Despite being backed by the majority of F1's twelve teams, next month's planned 'young driver' test at Silverstone could be canned in favour of everyone staying on in Abu Dhabi towards the end of the season.
The test, due to take place immediately after the British Grand Prix
at the start of a two-week gap before F1 heads to Germany, has received the support of all bar the two Red Bull
teams and McLaren, principally because it has less of an impact on cost and logistics than staying at Yas Marina during a hectic end to the schedule that also includes races in India, America and Brazil.
However, despite that support, and the fact that the teams have agreed to two separate tests, it is being reported that F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone is poised to axe the Silverstone session.
According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
, it would appear that Ecclestone's nose has been put out of joint by the teams agreeing terms with Silverstone without either party first consulting him, but his reaction could yet backfire, with both Mercedes and Sauber suggesting that they would boycott the Abu Dhabi session if forced to go there.
"There was unanimous agreement that, this year, there should be young driver tests in two different locations,” Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn was quoted as saying, “This agreement was broken, so we are therefore not
obliged to go to Abu Dhabi."
As usual, the biggest losers in the situation are the young talents themselves, who will be left without an opportunity to gain F1 experience, however fleeting and without guarantee of graduation it may be.