x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Yas chief hopes Abu Dhabi remains host of F1 Young Drivers Test

Talks ahead on whether the three-day session will be moved to mid-season to take pressure off teams.

Yas Marina Circuit chief executive Richard Cregan is optimistic the Formula One Young Drivers' Test will remain at his facility.
Yas Marina Circuit chief executive Richard Cregan is optimistic the Formula One Young Drivers' Test will remain at his facility.

 

Yas Marina officials remain hopeful Formula One's annual Young Drivers' Test will take place in Abu Dhabi, despite teams considering hosting the three-day programme elsewhere.

For the past two years, F1 teams have used the week immediately following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as an opportunity to cast an eye over some of motorsport's finest young talent.

Last year, the tests took place at Yas the week before the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, but a repeat arrangement for this year has been met with resistance.

Abu Dhabi's race arrives immediately after the Indian Grand Prix. With the United States Grand Prix back-to-back with Brazil, a Young Drivers Test at Yas would effectively mean teams would be working for five consecutive weeks.

Richard Cregan, the chief executive at Yas Marina, on Wednesday acknowledged the dilemma.

"Whether they have the tests here in Abu Dhabi is a decision the teams themselves would need to make," Cregan said. "We have made provisions and blocked out the week after our race, but they have the freedom to change that.

"We would obviously be disappointed if Abu Dhabi didn't host the Young Drivers' Test because it has become a part of our season, but I can understand the teams' concerns. It's a long season as it is and there are a lot of back-to-back races this year, so it's tough for them."

Autosport on Wednesday claimed teams were weighing up the idea of holding the test at Silverstone after the British Grand Prix in July.

Cregan said a decision is usually made midway through the season and that the week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would remain blocked out.