Sainz set to test 2018 F1 car but Ricciardo, Vettel will have to wait – F1


Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto has confirmed that the team plans to give new driver Carlos Sainz Jr some mileage in a 2018 car early next year.

However, neither Daniel Ricciardo nor Sebastian Vettel will get any track running with their respective new teams McLaren and Aston Martin prior to the appearance of their 2021 cars.

With the upcoming post-season test in Abu Dhabi restricted to rookies, there are no opportunities for drivers who change teams to run current cars on track.

Only three days of official pre-season testing, to be shared between two drivers, are scheduled for next year, and therefore those who have changed camps will have a limited opportunity to complete any mileage before the first race.

But the rules allow the use of two-year-old cars without restriction, which is why Fernando Alonso has recently been busy logging miles at various circuits at the wheel of a 2018 Renault, prior to racing for the rebranded Alpine outfit next year.

INSIGHT: Is Alonso wasting his time testing a 2018 F1 car?

Ferrari also has a suitable 2018 car, and will make it available for Sainz, once he is contractually free of his McLaren commitments in January.

“Certainly one and a half days [official pre-season testing] is very short, it’s very little time,” said Binotto.

“Obviously, we are trying to organise something for Carlos, to make sure he can speed up his integration with the team, with the engineers, with the car, with our way of working, our procedures.

“The simulator will be important in that respect – with the simulator he may work with his race team, his engineers, his technicians.

“We are currently trying to organise, January time eventually, to run with an old car, just to make sure again he gets used mainly to our team and procedures, and know the people.”

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed that the team does not have the opportunity to run a Renault-powered 2018 model for Ricciardo.

“In terms of running an old car, unfortunately, we don’t have this possibility at the moment,” said the German.

“We are not geared up for it due to the recent power unit changes we had at McLaren.

“In the end, we have certain resources within the team that are limited, at some point, and we simply need to make decisions of how we want to use these resources for the maximum outcome in the end in terms of results.”

Seidl stressed that much can be achieved with the team’s new driver even without track running.

“I’m working on the plan together with all departments,” he said.

“The technical side, but also on the communication side and the marketing side, to get Daniel integrated from the first of January onwards, as quickly as possible.

“Of course, it’s challenging, with only having three days [of testing].

“But these are the regulations, how they are. So I don’t waste any energy thinking about how bad that is, it’s the challenge we’re in. And we simply have to get on with it.”

Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer confirmed that Vettel will have to wait for the first appearance of the new Aston Martin.

“We too don’t have the ability to run a two-year old car,” he said.

“So we’ll be doing everything we can with Seb to get him integrated into the team, do a lot of sim work with him as well, and use the three days of testing that we have to the best of our ability to get him ready for the first race.”

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