Ferrari will not appoint official reserve driver in 2012

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso

Mar.15 (GMM) Ferrari will not appoint an official reserve driver in 2012, the Italian team has confirmed ahead of the season-opening race in Melbourne.

The Maranello based team’s former reserve, Jules Bianchi, has stepped up to the Friday role at Force India.

Also on Ferrari’s books are Davide Rigon, Giancarlo Fisichella and Marc Gene.

But in the event Felipe Massa or Fernando Alonso are unable to race at any point this season, Ferrari will “take one of the drivers who are running around the paddock”, a spokesman told Auto Motor und Sport.

“Last year we saw that Pedro de la Rosa was there and ready to go when Sergio Perez needed to be replaced at Sauber,” the source added.

For example, it is believed that ousted Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari accepted the radio co-commentary role with the BBC in the hope that he will be needed by a team at some point this year.

Mercedes, too, will not have its official reserve – Sam Bird – on site throughout the long 2012 season.

“It makes little sense with the test limits to pay for an experienced test driver full-time,” explained Norbert Haug.

Subbed by AJN.