Formula 1's young driver test at Silverstone is now set to go ahead in the week after the British Grand Prix, but it now may only involve three teams over two days.
There has been much uncertainty about the future of the test after track bosses said they were unable to make the circuit available because of constraints laid down in its contract with Formula One Management.
Discussions have taken place over the past two grands prix to try and resolve the matter, and it now appears that at least three teams – believed to include Marussia, HRT and Williams – are now planning to run on the Thursday and Friday after the British GP. This has been made possible because of revisions made to a Formula Student event that is taking place that weekend. Talks are ongoing to try and make the Wednesday available as well, which could entice other teams to elect to join the test.
While the Silverstone affair has no impact on teams like Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and McLaren that were originally planning to test in Abu Dhabi anyway, other squads are also now considering switching their young driver test plans to the end of the season.
"To be honest, I am getting lost myself in all this mess," Lotus boss Eric Boullier said. "We will go to Abu Dhabi like most of the other teams.
"So far I have not received any guarantees that the [Silverstone] test will happen even for two days, so we will not exchange a three-day test for a one-day test, definitely. If there is a two-day test we may consider our position, but I think we are now in favor of the Abu Dhabi three-day test."
Ferrari is believed to prefer that a young driver test takes place at Jerez in December, to avoid unnecessary strains being put on personnel by slotting in a test during the end-of-season races.