Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel will not get any extra track running with their respective new Formula 1 teams McLaren and Aston Martin prior to 2021 pre-season testing. 

With F1’s pre-season programme in 2021 set to be cut back to just a single, three-day test in Bahrain due to teams carrying over their current cars into next year, there will be limited track time for drivers switching teams over the winter. 

Ferrari has confirmed that Carlos Sainz will make his F1 testing debut with the team in a 2018 car early next year in order to get the Spaniard up to speed following his departure from McLaren. 

Sainz highlighted his concern ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix that one and a half days “in these complex cars is not enough to prepare for a Formula 1 season”, before Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto confirmed the team will run its new signing in two-year old machinery in the new year. 

But neither Ricciardo nor Vettel will have the same opportunity to get some mileage with their new teams before the 2021 cars are run for the first time in pre-season.

Teams are permitted to run two-year-old cars without restriction, a rule that Renault and Fernando Alonso have taken advantage of by conducting multiple test outings in its RS18 ahead of the two-time world champion’s return to the sport. 

There is no scope for drivers to test for their new teams in the post-season one-day test in Abu Dhabi given that it is restricted to rookies. 

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed in Bahrain that McLaren will not be able to provide Ricciardo with a test in a Renault-powered 2018-spec car as it prepares to switch to Mercedes power for 2021. 

"In terms of running an old car, unfortunately, we don't have this possibility at the moment," said the German.

"We are not geared up for it due to the recent power unit changes we had at McLaren.

"In the end, we have certain resources within the team that are limited, at some point, and we simply need to make decisions of how we want to use these resources for the maximum outcome in the end in terms of results.

"I'm working on the plan together with all departments," he added. 

"The technical side, but also on the communication side and the marketing side, to get Daniel integrated from the first of January onwards, as quickly as possible. Of course, it's challenging, with only having three days [of testing].

"But these are the regulations, how they are. So I don't waste any energy thinking about how bad that is, it's the challenge we're in. And we simply have to get on with it.”

Racing Point chief Otmar Szafnauer also ruled out a similar test for Vettel when the four-time world champion completes his switch from Ferrari to join the rebranded Aston Martin squad. 

"We too don't have the ability to run a two-year old car," he explained. 

"So we'll be doing everything we can with Seb to get him integrated into the team, do a lot of sim work with him as well, and use the three days of testing that we have to the best of our ability to get him ready for the first race."

 

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