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Abu Dhabi Young Driver test 2011 // New names and faces take to the Yas Marina track

Published by Christine

It's that time of year again, when (some) fresh faces get to take to the track and try their hand at driving a Formula One car. The young driver test in Abu Dhabi is a chance for teams to test out both potential new racers and new designs for their 2012 cars. It feels a little odd having this test with one race still to go, another circumstance of an extended season. Nevertheless, if testing is your thing, there are three fabulous days around the Yas Marina circuit to enjoy.

clear

Yas Marina Circuit, Tuesday

32℃

  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 25%

Sunny days

clear

Yas Marina Circuit, Wednesday

33℃

  • Low 19℃
  • Humidity 25%

Sunny days

clear

Yas Marina Circuit, Thursday

32℃

  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 28%

Sunny days

The drivers

We've seen some of these drivers in F1 circles before - as they have either participated in the young driver test from last season, or have been given a chance in Friday practice session in the last few weeks. There seems to be an awful lot of GP2 drivers getting their chance in an F1 car as well - will this be the first time we see the name of a new and rising star?

Tuesday Line-up
TeamYoung DriverAgeCountryExperience
Red BullJean-Éric Vergne21FranceFriday practice with Toro Rosso
McLarenGary Paffett30BritainDTM driver and long-time McLaren tester
Oliver Turvey24BritainGP2 driver
FerrariJules Bianchi22FranceGP2 driver and Ferrari test driver
MercedesSam Bird24BritainGP2 driver
RenaultRobert Wickens22CanadaFormula Renault 3.5 champion and Virgin reserve driver
Force IndiaMax Chilton20BritainGP2 driver
SauberFabio Leimer22SwitzerlandGP2 driver
Toro RossoStefano Coletti22MonacoGP2 driver
WilliamsValtteri Bottas20FinlandGP2 champion
LotusRodolfo González25VenezuelaGP2 driver
HRTDani Clos23SpainGP2 driver
VirginAdrian Quaife-Hobbs20BritainGP3 driver
Charles Pic21FranceGP2 driver

The Yas Marina circuit doesn't really provide an awful lot in terms of racing, we were certainly left wanting for action at the weekend - but for a testing facility it comes into its own. The futuristic looking circuit provides plenty of straights and twisty corners, and in a test environment, there's no pressure to provide overtaking.

Yas Marina Circuit Map
Yas Marina Circuit MapCredit: FIA
Wednesday Line-up
TeamYoung DriverAgeCountryExperience
Red BullJean-Éric Vergne21FranceFriday practice with Toro Rosso
McLarenGary Paffett30BritainDTM driver and long-time McLaren tester
Oliver Turvey24BritainGP2 driver and young driver for McLaren in 2010
FerrariJules Bianchi22FranceGP2 driver and Ferrari test driver
MercedesSam Bird24BritainGP2 driver
RenaultKevin Korjus18EstoniaFormula Renault 3.5 driver
Force IndiaJohnny Cecotto Jr22VenezuelaGP2 Asia driver
SauberEsteban Gutiérrez20MexicoSauber reserve driver
Toro RossoKevin Ceccon18ItalyAuto GP Champion
WilliamsValtteri Bottas20FinlandGP2 champion
LotusLuiz Razia22BrazilLotus reserve driver
HRTDani Clos23SpainGP2 driver
VirginCharles Pic21FranceGP2 driver

If you think you might have spotted some of these drivers last year, I can highly recommend our previous "Who are they anyway" feature, giving more details into each of the young drivers and their experience.

Thursday Line-up
TeamYoung DriverAgeCountryExperience
Red BullJean-Éric Vergne21FranceFriday practice with Toro Rosso
McLarenGary Paffett30BritainDTM driver and long-time McLaren tester
Oliver Turvey24BritainGP2 driver and young driver for McLaren in 2010
FerrariJules Bianchi22FranceGP2 driver and Ferrari test driver
MercedesSam Bird24BritainGP2 driver
RenaultJan Charouz24Czech RepublicRenault reserve driver
Force IndiaMax Chilton20BritainGP2 driver
SauberEsteban Gutiérrez20MexicoSauber reserve driver
Toro RossoStefano Coletti22MonacoGP2 driver
Kevin Ceccon18ItalyAuto GP Champion
WilliamsMirko Bortolotti21ItalyGP3 driver
LotusAlexander Rossi20AmericaFormula Renault 3.5 driver
HRTDani Clos23SpainGP2 driver
VirginRobert Wickens22CanadaFriday driver for Virgin last race

The above tables are gathered to the best of my knowledge - all those drivers are scheduled to appear at some point during the three days, although which days may be subject to change.

All content in the series Young Driver Test 2011