Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Vettel have both criticized the decision from the FIA to allow Fernando Alonso to take part in the Young Driver Test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Renault requested Alonso be allowed to test as he has not raced in Formula 1 for two seasons, with the Spaniard making a comeback with the team at the age of 39 next season. The test was originally only for drivers who had started fewer than two grands prix, but that was adapted to include those who haven’t raced in 2020, also opening the door for Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo) and Sebastien Buemi (Red Bull) to test.
Ferrari wanted Sainz to be allowed to test for the team as he is moving across from McLaren in 2021, but that request was rejected and Sainz said he doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the rules.
“No, there hasn’t been any logic explained to me,” Sainz said. “Because first of all, I think there’s very little logic behind it. And I think not many people really understand what’s going on. Of course, I’m disappointed not being able to test, but I have to accept it, and turn the page. I will make sure I’m prepared as much as I can be for next year.
“For me, as it’s only one-and-a-half days testing for each driver next year, the logical thing would have been to open a bit the hand, to some or to all of the drivers who wanted to take part in the Abu Dhabi test.
“Especially knowing it’s two cars per team, to open one of the cars to at least fit the driver into a car, knowing that next year is the same chassis, and see that everything is more or less working well – the safety aspects from the jump-out test, to the to the fitting of the car itself, are obviously primarily important. And those are the things that thanks to the Abu Dhabi test, we would have been able to sort out and get a bit of a head start on, and unfortunately, it’s not happening. Obviously I’m disappointed, but nothing I can change.”
Sainz will replace Vettel at Ferrari in 2021, with the latter moving to Racing Point when it becomes rebranded as Aston Martin. Vettel said that if Alonso is allowed to test then all drivers should have the same opportunity.
“It’s not my decision to take,” Vettel said. “I think if you allow Fernando then basically you have to allow everyone. I think the governance should take a fair decision, which I don’t think in this case they did, otherwise Carlos, some others and myself might have had the opportunity to test. I don’t know the background, why you just do case by case, but it’s also a bit pointless because we’re not allowed to test.”