• Silverstone Young Driver Test

Back to the scene of the crime

ESPN Staff
July 16, 2013
F1 teams will return to Silverstone this week to test Pirelli's new tyres and blood some young drivers © Sutton Images

Since the Young Driver Test was introduced in 2009 it has never generated quite as many headlines as it has this year. Following the multiple tyre blowouts during the British Grand Prix the test is the first opportunity for the teams to get to grips with Pirelli's new tyres, making the test crucial from a safety and performance point of view.

In order to get the best possible understanding of the new tyres, race drivers will be allowed to take part providing they stick to a run plan designed by Pirelli. The FIA will be on hand to police what the race drivers get up to, meaning, in theory, they will only contribute to the development of the tyres and not the cars. Drivers with less than two grands prix of experience will be allowed to focus on whatever they want.

The new rule sees several familiar faces return to Silverstone for at least half a day of testing, but the biggest surprise is Daniel Ricciardo's inclusion in the Red Bull line-up. Although the decision on who will replace Mark Webber in 2014 will not rest on half a day of testing, it will be Ricciardo's opportunity to prove he has what it takes to fend off his main rival for the seat Kimi Raikkonen. The fact that Jean-Eric Vergne has not been invited to test the RB9 suggests that is now a two-way fight. All eyes will be on the Red Bull on Wednesday afternoon.

The tyres

The tyres that Pirelli bring to Silverstone will be the same as the ones the teams can expect to race from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. They revert to a Kevlar belt and 2012 construction wrapped inside the 2013 compounds the teams have been using all year. Pirelli hopes the stronger construction will not suffer any of the worrying blowouts experienced at the British Grand Prix, while still offering similar levels of degradation to keep races interesting.

The F1 teams started the season with an allocation of 100 tyres for pre-season testing and the Young Driver Test, and this has been extended by five sets to allow the teams to complete more running. It's up to each outfit to decide how to allocate those tyres across the tests and they can decide which compounds they want to run. None of the teams have requested super-soft tyres for Silverstone, for example, due to the nature of the track.

Pirelli will also supply seven further sets of tyres reserved for tyre testing by race drivers. They include three hard compound sets, two medium compound sets and two prototype hard compound sets, which features the same compound tested by teams during Friday practice at the Spanish and British grands prix this year.

Daniel Ricciardo will have his chance to test a Red Bull at Silverstone © Getty Images

Red Bull

Antonio Felix da Costa Wednesday AM, Thursday AM
Daniel Ricciardo - Wednesday PM
Mark Webber - Thursday PM
Carlos Sainz Jr - Friday AM
Sebastian Vettel - Friday PM


Davide Rigon - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday PM
Felipe Massa - Friday AM


Kevin Magnussen - Wednesday
Oliver Turvey - Thursday
Gary Paffett - Friday


Nicolas Prost - Wednesday
Davide Valsecchi - Thursday
Kimi Raikkonen - Friday


Banned from all three days after completing a private test with Pirelli following the Spanish Grand Prix


Robin Frijns - Wednesday, Thursday AM
Nico Hulkenberg - Thursday PM
Kimiya Sato - Friday

Force India

James Calado - TBC
Paul di Resta - TBC
Adrian Sutil - TBC


Daniel Juncadella - Wednesday
Pastor Maldonado - Thursday
Susie Wolff - Friday

Toro Rosso

Johnny Cecotto Jr - Wednesday
Carlos Sainz Jr - Thursday AM
Daniel Ricciardo - Thursday PM
Jean Eric Vergne - Friday AM
Daniil Kvyat - Friday PM


Alexander Rossi - Wednesday
Will Stevens - Thursday
Charles Pic - Friday AM
Giedo van der Garde - Friday PM


Tio Elinas - Wednesday AM
Max Chilton - Wednesday PM
Rodolfo Gonzalez - Thursday, Friday AM
Jules Bianchi - Friday PM