Teams still hoping to test at Silverstone
Formula 1 teams are still hoping to resurrect plans for the young driver test to take place at Silverstone this year, despite doubts about whether or not the venue will be able to host it.
Although nine teams had hoped to take up the option of running at Silverstone in the week after the British Grand Prix, it has emerged that the track informed them recently that its race deal with Formula One Management meant the circuit could not be used that week.
That move has also cast doubt on whether or not the second option of a test in Abu Dhabi can go ahead, or whether a totally new test at a venue like Jerez will need to be arranged for post-season.
It is understood that efforts are being made to find a solution with Silverstone, with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn optimistic about the outcome.
"I think we have got more discussions going on," explained Brawn. "We are hopeful the Silverstone test will go ahead and therefore we will not have to address that. But I think if Silverstone cannot go ahead we have to sit down and see if we can find a good solution for all the teams."
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, whose outfit joined Scuderia Toro Rosso and McLaren in electing to run at Abu Dhabi rather than Silverstone, said he was open-minded about what should happen if Silverstone was cancelled.
"It was not part of our thought process to do Silverstone," he said. "We felt that for the young drivers who we would be interested in taking a look at, it would be more relevant for them at the end of the year.
"In an ideal world, all the teams would test at the same venue as they have over the last couple of years. If that was Abu Dhabi great, but if that has to be after the end of the season in an Jerez test then no problem for us.
"Abu Dhabi is a good venue for newcomers to F1. We would not have any issue at all with that. If others feel sufficiently strongly that we need to do it after the season, then so be it."
Lotus boss Eric Boullier reckons if Silverstone did not happen then it would make more sense from a cost and logistics reason to do Abu Dhabi rather than require staff to travel again in December.
"Jerez testing in December would be a lot of money," he said. "It would not be perfect timing in terms of weather and it would be another burden for the staff."