Richard Cregan, the chief executive of the Yas Marina Circuit, has hit out at plans for the F1 Young Driver Test to be held at Silverstone in the middle of the season.
As things stand, all teams bar Red Bull
and Toro Rosso
are set to run at Silverstone following the British Grand Prix
with the two Red Bull-owned teams then running alone in Abu Dhabi later in the year.
The decision has drawn a mixed response – especially as it will mean the drivers taking part in the test will have to take time out from their main commitments rather than the test being run when their racing seasons are at an end.
Speaking to The National
, Cregan also warned that the test could become less focused on bringing through young talent and more about development given that there will be eleven races still to run after the British Grand Prix.
"If you're a good young driver in the middle of a season, then it's not ideal to be testing a Formula One car midway through the year," he said. "These guys should be focusing on whatever series it is they are racing, which is why the F1 testing in Abu Dhabi worked so well in the past because it was effectively the end of their season.
"It is first and foremost a Young Drivers Test and it must remain that. It is a chance for young drivers to get maybe a first chance to drive an F1 car and it is chance for teams to run their eye over a driver and evaluate his performance.
“Developing the car and parts should be secondary."