Force India’s Bob Fernley has supported the FIA’s decision to allow teams to use full-time race drivers at the upcoming Young Drivers’ Test, saying that he is more comfortable having the new Pirelli tires tested by the same drivers who will use them.
The FIA’s decision has been questioned by many as it does undermine the purpose of giving young drivers a chance to test an F1 car, yet the move was taken following the fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix last month. For Fernley though, it would be unfair to test the tires using young drivers.
“The last thing you want to do is to put an untried tire on to Silverstone with young drivers,” Fernley told ESPNF1. “I think that it’s important for your own peace of mind as a team, and each team has to make its own decision.”
Teams are still able to test young drivers at Silverstone next week, but Ferrari and Toro Rosso have already confirmed that they will not be taking advantage of this in order to maximize the tire test available.
“I would feel more comfortable if our race drivers – having got the experience of the previous tyre to this one – were actually the first part of that process,” Fernley asserted.
The three day test will take place at Silverstone next week from 17th-19th July.
Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?
Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!
Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden
Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.
Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)
Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.
Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.
Follow: Jerry Bonkowski