Hamilton and Button to miss Mugello test

2012 F1 testing

Gary Paffett, McLaren, Valencia, 2011McLaren have confirmed test drivers Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett will drive for them in the Mugello test.

It means Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will not drive during in-season testing this year.

The three-day test is being held at the Mugello circuit in Italy from May 1st-3rd.

One further test is planned for later this season, which will be for young drivers without F1 experience.

2012 F1 season

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26 comments on Hamilton and Button to miss Mugello test

  1. Deurmat (@deurmat) said on 18th April 2012, 15:03

    In season testing is back from this year? Or already introduced last year?

  2. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 18th April 2012, 15:04

    Probably due to conflicts of scheduling with other sponsor activities? Filming a Johnnie Walker commercial?

  3. galzo33 (@galzo33) said on 18th April 2012, 15:08

    i think this is very fair as jenson and lewis get to drive that car all season where as oliver and gary only do simulator work

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 19th April 2012, 14:24

      Well that’s kind of the difference between being employed as a race driver and a test driver… fair doesn’t really come into the equation.

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 18th April 2012, 15:08

    now it seems like Mclaren is the only one using test driver properly.

  5. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 18th April 2012, 15:14

    Logical. That’s what test drivers are for. Good for them as they are more involved and good for the drivers as they can concentrate on their ongoing season.

  6. Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th April 2012, 15:30

    I must say I am surprised at this…not that I don’t realize other drivers need car time too, but one would think this is a crucial test for a lot of teams, and it is not by definition a test for young drivers with little F1 experience, it is a test that they decided to place mid-season in lieu of one pre-season test. Methinks if things weren’t looking pretty good for Mac’s WDC chances this season they would have both their primary drivers at this test.

  7. Alfie (@alfie) said on 18th April 2012, 15:43

    Logical, however I fear it will deign them to gear the car more towards Turvey’s and Paffett’s likings..

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 18th April 2012, 15:58

      But those two are also they guys. and I think especially Paffett, who do a lot of the pre-race simulator work to get a good set up to start the weekend with, and to test different strategies, aren’t they @alfie? So then if McLaren know how the car behaves on track compared to their simulator work, they also can get a better “start” set up for the next weekend, and they already know how HAM and BUT set-ups tend to compare, I’d think.

      Seems like a very McLaren-like multi-step simulation-vs-track validation procedure :)

  8. TED BELL said on 18th April 2012, 16:24

    Seems odd that your primary drivers would not be the ones testing the cars they drive at only a handful of testing days per the season. No one really knows how any changes feel except the driver himself. Yes there could be alot of data reflecting said changes but nothing really tells you what an improvement is unless you are feeling it through the seat of your pants.

  9. spacák (@spacak) said on 18th April 2012, 17:25

    It almost looks like leaving out one fourth of this year’s testing? Apparantly, McLaren is feeling VERY strong, bad news for rivals.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 18th April 2012, 18:04

      Why do you say that ?
      I believe test drivers can do a excellent job and collect data as well as race drivers do.
      They’re not asked to qualify on first row nor overtake at Eau Rouge, they are here to drive consistently and collect data.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th April 2012, 18:17

        yeah for sure you are right that they are collecting data…it just feels like with such limited testing nowadays it would be even better for the team to have the drivers most familiar with the cars doing the collecting, giving the input, the feedback etc.

      • spacák (@spacak) said on 18th April 2012, 18:52

        When the testing is limited like today, I assume McLaren would take race drivers for any necessary serious work. Test drivers were used for long-lasting tests when race stars became tired. Since Massa`s Hungary crash and Luca Badoer`s 15 minutes of fame I`m afraid I don’t belive so much in test drivers skills.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th April 2012, 19:26

          Maybe thats why they feel the need to give them some track time? I guess we have to leave it up to Mac’s own decision as to being what is right for them even if it seems odd on the outset. Perhaps they see value not just in giving those guys some track time, but in hearing their fresh perspective on how the cars feel, and how they feel different when changes are made throughout the 3 days.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 18th April 2012, 20:09

      @spacak I think this is the right thing to do. Mid-season the test drivers are driving the simulator with the new upgrades, this way they can compare their updates on track to the upgrades on the simulator. If the times are matched Paffett on track vs Paffett on simulator, that means, the simulator gave good feedback, so they can rely on it.
      Also this way they reduce the number of variables, they have a constant Turvey and Paffett, so it is easier to draw conclusions after a day of testing.

  10. xeroxpt (@) said on 18th April 2012, 22:00

    I know that Mugello isnt an F1 track still giving your drivers rest means putting them behind work for the next GP race because they wont be as prepared as they could be with the new details on the car.

  11. barkun (@barkun) said on 18th April 2012, 22:22

    I believe that is how in-season testing should be: using only test drivers. That is also how new talents can be discovered and groomed. Otherwise its useless (and quite sad) to have a third driver and not giving him any track-time.

    • TED BELL said on 18th April 2012, 22:50

      The point of the third driver is for him to be ready to roll at a moments notice. He should already be good enough to have a race seat somewhere with some team. The fact that he is a third driver reflects his willingness to be an understudy, play the simulator and have patients for the time when it becomes his turn.

      All of this special moment stuff about a third driver and getting a test does nothing more than dilute the overall effort of a team. I mean who cares if the third driver returns to the pits and say the camber is off 11 degrees. His opinion of what is needed is far less important than what #1s or #2s have to say.

      It is their race car and only they should have a say in what is needed.

  12. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 18th April 2012, 22:25

    Maybe they want to keep both as far as they can from Italy, given Massa’s current form?

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th April 2012, 13:46

    Will McLaren ACTUALLY use a young driver in the appropriate test later this year?

  14. rdpunk (@) said on 19th April 2012, 16:10

    Well then, using a test driver for testing, logical. Using a racing driver for testing, ilogical. I would say some teams which are content on the way the car is going will use the test drivers but teams struggeling and not knowing what is wrong with the car, Ferrari, will have both drivers going all out.

  15. wigster (@wigster) said on 19th April 2012, 22:45

    Interesting move. I think it shows that Mclaren have confidence in their test drivers to do a good job, and it gives them a chance to correlate how the car feels on track to the simulator, which could be a wise move for the rest of the season.

    I am slightly concerned though that the likes of Vettel, Alonso and Schumacher may all be at the test and getting used to whatever updates teams have planned before the next race. So they may get a ‘head start’ on the Mclaren drivers at the beginning of the next race weekend with the feeling and set up of their updated cars, which if cars are closely matched could be important.

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