equipment, cars and trucks. Rich teams pounding thousands of miles, for diminishing returns, in a bloated testing arms-race.

      So talk of maintaining and running year old cars or alternate mini feeder series are clearly at odds with the problem’s stated root cause.

      Me, I’m an out of the box type of guy, I’d go for something wacky …

      We’ve got loads of races, probably too many, each race-driver has to nominate one race that they will choose to miss, a kind of anti-joker, the test-driver will do that whole weekend, practise, qualifying and race. They therefore will have two full weekends (two race-drivers) to show their stuff, let’s apply some genuine pressure, a proper examination.
      Perhaps catch the eye of a team boss, maybe some media glare and name recognition to juice-up sponsorship options, and maybe shame a few existing drivers, past their sell-by date, and hogging rare and valuable race-seats. Keeps everyone on their toes.

      Obviously they can keep any points they may score. Not sure if we let the teams have constructor points, yes it means they don’t put a paying dummy in the car, but we don’t want them to be afraid to try someone really new and young, an exciting prospect but still rough around the edges.
      (Either way, rules state the nominated young driver can’t have done a proper Grand Prix before, i.e. no ringers).

      Stick in a proviso that race drivers can’t miss any Grand Prix in the country of origin, to keep race promoters from jumping out windows … and there you have it, a full on proper step-up into Grand Prix racing for young drivers, the full experience, better than pounding out thousands of pointless test miles (Badoer *cough*) and all at zero additional cost to any team, big or small.

      1. Sounds like a good idea

        But having them on for full races may annoy existing drivers

        The drivers already complain about ‘rookies’ in F1

        Imagine what would happen if there would be a race incident involving young drivers

        Also, the championship race could potentially become anti-climatic

        1. You could add a rule stating
          – they all need to show-up for the first four races (no avoiding new-car teething troubles, and let us get the season properly warmed-up)
          – and all must compete in last four races (for the championship run-in).

          That leaves a team 24 race-starts in the middle to give two of them to the test driver.

          I guess the racedrivers would hog all the good tracks, Monaco, Silverstone, Monza.
          But still, a dozen or so teams would mean on the average two test-drivers showing up per weekend, which is probably manageable, we’ve seen plenty of young drivers show-up midseason with no F1 experience and they all made it out OK.

    4. You can find your answer in the ” who cares” section.

  3. I thought the upcoming launches and test wouldreduce my kraving for F1… how wrong i was :(

    1. They just make you want the first race to arrive even more right?

  4. I agree, would it not be possible for teams to have their reserve driver drive in a B race on Sunday morning before the race, using 2009 models, that are more or less irrelavant to the current season, but still provide the youngsters with F1 racing, it also gives the fans another spectacle on race day. All the team personel are already there so infrastructures in place and I’m sure the young drivers would be well up for it!

    Cost, as always a mitigating factor!(I feel obliged to try and use big words now I’ve got a uni unconditional ;) )

    1. That’s the big problem. Cost. All the teams shipping and extra car or 2 plus spares would be rather expensive. But I like your idea. That would be good for fans aswell if they broadcast the race

      1. The simple, cheap and convenient solution is to bring back the spare car. The teams already have a spare chassis, several spare engines and more than enough spare wings and peripherals to build another 1 or maybe two cars. If they ran a 3rd car on fridays for reserve drivers and then kept the spare car in case of major car damage such as alonso in monaco free practice or qualifying crashes. This would give youngsters time to drive and give technichal feedback, while preventing the show-killer that is a star driver crashing out in quali or practice.

        1. Sending your reserve driver out in the “spare” car, giving them a chance for a major shunt, damage to car, mileage on the engine, etc. kind of defeats the purpose of a spare car…

          1. they always did it before they were banned. and anyway if you asign say two or three engines for the year for the spare cars, then the engine mileage problem is gone.

      2. the other thing about running old-spec cars is spare parts. The teams then have to have the parts for 2 different spec engines, 2 different spec hydraulic systems, 2 different spec aero packages etc.

        Huge amount of cost involved right there.

      3. The large costs involved have a lot to do with logistics. Moving these things around is very very expensive for GP2 type teams. I like the idea, but the races need to be geo-centric in order to keep the costs low. If the races can stay in Europe, a separate schedule in Asia and maybe even an America’s series, then I think the idea is fantastic. A two year old car is still much much closer to F1 than any feeder series car and this is the big problem with having young drivers entering F1 with no experience and no testing time. Something must needs be done and cutting travel costs and re-using older cars seems to me to be one of the best ideas I’ve heard; excepting that young drivers are allowed to drive a third car on practice days or throughout the series.

  5. The Sri Lankan
    29th January 2011, 1:01

    love the fact that the old Toyota team tunnel is still being put to good use

    1. Not only is the wind tunnel their car, & even the mechanics are being use.So at least they are having some money in the pocket.

    2. It seems like Toyota had state of the art facilities. Too bad they were doomed from their less than stellar management.

  6. Ferrari driver parrots Ferrari President’s comments. Huh.

    Why not mandate having to use three drivers over the three practice sessions? For example, Sutil and Hulk in FP1, di Resta and Hulk in FP2 and then Sutil and di Resta on Saturday? That way every young driver gets a chance, no-one is disadvantaged relative to other teams and teams will be encouraged to recruit good testing talent.

  7. I know there are a few South Australians on here so I let them know that ‘Senna’ will make its Australian premiere at the Piccadilly Cinema on Sunday February 27 at 3.00pm, with another session on Sunday March 6 at 1.30pm. The screenings are a part of the Adelaide Film Festival. Tickets start at $13 for Concession card holders, with normal tickets being $17.

  8. i ♥ you eccleston

  9. Not sure if this was mentioned earlier this week, but Martin Brundle is competing this weekend at the Daytona 24 Hours with Mark Blundell. They’re driving a Daytona Prototype (funny looking semi-spec car) for United Autosports.


    He qualified for his team in 9th position.

    If this makes the Sunday round-up, the race will have started about 3 or so hours before the round-up gets published.

  10. Sorry Bernie but if it becomes a choice between you or Melbourne I choose Melbourne…..

    I mean no disrespect, I admire what you have done for F1 in the past but in recent years it appears to me that you have become obsessed with money and have forsaken the interests of the fans in pursuit of it.

    In recent interviews and statements you have become increasingly erratic and have relied more and more upon your reputation rather that the wit, charm and intelligence which founded that reputation.

    Maybe its time to pass your mantle and protect your reputation and let someone else play ring master.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.