Fernley: It's safer for race drivers to test
13 July 2013 – Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes that Formula One teams should field their regular racing drivers at the forthcoming Silverstone Young Drivers Test, claiming that it would be safer for more experienced racers to sample Pirelli’s new rubber compounds.
Last month’s British Grand Prix saw several high-speed tyre failures, prompting governing body the FIA to open up the pre-existing Young Drivers Test to allow teams the possibility of running their regular drivers. Having confirmed that Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta will take to the VJM06 over the three days, Fernley stressed that by fielding their race drivers, the teams will be able to collect more accurate data about the new tyres, as well as preserving the safety of the younger competitors.
"Yes [race drivers will run] I think for a number of reasons, not just safety alone," Fernley explained to ESPN F1. "The last thing you want to do is to put an untried tyre on to Silverstone with young drivers … I think that it's important for your own peace of mind as a team, and each team has to make its own decision.
"But it's quite important for each team to make its own mind up as to how it wants to expose a young driver, and 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."
The Silverstone Young Drivers Test takes place from 17-19 July.