Formula 1's young driver test plans for this season have been thrown into doubt, with it now uncertain if Silverstone's post-British Grand Prix run can go ahead.
Silverstone has informed the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) that it may not be able to fulfill plans for a number of teams to run young drivers on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after the Silverstone event. It is believed that, under the terms of its British GP contract with Formula One Management, the circuit will not be available for all the days that the teams want to run.
FOTA is still working on trying to resolve the matter, and there is still some hope that the Silverstone deal can be rescued. However, if no agreement can be reached with Silverstone then that could also force the cancellation of the second young driver test that was due to take place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Teams were divided in opinion about where to test, with Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and McLaren preferring to run in Abu Dhabi rather than at Silverstone. To overcome the disagreement about where to run, a unique dual test plan was agreed for teams to choose where they preferred to test, but this may need to be scrapped totally if one of the tests does not happen.
One option, if a number of teams remain reluctant to test in Abu Dhabi, would be to try and shift the young driver test to after the season, perhaps taking place at Jerez.