Ferrari has suggested that the rules surrounding eligible drivers for the post-season young driver test be changed after Fernando Alonso received the green light to take part.
The Spaniard will join Renault for the test in Abu Dhabi at the conclusion of the 2020 season ahead of his full-time return to F1 next year with the team.
F1’s Sporting Regulations state that drivers taking part in the test must “be in possession of an International A Licence; and unless otherwise approved by the FIA, not have competed in more than two F1 World Championship races during their career”.
However, Alonso has 311 starts to his name, the third-most of any driver in F1 history, leading to outrage from rival teams.
With Robert Shwartzman set to take part in the test with the Ferrari, it is now hoping to get its incoming 2021 driver Carlos Sainz in the car at the event.
“First, we do respect the fact it was a day meant for the young drivers,” said Ferrari’s Sporting Director Laurent Mekies.
“We are investing, as Ferrari, a huge amount of energy and time on our young drivers. We will have three or four young drivers running at the young drivers test. We think it should be the priority for the test.
“If for a combination of factors which is not for me to comment, it’s been decided to give exceptions to a few drivers including Fernando, it would probably make sense to open up the regulations so that people who want to [run] next year’s drivers can 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 reason we are now in the position it is not going to be that because of two, three or four exceptions, then I think we should probably have a practical approach and in that case, we would be happy to bring Carlos in.”
Renault has brushed off the backlash it has received by bringing Alonso to the test, stating it has invested in its junior programme more than any other manufacturer.
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