Jenson Button says F1’s leading teams are unlikely to run junior drivers in practice sessions in order to receive extra tyres.
A plan is being considered under which teams will receive an extra set of tyres for the first practice session for a new driver to use.
Button said he was supportive of the plan although he didn’t expect McLaren would take advantage of it. “I don’t think you’ll see many of the big teams having a third driver drive the car on Friday,” he said.
“I think it’s a good idea to have extra sets for young drivers, yes. It’s very difficult for a young driver to have mileage in a Formula One car. They need to bring a lot of money, it seems, to have the opportunity.
“But now that they have extra tyres it could actually be useful for middle-of-the-grid teams and lower to have a third driver for more mileage, more information. There are quite a few test drivers that will sit around and watch Friday, Saturday, Sunday every other weekend and they don’t get to drive the car.
“So I think it’s good for them and I think for the future of the sport it’s important that youngsters are actually getting the chance to drive an F1 car and experience a Grand Prix weekend properly rather than just watching what happens.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, who drove in practice sessions for Toro Rosso before making his F1 debut, agreed that young drivers need more test mileage:
“I remember my case one year ago I was pretty happy to have some run on the Friday in the Toro Rosso. I think it’s a really good experience as Jenson said. First of all we have to bring a lot of money or we have a chance to be in the Red Bull programme and we get the opportunity to drive but it’s never enough and it’s definitely a good thing.”
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