The FIA has stated that F1 teams will have to keep ‘one or two’ days for young drivers during the Abu Dhabi tyres test for 2020 season.
As F1 has removed the two in-season tests from 2020 onward so as to cut costs and accommodate another grand prix, the FIA has released details of how the teams still have to run young drivers in the current cars for experience purposes.
Until 2019, F1 teams had not only the winter test but also the two in-season tests to divide their running, however, in 2020, they will have one three-day post-season test to field the young drivers, where they have to set aside ‘one or two’ days for them.
Usually, the young drivers’ test is different to the one Pirelli undertakes but in 2020, it looks like they are to combine the post-season test in Abu Dhabi with the young drivers’ one, where teams are expected to run the 18-inch tyres, preparing for 2021.
Pirelli confirmed that all 10 F1 teams will prepare a mule car to run during the 2020 season for 25 days, where Ferrari is to run first in February before the Barcelona winter test. It is unclear if teams can still use half a day or full for young drivers in pre-season test as well.
Here’s the full updated Article 10.5 of FIA F1 International Sporting Regulations’ for 2020:
“Testing Current Cars may only take place on tracks currently approved for use by F1 cars and located in Europe (unless agreed by the majority of the competitors and the FIA), may never occur whilst a Championship Event is taking place and shall be limited to:
a) Two tests, open to all competitors, of no more than three consecutive days’ duration carried out between 1 February and ten days before the start of the first Event of the Championship. One day from any of these two tests may be set aside for testing of wet-weather tyres if requested by the appointed tyre supplier. Arrangements for this day of testing will be made in full consultation with all competitors and the FIA.
During these tests, and between 09:00 and 18:00 of each day, the provisions of Article 21.4 will apply, with the following additional exceptions, when covers may be used: 1) Anytime the floor of a car being used for testing is not fitted, 2) During the recovery and repair of a car damaged during track running.
b) One test, of three consecutive days’ duration carried out on the circuit at which the last Event of the Championship was held, such test commencing no less than 36 hours after the end of the Event.
i. One or two days of this test must be completed by drivers who have participated in at least one race during the 2020 F1 World Championship, and must be for the sole purpose of providing Competitors with the chance to test the tyre specifications to be used the following season. In the event that a Competitor is unable to provide a car that is compatible with such tyres, they will not be allowed to participate in this part of testing.
ii. One or two days of this test must be for the sole purpose of providing Young Drivers with the opportunity to test current Formula 1 Cars. Drivers eligible for this purpose must: 1) Be in possession of an International A Licence, 2) Not have competed in more than two F1 World Championship races during their career.
It will be left to the Competitor’s discretion, in agreement with the Tyre Supplier, to choose whether the car used for these purposes is of a configuration that has raced in the 2020 F1 World Championship or of a configuration compatible with the tyre of the specifications to be used in the following season.
c) 25 car days of testing for the sole purpose of providing the appointed tyre supplier with the chance to test improvements to the design of their tyres, carried out between 01 February 2020 and one week following the end of the last Event of the Championship, organised by the FIA in consultation with all competitors and the appointed tyre supplier.
Only cars that raced in the 2018 or 2019 Championships, appropriately modified, may be used for any such tests that get carried out before the first Event of the 2020 Championship. Furthermore, with the exception of tyres, wheel rims and wheel rim covers, no car or subcomponent that is intended to provide technical information for the 2021 Technical Regulations will be permitted. Any such testing scheduled at a circuit hosting an Event of the Championship may only be carried out after that Event has taken place.
d) One day, carried out between the start of a ten day period which precedes the start of the second Event and the last Event of the Championship, in case a competitor declares that one of its current race drivers is to be substituted by a driver who has not participated in an F1 World Championship race in the two previous calendar years.
The following must be observed: 1) Any such day may only be carried out by the new driver and may not take place on a circuit hosting a race in the current Championship year, 2) Any such day may only take place within a period 14 days prior to the substitution and 14 days after the substitution has taken place, 3) If a competitor, having declared the driver’s substitution and performed the test, does not then enter an Event with the new driver, the competitor will be penalised by a reduction of one day from the pre-season TCC days available in the following year.
With the exception of any test being carried out at night, in which case a new test schedule lasting no more than nine hours will be arranged, running may only take place between 9:00 and 18:00. In both cases each competitor may only use one car per day.”
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