Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen have pulled out of the Formula 1 Young Drivers Test at Silverstone due to the restrictive nature of rules regarding participation in the test by the respective teams’ regular race drivers.
Webber had been scheduled to sample revised Pirelli tyres on Thursday afternoon, but this slot will now be taken by Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was expected to take part in proceedings on day one. Antonio Felix da Costa was on duty throughout the first day for the world champions. The Portuguese driver will also be in the cockpit on Thursday morning.
As per the original schedule, Carlos Sainz Junior and Sebastian Vettel will split Red Bull driving duties on the final day.
Raikkonen’s Friday slot will be filled by Lotus development driver Nicolas Prost, after it came to light that the Finn would be severely restricted as per the rules. Davide Valsecchi will drive on Thursday, as planned.
Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane explained, “Once details of what race drivers were allowed to do here became apparent, we would have only been able to conduct a very limited programme with Kimi.”
“If we were to run him, it would compromise the other development work we want to do with the car here. By running Nico again we’ll be able to build on the work already carried out and hopefully be in the best position to develop the E21 ahead of Budapest, whilst also conducting the necessary tyre testing for Pirelli,” added Permane.
The three day test ends on Friday. (GP247)