Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Carlos Sainz won’t be able to participate in the Formula 1 young driver tests on Tuesday, December 15th in Abu Dhabi after the last round of the 2020 season, according to several sources.
During these tests reserved for young drivers, the Renault F1 team has obtained the exceptional authorisation from the FIA to drive Fernando Alonso who will make his return to F1 in 2021 – at the wheel of the RS20.
This authorisation has made Renault’s competitors grind their teeth, notably Ferrari, McLaren and Racing Point, who will welcome new drivers next year (Sainz, Ricciardo and Vettel), therefore the FIA in effect penalising those teams.
One could therefore expect the FIA to authorise these three teams to run their drivers during these tests in Abu Dhabi as it has allowed Renault, but the Federation did not wish to make any dispensation for drivers who are already present on the 2020 grid and who are therefore not considered as young drivers.
This is a hard blow for Sainz, Ricciardo and Vettel, who wanted to be able to drive for their new team at least once before the 2021 winter tests that will only last three days next year.
The only solution for these drivers would be to drive a car that is at least two seasons old during the winter and that is what Ferrari would have to do with Carlos Sainz, whereas McLaren – which is changing engine manufacturer this winter – will not be able to afford to offer such a test to Daniel Ricciardo.
At Racing Point – which will become Aston Martin in 2021 – the company has an private test for Sebastian Vettel is not on the agenda either.