Silverstone, Photo by Ligreq

Silverstone not that long ago and for much of Formula One’s history was the main testing venue for teams: not least because of its location close to most of the teams, and on the doorstep of Jordan, now Force India. With testing limited and mainly done in February and March teams inevitably wanted to go to circuits where they would be much less likely to have rain and where temperatures would be higher, closer to those they would experience during the season; Force India’s filming day launch run in February this year was done in near freezing temperatures: not what the Pirelli ribber is designed to run in.


With the chance of in season testing coming back though Silverstone could see testing return; teams want to replace the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test with a test straight after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Such a test would mean that teams actually get more value out of the testing with data that they can then use on their existing cars, although in the past some parts for the next year have been bolted on to the current year’s car at Abu Dhabi.


Discussions are on going as to whether this change may go ahead and it could come as early as this season; the likely solution following discussions at the Chinese Grand Prix though is that teams may be given a choice over where and when to run.The issues that may need ironing out are whether cars running at Silverstone will miss out on trying out Pirelli developnt tyres and what will happen if it rains at Silverstone: though the likely solution is that teams can abandon Silverstone and go for Abu Dhabi instead if the weather forecast looks unpromising on the first day.


Whether it will be possible to split days between the two events is as yet unclear, nor is what will be done to ensure that the Silverstone test remains primarily a young driver test and not a testing session where an eligible test driver, which could include the likes of Gary Paffet or Marc Gene, test the cars to get the best results for use in developing the car for the second half of the season.