FIA allows teams to use race drivers at Young Drivers Test for “tyre development work”

2013 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Silverstone, 2013The FIA has announced teams will be allowed to run their race drivers in the forthcoming Young Drivers’ Test as F1 seeks a solution to the tyre problems which affected yesterday’s British Grand Prix.

FIA president Jean todt said: “Our priority is to ensure safety for all in Formula One and we believe the incidents at Silverstone represent a genuine safety concern for the drivers.”

“We have thus taken the decision to alter the Young Driver Test to allow teams to use drivers they deem fit to carry out tyre development work in a bid to solve the problems we saw at the British Grand Prix.

“I believe it is fitting to carry out this work at the circuit upon which the issues were manifested.”

The test takes places on July 17th to 19th, after this weekend’s German Grand Prix. However the FIA added the length of the test may be extended by one day.

The FIA intends to allow drivers “who have competed in more than two F1 World Championship events provided it is clear that the purpose of them doing this is to test tyres for Pirelli”.

The sport’s governing body it has “asked Pirelli for an assurance that there will be no repetition of the tyre problems at this weekend?s German Grand Prix or at subsequent grand prix [sic].”

In order to accommodate the change to the testing plan the FIA requires the agreement of teams to amend article 22.4h (i) of the Sporting Regulations and article 12.6.3 of the Technical Regulations. These govern the dates on which testing may take place and changes to tyre specifications.

The FIA added Mercedes has agreed not to participate in the test following the ruling handed down by the International Tribunal last month.

Red Bull had previously announced Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jnr would drive for them at the test.

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140 comments on FIA allows teams to use race drivers at Young Drivers Test for “tyre development work”

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  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st July 2013, 19:23

    So is it still called Young Drivers Test? or just “Bring Whoever You Like” Test?:P

    Good for FIA for reacting afterall. It’s needed… if it brings a solution, more than welcomed !

  2. celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 19:24

    Well I agree and think this actions were necessary. Hope now that Pirelli was 20 cars and 3 day test can find a solution for this problems

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd July 2013, 0:00

      @celeste – I just hope the FIA have an actual plan here. If not, the teams could (and probably will) abandon plans to focus on solving the explosive blow-out problem and instead concentrate on maximising their own performance on the tyres. You know Red Bull will do it without hesitating.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd July 2013, 7:58

        @prisoner-monkeys Along with the other ten teams.

        It would be rather naive to suggest the world champions are the only ones who will exploit any opportunity to gain an advantage. Particularly when it’s not they but their two closest rivals in the championship who’ve been conducting the secret Pirelli tests.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd July 2013, 10:43

          But Red Bull are the only ones complaining about it, and the only ones talking about deliberately breaking the rules.

          My point is that the teams will ignore the intention of the test and concentrate on their own development if they are given half a chance. The FIA needs to have a plan in place to counter that. They won’t be able to stop teams gathering data, but they will be able to monitor what data is gathered. And any team who ignores the purpose of the test should be banned for half a dozen races.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd July 2013, 7:09

            I had a look at the wording of the change to the YDT format @prisoner-monkeys, and from that its pretty clear that the FIA will actually look at not allowing teams to gather data and test parts when they have their regular drivers in the cars.
            We already heard how they can use SW with the Pirelli log on/licence which makes the data unavailable for the teams. Off course in this situation its well possible that Pirelli will actually share all data gathered first with the FIA, but also with all the teams.

  3. Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st July 2013, 19:25

    That’s a goodbye for all the new/old young drivers we could’ve seen… Ferrari certainly won’t bother calling up someone else, Bianchi maybe but I don’t think so. Will Red Bull still bring da Costa and Sainz? Probably.

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 1st July 2013, 19:34

      Red Bull does have two teams, so I imagine their young guys will get a go in the STR while Vettel and Webber do all the work in the RB9. Perhaps we will also see a return for Kovalainen in the Caterham? They clearly value his feedback.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 19:41

        I think all teams should run their regular drivers line up.

        • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 1st July 2013, 20:53

          No use running Webber since he’s not gonna be back next year, put JEV Ricardo or Da Costa in the 4th RB car (be it Webbers seat at RB or whoever he’s replacing at STR) & that way they can use the data (atleast aero wise) to start to build a platform for next year to determine how close Vettel and one of his potential teammates are.

    • DominikWilde (@dominikwilde) said on 1st July 2013, 23:01

      Ferrari wouldn’t have called up Bianchi anyway, even if it was a propper Young Driver test. They wouldn’t be allowed because he’s started a Grand Prix in the last two years. They would’ve ran Davide Rigon

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 2nd July 2013, 10:06

      Alonso and Massa will only be allowed to work on a Pirelli tyre test. Don’t see why Ferrari would be so much interested in just that.

      If Ferrari (or any other team) wants to test new parts then they’ll need to call on Young Drivers. I don’t see why they wont do both.

