Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes confirm young driver line-ups

2011 F1 season

Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Jules Bianchi drove for Ferrari in the 2010 test at Abu Dhabi

Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes will use the same drivers for this year’s young driver test as they did in 2010.

Ferrari Driver Academy pilot Jules Bianchi will return to the team for all three days of next week’s session at the Yas Marina circuit.

Mercedes will also run a single driver, Sam Bird getting all three days in the W02.

McLaren will split their running between test and reserve driver Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey.

The test runs from the 15th-17th of November.

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24 comments on Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes confirm young driver line-ups

  1. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 8th November 2011, 12:43

    With all due respect to Paffett, i’m a little disappointed to see him on there.

    Could have been a nice opportunity to give someone with a genuine F1 chance a go!

  2. graham452 (@graham452) said on 8th November 2011, 12:51

    At 30, Paffett can hardly be considered young. Especially when the current (double) world champion is 24.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 8th November 2011, 13:49

      Yep, Ferrari might as well stick Fisichello or Marc Gene in their car

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th November 2011, 16:49

        No, they have to many GP starts. I can see it now with Paffet:

        Paffet: Hey Martin, how about you give me some running in Button’s McLaren so I know what he means on track when he says it was working in the morning but now he can’t find grip?

        MWhitmarsh: no sorry, we don’t want to see you in a car in the weekends, we need you for that young driver test again, can’t risk having you as a real driver!

        Nicely sad really.

  3. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 8th November 2011, 13:07

    Yeh I totally agree. It just seems like a pointless exercise to me (again, I know that sounds harsh on Gary, but he’s not a “young driver” with a potential future anymore. He’s McLaren’s simulator workhorse). I suppose that’s why it’s valuable to McLaren, that he can compare the simulator work he does to real life.

    Interesting to note that Pirelli have stated they’ll be trying some new tyres out, too.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th November 2011, 13:14

    I didn’t realise Sam Bird tested for Mercedes last year. Good for him! Although he will have a job on, if the rumours about Di Resta going to Mercedes in the future are to be believed.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 8th November 2011, 13:36

      Christian Vietoris will be Mercedes’ official test driver next year. Bird has been their unofficial one this and last year, with Mercedes logos and sponsors on his helmet.
      I don’t know why Mercedes don’t run Vietoris as well.

  5. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 8th November 2011, 13:19

    Unfortunately, with no in season testing, a great number of drivers brought into the sport recently have been pay drivers and I was hoping to see a few great talents on this list. Sam Bird and Gary Paffett are solid racing drivers but they are not the future of the sport. Yes they will help develop the cars but that to me is exploiting the rules. I see it as effectively a test day, when it should be about bringing new talent through.

  6. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 8th November 2011, 15:10

    does anyone know if these young driver tests will be televised anywhere? Or on the radio even? Last year I just watched the live timing at work, but that’s no way to see how these guys perform.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th November 2011, 3:02

    I almost forgot that a certain driver name Sam Bird is the test driver for Mercedes,has he been in any races this season?

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