Hamilton and Button to miss Mugello test

2012 F1 testing

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McLaren have confirmed test drivers Oliver Turvey and Gary Paffett will drive for them in the Mugello test.

It means Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will not drive during in-season testing this year.

The three-day test is being held at the Mugello circuit in Italy from May 1st-3rd.

One further test is planned for later this season, which will be for young drivers without F1 experience.

2012 F1 season

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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...

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26 comments on “Hamilton and Button to miss Mugello test”

  1. In season testing is back from this year? Or already introduced last year?

    1. They have 4 pre-season tests in the last few years, this year they went for 3 and 1 midseason.

  2. Probably due to conflicts of scheduling with other sponsor activities? Filming a Johnnie Walker commercial?

  3. i think this is very fair as jenson and lewis get to drive that car all season where as oliver and gary only do simulator work

    1. Well that’s kind of the difference between being employed as a race driver and a test driver… fair doesn’t really come into the equation.

  4. now it seems like Mclaren is the only one using test driver properly.

  5. Logical. That’s what test drivers are for. Good for them as they are more involved and good for the drivers as they can concentrate on their ongoing season.

  6. I must say I am surprised at this…not that I don’t realize other drivers need car time too, but one would think this is a crucial test for a lot of teams, and it is not by definition a test for young drivers with little F1 experience, it is a test that they decided to place mid-season in lieu of one pre-season test. Methinks if things weren’t looking pretty good for Mac’s WDC chances this season they would have both their primary drivers at this test.

  7. Logical, however I fear it will deign them to gear the car more towards Turvey’s and Paffett’s likings..

    1. But those two are also they guys. and I think especially Paffett, who do a lot of the pre-race simulator work to get a good set up to start the weekend with, and to test different strategies, aren’t they @alfie? So then if McLaren know how the car behaves on track compared to their simulator work, they also can get a better “start” set up for the next weekend, and they already know how HAM and BUT set-ups tend to compare, I’d think.

      Seems like a very McLaren-like multi-step simulation-vs-track validation procedure :)

  8. Seems odd that your primary drivers would not be the ones testing the cars they drive at only a handful of testing days per the season. No one really knows how any changes feel except the driver himself. Yes there could be alot of data reflecting said changes but nothing really tells you what an improvement is unless you are feeling it through the seat of your pants.

    1. I agree. Does seem strange and counter intuitive for me.

  9. It almost looks like leaving out one fourth of this year’s testing? Apparantly, McLaren is feeling VERY strong, bad news for rivals.

    1. Why do you say that ?
      I believe test drivers can do a excellent job and collect data as well as race drivers do.
      They’re not asked to qualify on first row nor overtake at Eau Rouge, they are here to drive consistently and collect data.

      1. yeah for sure you are right that they are collecting data…it just feels like with such limited testing nowadays it would be even better for the team to have the drivers most familiar with the cars doing the collecting, giving the input, the feedback etc.

      2. When the testing is limited like today, I assume McLaren would take race drivers for any necessary serious work. Test drivers were used for long-lasting tests when race stars became tired. Since Massa`s Hungary crash and Luca Badoer`s 15 minutes of fame I`m afraid I don’t belive so much in test drivers skills.

        1. Maybe thats why they feel the need to give them some track time? I guess we have to leave it up to Mac’s own decision as to being what is right for them even if it seems odd on the outset. Perhaps they see value not just in giving those guys some track time, but in hearing their fresh perspective on how the cars feel, and how they feel different when changes are made throughout the 3 days.

    2. @spacak I think this is the right thing to do. Mid-season the test drivers are driving the simulator with the new upgrades, this way they can compare their updates on track to the upgrades on the simulator. If the times are matched Paffett on track vs Paffett on simulator, that means, the simulator gave good feedback, so they can rely on it.
      Also this way they reduce the number of variables, they have a constant Turvey and Paffett, so it is easier to draw conclusions after a day of testing.

  10. I know that Mugello isnt an F1 track still giving your drivers rest means putting them behind work for the next GP race because they wont be as prepared as they could be with the new details on the car.

  11. I believe that is how in-season testing should be: using only test drivers. That is also how new talents can be discovered and groomed. Otherwise its useless (and quite sad) to have a third driver and not giving him any track-time.

    1. The point of the third driver is for him to be ready to roll at a moments notice. He should already be good enough to have a race seat somewhere with some team. The fact that he is a third driver reflects his willingness to be an understudy, play the simulator and have patients for the time when it becomes his turn.

      All of this special moment stuff about a third driver and getting a test does nothing more than dilute the overall effort of a team. I mean who cares if the third driver returns to the pits and say the camber is off 11 degrees. His opinion of what is needed is far less important than what #1s or #2s have to say.

      It is their race car and only they should have a say in what is needed.

  12. Maybe they want to keep both as far as they can from Italy, given Massa’s current form?

  13. Will McLaren ACTUALLY use a young driver in the appropriate test later this year?

  14. Well then, using a test driver for testing, logical. Using a racing driver for testing, ilogical. I would say some teams which are content on the way the car is going will use the test drivers but teams struggeling and not knowing what is wrong with the car, Ferrari, will have both drivers going all out.

  15. Interesting move. I think it shows that Mclaren have confidence in their test drivers to do a good job, and it gives them a chance to correlate how the car feels on track to the simulator, which could be a wise move for the rest of the season.

    I am slightly concerned though that the likes of Vettel, Alonso and Schumacher may all be at the test and getting used to whatever updates teams have planned before the next race. So they may get a ‘head start’ on the Mclaren drivers at the beginning of the next race weekend with the feeling and set up of their updated cars, which if cars are closely matched could be important.

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