  4. Nick (@npf1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:28

    I’m glad the FIA, Pirelli and the teams got to a sensible outcome. I do think it’s a shame we’ll probably end up seeing 1 or 2 young drivers getting track time, but I’d rather see this becoming a tyre test, than a ‘getting ready to replace an injured driver’ test..

  5. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 1st July 2013, 19:29

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned elsewhere on this website, but it has been confirmed that this test will be open to fans. And with the proper race drivers, all the more reason to attend! I hope the paddock area is less constricted than it is on race weekends. Doubt it though…

  6. q85 said on 1st July 2013, 19:32

    Button made a comment this weekend that there is less top line experience drivers than there are Top team seats up for grabs. But is it a surprise the young drivers dont get a chance to get up to speed. Alonso/Webber/Hamilton/Vettel all had alot of testing before even entering a race with a big team, the current drivers dont get that. Drivers like Algersuari raced their first races without ever even driving the car previously and at the age 21 he was thrown on the scrap heap, as will be whoever doesnt get picked out STR pair.

    The days of promoting your test driver seem long gone. We are now seeing the long term bad effect with older drivers retiring and no one seemingly worthy as a replacement.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 1st July 2013, 20:01

      I think they should consider bringing back the 3rd car for Friday practise. I have no ideas about what the costs might be for reintroducing that, but there was never a better time in F1 for test drivers than when they could participate in Friday practice. I used to actually know who all the test drivers were and what team they belonged to. It was exciting to watch them, you could learn a bit about how good they are and they got a lot of valuable experience. Nowadays the test driver position is nearly meaningless.

      It’d be especially important in case one of the race drivers got injured or sick and couldn’t race. Say something happened in FP3 for example, then they’d already have some experience before jumping into the car for qualifying. Now the situation is that it’s better to rely on someone like Pedro de la Rosa (nothing bad about Pedro) instead of using your own test driver.

      • Zantkiller (@zantkiller) said on 1st July 2013, 20:39

        I don’t why but that comment just made me want Pirelli to be allowed to run their test car during the Friday practise sessions.
        I don’t think they would really get much useful data from it but it would be nice for the fans to see a car out in those practise sessions.

  7. Gebraden Kip (@gebradenkip) said on 1st July 2013, 19:34

    Is this means that Robin Frijns will get cheated out of his test I’m going to be ******.

  8. BigCHrome said on 1st July 2013, 19:36

    Mercedes not being allowed is a complete joke.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 1st July 2013, 22:25

      The wording of the article seems ambiguous as to whether Mercedes was actually permitted but denied it anyway, or were they just straight-up not allowed… Big difference.

      But maybe people will finally shut the hell up about this whole ‘illegal’ tire test scenario.

      • James (@jimmyd13) said on 1st July 2013, 23:15

        I think that it means that Mercedes have said they are not going to protest if the FIA changes the ruling, about whether they should be allowed to take part in the additional testing, that’s probably because they would only be allowed the 1 extra day of testing and in terms of costs to do just 1 day of testing it’s not beneficial for them at all.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd July 2013, 7:48

        I would say its Mercedes have “gentlemanly” agreed to keep with their ban because they know as well as everyone else that they came off lightly.

        And its possible that they had their team members sent off for a couple of days off already based on the verdict (or are they planning another private test with Pirelli :-P)

    • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 2nd July 2013, 3:15

      @bigCHrome why? mercedes have already taken part in a test, now its just the turn of all the other teams

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 2nd July 2013, 6:44

      In my opinion Mercedes participating in this test would be a complete joke.

      So, it looks like the “Young Driver’s Test” can be incredibly beneficial after all? Well, tough luck. That’s what you get for trying to bend the rules. Some people thought that their penalty was too lenient, but now the circumstances have changed and I think it’s actually very fitting.

  9. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st July 2013, 19:42

    Should have been done several races ago, but better late than never I suppose.

  10. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:42

    I think that’s an awful decision: if the tyres need to be tested they should hold a separate test. As it is the young drivers are taking all the punishment for the FIA’s incompetence and it’s simply not fair.

    I can respect the decision from a safety persective but there are better fixes than this.

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st July 2013, 19:44

      I think this is the fairest possible outcome. Everyone else now gets what Mercedes got, so effectively the Tribunals absurd ruling has become moot.

      • “Everyone else now gets what Mercedes got”

        No they dont, they get alot more. They are getting to run development parts, and they know exactly what tyres they are running on, and longer to run on them.

        Merc are losing out big time from this.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 20:06

          @N – good.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd July 2013, 2:21

            No, not good. N’s point is that the punishment is now as disproportionate to the offence as it was before the decision to let full-time drivers take part.

            If anything, Mercedes should be let into the test because whatever data they gathered in Barcelona could be used to solve the problems.

          • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 2nd July 2013, 4:35

            @vettel1 Why is it good ? ..Isn’t your belief always equality . As per your own logic , 1 day of extra testing can indeed do wonders .

            I think it is a fair decision by the FIA that addresses everything , the safety , Test Hungry Red Bull fans , Anti – Red Bull fans , Fans frustrated with Merc tyregate . So everyone can be happy . At last FIA do something about it , in the the eleventh hour . If only they had done this earlier

          • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 2nd July 2013, 4:50

            Sorry for the above post . Font error .. I was too bold there

          • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 2nd July 2013, 5:12

            @hamilfan
            It’s good that they get a real punishment now (if this test will be more useful than the one Mercedes had) instead of just taking away the advantage they got which isn’t a penalty at all. And besides I’m not even sure the original decision would have done that.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 2nd July 2013, 9:38

            @prisoner-monkeys I disagree. When you break the rules, the ‘punishment’ should not simply to redress the balance. If you steal something from a shop, you don’t just get told to give it back. While I think the testing ban is absolutely absurd, it doesn’t give anyone the right to simply ignore it. And if you break the rules you should be disadvantaged by it. Otherwise where is the disincentive from breaking the rules?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd July 2013, 10:50

            @mazdachris – When Mercedes were given the penalty in the first place, it was considered a fair penalty by the FIA. They elected not to contest it. However, in the time since, the situation has changed, and as a result, the penalty is now far greater than the one originally given that the FIA considered fair and which Mercedes agreed to.

            There is a difference between discouraging the rules from being broken and using excessive force. Especially when Mercedes’ participation could help solve the blow-out problem.

        • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st July 2013, 20:08

          Are there still people left clinging to the belief that Mercedes did not how what tyres they were running on? Even though both Rosberg and Hamilton said otherwise?

          • Irejag (@irejag) said on 1st July 2013, 21:41

            I am sure that the mechanics and other team members have been around enough tires to know the difference between compounds. No one can honestly say that they believe Merc is being truthful when they said they didn’t which tires they were using.
            So while I agree that Mercedes deserved to be punished, I also feel that Pirelli should be allowed to run tests on their tires on a regular basis. It is a safety matter after all.

          • I said exactly knowing what tyres they’re running. There is a difference between accurate knowledge and guesstimations.

            If you know Merc knew exactly what tyres they were running around on, then i suppose you know more than the people at the tribunal.

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st July 2013, 23:10

            Oddly enough, the people at the Tribunal never bothered to ask the people involved in doing the actual testing to testify. (Think about THAT for a while) So I can well believe that I know more about what went on than they do. The Tribunal was a well-orchestrated cover-up, not a fact finding exercise.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 2nd July 2013, 6:51

          No they dont, they get alot more. They are getting to run development parts, and they know exactly what tyres they are running on, and longer to run on them.

          Merc are losing out big time from this.

          You are right. They are losing out big time… as well as they should. It’s a sad day for them, but they broke the rules and should be penalized. Now they are getting a real penalty.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:45

      Why don’t they simply extend the test by a day, use two days for testing tyres and then two days for the intention of the test? That way it doesn’t eat in to the time allocation for the young drivers too badly either.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 19:45

      The problema is the dates. Inmidiatly after Germany GP it is the YDT so, it is better to hold the tyres test those days to have another race like yesterday.

      YDT can be hold later or after the season ends.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:56

        @celeste I agree with the safety ruling but I fear the young drivers will miss out entirely because of it, which isn’t just in my view. Absolutely it’s necessary but not at the expense of drivers like Da Costa.

        @jonsan agreed with that but again I reiterate that I find it unfair that the young drivers should lose out due to the FIA’s incompetence.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 20:58

          @vettel1 As I said, YDT can be rescheduled, so no need to feel outrages for the young drivers.

          Even now we don´t know what RB and the teams will choose for the line up

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st July 2013, 21:00

            @celeste I would accept that but I fear it won’t happen :(

            I think it’s pretty much a given though that RB and everyone else will chose to field their race drivers – the data is much more valuable in that case!

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st July 2013, 21:45

            @vettel1 I actually think RBR and any other team should choose to drive their regular drivers… so YD will have to wait and hope for it to be rescheduled…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd July 2013, 7:50

      We can just hope for the young drivers that were supposed to get running that the test will indeed be prolonged (its mentioned in the Article that it will, if deemed necessary) at least a day so these guys do get some running in @vettel1

  11. ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 1st July 2013, 19:43

    How conservative Formula One has become. Let’s just let every former world champion race until they are 40 or 50 years old and skip a generation. What a rip-off for the new talent. What a shame. Atleast Sam Bird won’t be sitting by himself on the sidelines.

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st July 2013, 19:45

    So this actually means Mercedes’ punishment carries a bit more weight. Funny how things work out.

