Aston Martin sim driver set for Abu Dhabi test

Date published: November 26 2021 - Henry Valantine

Aston Martin simulator driver Nick Yelloly. Pictured in 2018.

Aston Martin have confirmed their simulator driver Nick Yelloly will take part in the post-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

Yelloly has worked with the team at the factory in Silverstone for three seasons, previously took part in the young driver test in Barcelona in 2019 and will do so again in Abu Dhabi in December.

The 30-year-old previously raced in GP3 and GP2, and currently races GT cars alongside doing his simulator work with Aston Martin, winning the China GT Championship in 2019.

The team admitted other options were available to them to fill the seat in the post-season test, but they opted for Yelloly this time as the “perfect compromise” to complete their planned running.

Nick Yelloly drives for Racing Point at Barcelona. May 2019.

“Nick is a really good guy and he’s been with us for a while,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer told the French edition of Motorsport.com.

“There were other opportunities, but we had to weigh up the pros and cons. Anyway, we don’t use the regular drivers. So it’s the perfect compromise.”

With the benefit of Yelloly being able to drive current Formula 1 machinery, Szafnauer said his feedback will also help form how the team can improve their operation while doing virtual runs back at the factory – which he feels will hopefully create a win-win situation for Aston Martin heading into the winter.

“It contributes to the development of the simulator itself more than the car,” said Szafnauer. “We are always trying to make the simulator software and hardware work a little better.

“And to be able to do a really good job, you have to be able to correlate what you feel in a simulation to a real car. So from time to time you drive a real car.

 

“So we have this opportunity to put him in there to contribute to our development and that’s what we decided to do.

“It’s a good use of our test day, and the development of the simulator contributes to the development of the car in the end.”

Alongside Yelloly working to improve the team’s simulator sessions, Aston Martin have been making a number of key moves off track as they try to make their way up the grid – most recently by signing Mercedes’ aerodynamic chief Eric Blandin as Lawrence Stroll continues to invest in the team.