Teams confirm line-ups for Young Drivers’ Test

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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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”