    • sumedh said on 1st July 2013, 19:48

      Two birds one stone?

      This automatically gives Mercedes a harsh (IMH- just) punishment and Pirelli get the benefit of feedback from race drivers in 2013 cars.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 1st July 2013, 22:38

        Agreed. It’s the best solution for Pirelli to very quickly gain a huge amount of current data to look at, and it now essentially makes the FIA’s previously pointless punishment for Merecedes a fair punishment that should nullify the advantage they gained over other teams.

      • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 2nd July 2013, 16:06

        sumedh- two Birds one stone! I see what you did there- good one!

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 1st July 2013, 20:00

      Good decision by the FIA. There is really no choice as Spa is the next GP where those tyres wouldn’t hold up. There is a gap of 3 weeks between Germany and Hungary, and then there is the four-week summer break before Spa, which is probably unsuitable for testing as it would cause a lot of disruption as everybody will be on their deserved holidays.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 1st July 2013, 21:02

      Is the tribunal ruling now invalid, because it is not a young drivers’ test anymore!!?

    • schooner (@schooner) said on 1st July 2013, 23:17

      I was thinking the same thing. In terms of ‘real’ testing time, Mercedes will be behind the development curve after the YDT. Turns out the ‘secret’ test bit them in the a** after all.

    • erix said on 2nd July 2013, 17:15

      Because Mercedes actually sandbagging their cars prior the tribunal, and said –minimum benefit–. Once cleared off, they can show full potential like we saw in the British GP. Now they can eat what they did!

  13. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st July 2013, 19:48

    In order to accommodate the change to the testing plan the FIA requires the agreement of teams to amend article 22.4h (i) of the Sporting Regulations and article 12.6.3 of the Technical Regulations. These govern the dates on which testing may take place and changes to tyre specifications.

    Would have been funny to have Mercedes veto these changes, or to argue that they would be allowed to test if it is no longer a YDT, but I suppose they prefer to keep a low profile at the moment ;-)

    Anyway, let’s hope this test puts an end to tyre failures, as apart from the obvious safety risk, it is also no fun to have the championship decided by random tyre failures.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 1st July 2013, 20:28

      @adrianmorse

      or to argue that they would be allowed to test if it is no longer a YDT, but I suppose they prefer to keep a low profile at the moment

      The FIA already foresaw that argument:

      Notwithstanding the revised conditions as set out above, in the interests of the sport the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has accepted to not participate in this test, as per the recent decision of the International Tribunal.

  14. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 1st July 2013, 19:56

    Understandable decision, let’s just hope they decide to have another young driver test later during the year!

  15. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 1st July 2013, 20:06

    Where’s that echoing sound of silence coming from? Oh, it’s the all the people who were just recently blasting SV/RB for saying the tyres were a safety issue which needed fixing. Well, moving along …

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st July 2013, 20:51

      @jonsan, that’s because initially, Red Bull were complaining mostly about the tyres not allowing them to push, that F1 was too much about tyre management/preservation. Then later, Vettel said they were only concerned about the safety.

    • obviously said on 1st July 2013, 21:43

      I am one of those and I think Red Bull’s pressuring contributed to this situation. Pirelli was forced to bring modified tires without testing them first and we all know how that turned out. If they brought tires used in Bahrain and Spain, there would be no problems. Maybe someone would get a delamination, but we got through whole Spanish race without a single tire failure.

      I still think that delamination is the safest way for a tire to deflate AFTER it’s been punctured, but I do think that situations that are causing delaminations need to be fixed because it seems that tire is too prone to some particular type of damage that is leading to these failures.

      One other thing to keep in mind is, that as I see most of this forum is unaware of, that most if not all of the teams, are switching around rear tires. I’m surprised that nobody thinks this could be the case, because it’s ALWAYS left read that fails. Bahrain, Barcelona and Silverstone. It was never even right rear, but only left rear on three different tracks. I think Pirelli should tell teams that if they wanna put their tires the wrong way around for performance, they are doing so at their own peril. Teams are switching the tires around because it makes a difference. So, if it makes a difference for performance, it matters for all of the dynamics that come into play when it comes to tire deformations, loads etc., which means that the tire is definitely subjected to some forces it wouldn’t be subjected to if it was bolted the right way.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st July 2013, 22:07

        I am one of those and I think Red Bull’s pressuring contributed to this situation.

        I don’t see how. Red Bull weren’t the ones blocking Pirelli from switching to the Kevlar belted tyres (assuming that would have solved the problem).

        as I see most of this forum is unaware of

        I don’t know why you’re making that assumption as was first mentioned here weeks ago.

        most if not all of the teams, are switching around rear tires

        The fact that the left rear tyres have failed surely has more to do with the fact the three circuits where we have seen most of the problems (Bahrain, Catalunya, Silverstone) are all clockwise, therefore the left-hand tyres sustain higher loadings.

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