Ferrari alter Red Bull Ring test line-up to run teenager

Antonio Fuoco

Ferrari has apparently altered its plans for the forthcoming post-Austrian Grand Prix test and will instead run a highly rated teenager and their reserve driver, instead of Kimi Raikkonen and/or Sebastian Vettel.

With only two in-season tests taking place in 2015, the Maranello team was criticised by Italian media last month when it revealed the driver lineup for Barcelona.

“It is really difficult to understand why Ferrari is not fully exploiting this chance to test,” La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote at the time.

Indeed, while rival teams all fielded a race driver at the post-Spanish grand prix test, Ferrari ran junior driver Raffaele Marciello alongside reserve Esteban Gutierrez.

And now, Ferrari has announced that Gutierrez, linked with several Mexican team sponsors, will return to the cockpit in Austria next week, this time joined by teenage GP3 junior Antonio Fuoco.

But Turun Sanomat claims that Raikkonen had initially been scheduled to test at the Red Bull Ring. That plan, however, was before Gutierrez and Marciello lined up in Barcelona.

It is suggested the original plan was for Vettel to test in Spain, before Raikkonen gets the Red Bull Ring outing.

Had Raikkonen run as originally scheduled in Austria, however, it would have tipped the testing tally in his favour, after both the Finn and teammate Vettel got six days apiece in the winter.