Formula One is ready for its first official in-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this week. Under current regulations, Formula 1 holds two-day tests on the Tuesday and Wednesday after two Grands Prix, with teams preferring Spain and Hungary as this year’s venues.
Each team is permitted to field one car for the test, though both McLaren and Force India will be running a second car as part of Pirelli’s tyre development programme, with the company controlling the run plan of those cars. Teams are mandated to run young drivers (defined as those with two or fewer Grand Prix starts) for 50 per cent of the test days, which can be split however they choose. As a result, several teams will be running highly-rated up-and-coming young guns across the course of the two-day test.
Mercedes, though, will run its race drivers on both days, with Spanish Grand Prix victor Lewis Hamilton to drive on Tuesday, before Valtteri Bottas takes over for Wednesday’s running. It means Mercedes will have to hand both in-season test days in Hungary to a young driver.
Sebastian Vettel and Antonio Giovinazzi will be on hand for Scuderia Ferrari – while the Italian will also be in action for Sauber on Tuesday’s first day. Red Bull will run Max Verstappen and Jake Dennis – the ex-GP3 racer has acted as the team’s simulator driver and will make his F1 bow in order to assist correlation tests.
Another new name on the side of an F1 car will be that of Jack Aitken, who will pilot Renault’s R.S.18 on Wednesday. Force India tester Nicholas Latifi will make his debut for the team, after his pre-season run was cancelled due to illness, and he will be joined by Nikita Mazepin and George Russell. Neither Williams race driver will be present this week as the team has entrusted Oliver Rowland and Robert Kubica to complete its run plan, while Sean Gelael and Pierre Gasly will share the STR13. Stoffel Vandoorne, Lando Norris and long-term simulator driver Oliver Turvey will be on hand for McLaren, while Haas will run its regular drivers.
Running is set to take place from 09:00 to 18:00 local time, with a one-hour lunch break at 13:00.
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas|
|Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||Antonio Giovinazzi|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Jake Dennis|
|Force India||Nicholas Latifi||Nikita Mazepin|
|Williams||Oliver Rowland||Robert Kubica|
|Renault||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Jack Aitken|
|Toro Rosso||Sean Gelael||Pierre Gasly|
|Haas||Romain Grosjean||Kevin Magnussen|
|McLaren||Stoffel Vandoorne||Lando Norris|
|Sauber||Antonio Giovinazzi||Charles Leclerc|
|Force India/Pirelli||George Russell||Nicholas Latifi|
|McLaren/Pirelli||Lando Norris/Oliver Turvey||Stoffel Vandoorne|