Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes confirm young driver line-ups

2011 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Jules Bianchi, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Jules Bianchi drove for Ferrari in the 2010 test at Abu Dhabi

Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes will use the same drivers for this year’s young driver test as they did in 2010.

Ferrari Driver Academy pilot Jules Bianchi will return to the team for all three days of next week’s session at the Yas Marina circuit.

Mercedes will also run a single driver, Sam Bird getting all three days in the W02.

McLaren will split their running between test and reserve driver Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey.

The test runs from the 15th-17th of November.

2011 F1 season

Browse all 2011 F1 season articles

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

24 comments on “Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes confirm young driver line-ups”

  1. With all due respect to Paffett, i’m a little disappointed to see him on there.

    Could have been a nice opportunity to give someone with a genuine F1 chance a go!

    1. Gary Paffet ≠ Young Driver.

    2. @ECWDanSelby That’s what i’m thinking. What experience does he need?

    3. Think that just goes to prove it is 100% testing day for McLaren and has nothing to do with the name “young driver test” which is a shame.

      Not discriminating against Paffet because of his age, but if there was a 30 year old that had a chance to make it to F1 then no problem but Paffet isn’t going to.

      1. @snowman, @ ecwdanselby, it’s an excellent showcase of why going along with Montezemelo and allow more testing “to make it easier for young talents to get into the sport” is not the way forward!

        1. @BasCB 100% spot on. Couldn’t agree more.

    4. They are doing the same thing as Ferrari giving a drive for somepne whos never going to race in F1

  2. At 30, Paffett can hardly be considered young. Especially when the current (double) world champion is 24.

    1. Yep, Ferrari might as well stick Fisichello or Marc Gene in their car

      1. No, they have to many GP starts. I can see it now with Paffet:

        Paffet: Hey Martin, how about you give me some running in Button’s McLaren so I know what he means on track when he says it was working in the morning but now he can’t find grip?

        MWhitmarsh: no sorry, we don’t want to see you in a car in the weekends, we need you for that young driver test again, can’t risk having you as a real driver!

        Nicely sad really.

  3. Yeh I totally agree. It just seems like a pointless exercise to me (again, I know that sounds harsh on Gary, but he’s not a “young driver” with a potential future anymore. He’s McLaren’s simulator workhorse). I suppose that’s why it’s valuable to McLaren, that he can compare the simulator work he does to real life.

    Interesting to note that Pirelli have stated they’ll be trying some new tyres out, too.

  4. I didn’t realise Sam Bird tested for Mercedes last year. Good for him! Although he will have a job on, if the rumours about Di Resta going to Mercedes in the future are to be believed.

    1. Christian Vietoris will be Mercedes’ official test driver next year. Bird has been their unofficial one this and last year, with Mercedes logos and sponsors on his helmet.
      I don’t know why Mercedes don’t run Vietoris as well.

      1. @Fixy How do you know about Vietoris in 2012, I don’t think that’s been announced yet?

        1. @ed24f1 I remember it was announced during the Italian GP weekend. The commentators said so and I also found articles online confirming it. Now I can’t find a source though!

          1. @Fixy OK, I must have missed that. I also did a news search and couldn’t find anything. I’m sure we’ll find out in due course.

          2. @ed24f1 I was surprised as well, as Vietoris lacked Mercedes logos and sponsors which were still present on Bird’s helmet and overalls.

  5. Unfortunately, with no in season testing, a great number of drivers brought into the sport recently have been pay drivers and I was hoping to see a few great talents on this list. Sam Bird and Gary Paffett are solid racing drivers but they are not the future of the sport. Yes they will help develop the cars but that to me is exploiting the rules. I see it as effectively a test day, when it should be about bringing new talent through.

  6. does anyone know if these young driver tests will be televised anywhere? Or on the radio even? Last year I just watched the live timing at work, but that’s no way to see how these guys perform.

    1. @d3v0 They never have been and I doubt that’ll be any different this time.

      1. Thanks Keith. I was hoping that perhaps sky or some other supersports-pay-to-view network might have something. I just really want to see Rossi in an F1 car. At least I can keep the live timing up to see what’s going on, and maybe follow with some new media.

        1. Just do what the rest of us do; keep checking F1 Fanatic!

    2. @d3vo The times themselves are pretty inconclusive, no one knows set-ups etc…

      I remember Ricciardo ‘outpacing’ Vettel in Abu Dhabi last year.

  7. I almost forgot that a certain driver name Sam Bird is the test driver for Mercedes,has he been in any races this season?

Comments are closed.