McLaren opt against Silverstone test
Sam Michael says team plan to run in Abu Dhabi instead
By William Esler. Last Updated: 16/05/12 5:06pm
Sam Michael: Says McLaren won't run at Silverstone test
McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael has said that they intend to carry out their young driver test in Abu Dhabi in November rather than at Silverstone.
The test has usually taken place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the year, but some teams are now planning to test after July's British GP because they are worried about the logistics of travelling from the United Arab Emirates to the new United States Grand Prix in Texas the following week.
Red Bull and stablemate Toro Rosso had already stated their intention to run in Abu Dhabi, with the former's Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey stating at the Spanish Grand Prix that it was fairer to assess young drivers at the end of the season when they had finished competing in junior formulae.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso's Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli said their decision was based on the cost implication of preparing engines purely for the test, rather than using race engines with mileage left over at the end of the season.
Formula 1 rules dictate that each car can only use eight engines during the course of the season.
Speaking in Barcelona, Michael backed the decision and confirmed that McLaren would also skip the planned Silverstone test.
"Our plan at McLaren at the moment is to test in Abu Dhabi," Michael said.
"We're not testing at Silverstone for all those reasons. Engines are a significant factor, as Giorgio said. If you want to test at the end of the year, you have so many part-mileage engines with the race team that all have a little bit of mileage on them so you can effectively do it for free, in terms of your race engines.
"If you try and do that in the middle of the year, you can't use your race engines so you have to prepare a special test engine.
"And also the point that Adrian made is very important, I think, because if you try and have it in the middle of the year, and run your young drivers, then you are running them in the middle of their championship year so you to be at the end, so that they have finished their Formula 3 or Formula 2 or whatever they're doing and they have the capacity to concentrate on their Formula One test."