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Teams support Friday outings for young drivers

NEWS STORY
28/09/2021

New regulation that will make it mandatory for teams to run young drivers in Friday practice next season appears to have the agreement of the team bosses.

As other disciplines reach their conclusions and their champions decided, despite the so-called success ladder there is no room on the F1 grid.

Indeed, with all but one seat spoken for the 19 confirmed drivers on the 2022 are all carried over from this season.

To further complicate the issue, the existing limits on testing which already restrict new talent from taking part will be exacerbated next season in view of the massive overhaul of the rules which will mean the regular drivers getting as much mileage as possible.

In a bid to help some of the new talent break through, F1 is aiming to make it mandatory that all teams run a young driver in selected Friday practice sessions next season.

Seemingly, the teams are in agreement.

"We are fully supportive of the sporting regulations which are in place next year, that we have to do mandatory two free practice sessions with young drivers during race weekends," says Andreas Seidl.

"In addition to the young driver testing we have post-season," he continues, "because it's just difficult nowadays to get seating time for these young guys coming out of the junior categories. Therefore it's also our responsibility to provide that seating time and moving forward we would also be supportive in order to provide even more.

"What is good," he adds, "is if it's mandatory for all teams, because then it is fair from the sporting perspective so I like that."

"You mustn't have any grand prix experience," adds Toto Wolff, "so like Andreas said we need to give young drivers the opportunity to have a little bit more stress during the race weekend, have a comparison against the other guy in the garage, work with the team, and I very much welcome the regulations for next year."

"Red Bull we do a huge amount to give youth a chance," adds Christian Horner, "and I think that applies not just to the drivers.

"It's a good thing, anything that gives young drivers an opportunity to get some time.

"You hope that it's based on merit rather than finance available, but I think it's a positive thing to ensure that young drivers are getting a chance."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by trackrecords, 30/09/2021 14:06

"In the past, every month there was at least 3 days of F1 testing at Silverstone - teams had two cars too: one for a main driver, one for a junior driver. This gave teams the opportunity to compare the young upstart directly with the established driver. Also, if one car hit trouble then, with another available, the whole test is not lost."

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2. Posted by noname33, 29/09/2021 5:37

"@ChichenFarmerF1 - I agree completely. It makes no sense to limit testing/cfd/wind tunnel usage etc since we now have a budget cap.
Hm, it would require that we get rid of the extra limitation on wind tunnel usage for the top constructors. Which, I think, in itself would be good."

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3. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 29/09/2021 4:07

"Ugh. There are too many rules in F1. Make testing unrestricted again. If we have to have a budget cap (and I strongly dislike that) then why worry about where teams choose to spend that money? Let them have free reign to spend within that cap as they see fit. Most will probably opt for some degree of more testing and less simulation (CFD or otherwise) and this will open up a lot more opportunities for young talent to get seat time in F1 cars. And perhaps even allow for upcoming drivers to to have unlimited testing time in a 1-2 year old car apart from the budget caps. Old cars won't give especially useful data to current car design, so no real competitive advantage there (assuming that for seasons like 2021 they had to run 2019 or older cars since the 2020 cars were too similar). And teams should be able to charge drivers for the track time to make it budget neutral. "

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