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Boullier unhappy about shifting Young Driver Test to UK
Lotus boss Eric Boullier has spoken out against plans to switch this year's Young Driver Test from Abu Dhabi at the end of the year to Silverstone in July.
The test, which allows drivers who have taken part in less than three grands prix to drive contemporary F1 cars, looks set to be split between the two venues this year, with Red Bull and Toro Rosso opting to stick with a November test in Abu Dhabi while the other 10 teams test in the UK. Autosport reports that the other teams might join Red Bull and Toro Rosso if there is bad weather, but Boullier does not see why the mid-season test at Silverstone was proposed in the first place.
"It's a bit disappointing, to be honest," Boullier told Autosport. "I am a supporter of young drivers, and for me Abu Dhabi (in November) was the perfect scenario. The young kids finish the season, and you can organise this test in a hot, nice place, with nice variety. So I was actually a bit cross with the decision to bring it earlier to Silverstone.
"We had a strong discussion, let's say, and definitely I was against this, especially for the reasons raised. For me it is absolutely a nonsense to have a young driver test in July when all the young kids are in the middle of the season and focused on racing and the championship. We cannot disturb this. It is completely the wrong timing.
"You also have another issue: bringing this test in the middle of the season you have to consider there will be a different point of view for the team; and as a team it's another opportunity to develop the car and bring some parts to test."
According to Autosport Boullier said the main reason Lotus agreed was for cost and staffing reasons.
"Between choosing to go to Abu Dhabi for young drivers, which is very important for me, and Silverstone, I obviously have to choose what it best for the team and that is Silverstone," he added. "But actually I would like it to rain, so we will go back to the original schedule - which for me is the normal one."