Ferrari: It’s ‘common sense’ to allow Sainz in Abu Dhabi F1 test

Ferrari Formula 1 team sporting director Laurent Mekies says it would be “common sense” for the FIA to open up the Abu Dhabi young driver test to anyone.

The Maranello outfit is keen to put its incoming 2021 driver Carlos Sainz into the car that is currently scheduled to be run by simulator driver Antonio Fuoco.

The one-day test was originally supposed to be for drivers who had made no more than two grand prix starts, but after lobbying from Renault the FIA has allowed drivers who didn’t race in 2020 to participate, with Fernando Alonso running for the Enstone team, Sebastien Buemi for Red Bull, and Robert Kubica for Alfa Romeo.

Ferrari was originally opposed to that decision, but having accepted it the team has changed tack and is pushing for the test to be opened up completely, allowing Sainz – who is free from McLaren contractually – to be able to run.

Ferrari points out that three of its proteges will be testing anyway, with Robert Shwartzman in one of two works cars, Mick Schumacher at Haas, and Callum Ilott at Alfa.

“It’s a tricky one,” Mekies admitted. “I think at first we do respect the fact that it was a day meant for the young drivers.

“We are investing a huge amount of energy and time and more on our young drivers. 

“We will have three or four young drivers running at the young driver test, Robert with Ferrari, Mick with Haas, and Callum with Alfa, and we think it should be the priority for the test, and that’s where we have put our priority.

“Now, if for a combination of factors, which is not for me to comment, it’s been decided to grant exceptions to a few drivers, including Fernando, then it would probably make sense to open up a bit more the regulations, so that people who want to run their next year drivers can as well do it.

“I think it would be a common sense approach. I think it should be a young driver test only, but if for whatever reasons we are now in a position where it’s not going to be that, because of two, three or four exceptions, then I think we should probably have a practical and common sense approach.

“And in that case, of course we would be very happy to be in a position to run Carlos.”

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