The sole opportunity for Ferrari’s young drivers to run at a grand prix session this year will be in Abu Dhabi, according to Academy chief Laurent Mekies.
Mick Schumacher was due to drive Alfa Romeo’s C39, and Callum Ilott Haas’ VF-20, during practice at the Nurburgring last Friday but this was abandoned due to bad weather.
Formula 1 is due to visit new and returning venues in the coming rounds while both Schumacher and Ilott will be battling for Formula 2’s title at Bahrain’s double-header.
Formula 1’s season will finish in mid-December in Abu Dhabi, after the pair of Bahrain events, where Robert Shwartzman is due to contest the first practice session for a yet-to-be-determined team.
“So if you look at the calendar the only one is Abu Dhabi, there is no chance before Abu Dhabi,” said Mekies.
“Portimao… I don’t think it is an option, brand new tracks, nobody went there, you don’t want to lose your FP1, we try to be fair and reasonable with our partners and I don’t think it will be [fair] to run them on completely new tracks, nobody has data.
“They [Schumacher and Ilott] are going to race in Bahrain and we don’t want to disturb them as they are fighting for the title so then the only chance is Abu Dhabi.
“We will be discussing with both Alfa Romeo and Haas to see what is possible, what is possible remains to be seen, so we will see if there is a chance, and after that there is the young driver test.”
Mekies praised Ferrari’s leading trio in Formula 2 as he described them as “Formula 1 material” but cautioned that it is unclear whether they can eventually be contenders for Ferrari.
“It’s very much within how much they will develop in the same way we feel they have developed,” he said.
“Our job is to support them and to give the chance to express themselves and to develop.”