Ferrari call for ‘common sense’ over YDT rules

Date published: December 6 2020 - Michelle Foster

Carlos Sainz

Changing the rules for the young driver test to suit some teams, Ferrari feel the FIA should also “open up” the test to teams who want to run next year’s drivers.

This season’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi will feature three drivers who are anything but young.

Fernando Alonso, 39, Robert Kubica, 35, and Sebastien Buemi, 32, will all be in action testing for Renault, Alfa Romeo and Red Bull respectively.

All three drivers also have more than the normal allotment of two or less grand prix starts to their names.

However, the FIA changed the rules for this year’s test to allow any driver who did not compete in the 2020 season to run.

That has irked some teams, such as Ferrari, who would like to put their new 2021 drivers in the cars.

Ferrari will have a new driver next season with Carlos Sainz replacing Sebastian Vettel as Charles Leclerc’s team-mate.

“First, we do respect the fact it was a day meant for the young drivers,” Ferrari’s Sporting Director Laurent Mekies told Motorsportweek.com.

“We are investing, as Ferrari, a huge amount of energy and time on our young drivers. We will have three or four young drivers running at the young drivers test. We think it should be the priority for the test.

“If for a combination of factors which is not for me to comment, it’s been decided to give exceptions to a few drivers including Fernando, it would probably make sense to open up the regulations so that people who want to [run] next year’s drivers can do it.

“I think it would be a common-sense approach. I think it should be a young driver test only, but if for whatever reason we are now in the position it is not going to be that because of two, three or four exceptions, then I think we should probably have a practical approach and in that case, we would be happy to bring Carlos in.”

Ferrari will run Robert Shwartzman at the young driver test.

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Sainz has revealed that there is a clause in his McLaren contract that will allow him to take part in the test with Ferrari if he is given permission to do so by the FIA.

“I’m not going to say what we are going to do,” he said.

“But I’m telling you that I’m very willing to be on that Abu Dhabi test, especially because my contract allows me to do so.”

The Spaniard is keen to get in an early run after 2021’s pre-season testing was slashed to just three days.

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