Only six of the 10 F1 teams will run their 2015 race drivers on Tuesday’s Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi.
Pirelli requested from the start that teams utilise their race drivers – or failing that a third driver who has extensive experience of this year’s tyres – in order to get good feedback.
Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso have all nominated both race drivers, while Williams, Force India, Sauber have one apiece. Mercedes will rely on Pascal Wehrlein, McLaren on Stoffel Vandoorne, and Lotus on Jolyon Palmer – arguably the only one of the three who properly fulfil Pirelli’s requirement for a third driver who has done a lot of miles this year.
Sauber, Force India and Manor have taken the opportunity to sell the seats (in the first two cases only for half the day) in order to offset the cost of the test, which has to be covered by the teams. Pirelli is only paying for the hire of the circuit.
Although obviously teams could yet change their plans the full list that Pirelli is currently working from is as follows:
Mercedes: Pascal Wehrlein
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo, Dany Kvyat
McLaren: Stoffel Vandoorne
Williams: Valtteri Bottas
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg, Alfonso Celis
Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen
Lotus: Jolyon Palmer
Manor: Rio Haryanto, Jordan King
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson, Adderly Fong
2 responses to “Mercedes and McLaren to run reserves in Pirelli test”
If they can’t abide by the experienced F1 driver agreement here, it will fall apart even more at any future dedicated tyre tests. I hope the teams that are ducking out of the agreement don’t have any complaints about next years tyres.
Well, I guess that Mercedes could argue that Wehrlein does have some experience of the 2015 spec tyres, having driven for themselves and for Force India in pre-season testing (covering 80 laps in total, I believe).