Sauber, Lotus and Toro Rosso have all confirmed their driver line-ups for the Young Drivers’ Test which will take place at Silverstone next week.
The scheme has aimed to give young and talented drivers their first taste of a Formula One car, meeting some success in the past as the likes of Giedo van der Garde and Daniel Ricciardo have gone on to secure a full-time drive. However, following the tire fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix, the FIA has permitted the use of full-time drivers in order to get to grips with the new compounds that will be used for the rest of the season.
As a result, most teams are expected to bring at least one of their two race drivers to the test, as exemplified by Sauber, Lotus and Toro Rosso.
Sauber will be running Nico Hulkenberg during the test despite rumors surrounding his future with the team. Also, the team’s reserve driver and GP2 star Robin Frijns will get a run in the car as he continues his pursuit of a full-time seat, with Japanese youngster Kimiya Sato (no relation to Takuma) also getting some running.
Lotus will be running Kimi Raikkonen (33 years old) in the Young Drivers’ Test alongside the team’s reserve driver, Davide Valsecchi (26), and Nicolas Prost (31) who ran with Lotus backing in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toro Rosso will be using both of their full-time drivers – Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne – during the three day test at Silverstone.
All teams will be present at the test bar Mercedes, who have been banned following the FIA tribunal’s findings last month.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.