The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya will ,tomorrow, play host to the first in season test session of the 2016 Formula One Calender. The two day test session will be attended by all teams with the exception of the Sauber F1 Team, who confirmed ahead of the Grand Prix weekend they had been unable to put necessary plans in place to attend the test.
Under agreement with the FIA participating teams will use the event as an opportunity to place rookie drivers behind the wheel of 2016 F1 technology. Testing duties in most cases will be split between a rookie and existing driver. Teams are free to determine on which day a rookie participates.
As reported on this site last week, Esteban Ocon will test for both the Renault Sport F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas during the test. Antonio Fuoco will get the chance to sample the Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H, Stoffel Vandoorne will continue his acclimatisation into the Mclaren fold with a single day of testing, whilst Alfonso Celis will take to the wheel of the Force India VJM09 for both days of the event. Jordan King will complete a single day of testing for the Manor Racing Team, with Pierre Gasly will run for Scuderia Toro Rosso. Alex Lynn will run on day one of the test for the Williams Martini Racing team.
With the Haas F1 team having no development / rookie driver formally announced they will run race drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez through the test. Intriguingly Red Bull Racing will also run race drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Presumably the justification from Red Bull Racing not to run a rookie in the event may have been to allow Max Verstappen a period of familiarisation to the team and car, however after winning on Sunday this justification seems less plausible.
Driver nominations for this event were made well in advance of Sunday’s race. As a consequence the results of which have had no bearing on the choice of drivers not taking part in the event.
Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Jolyon Palmer, & Rio Haryanto, will not be participating. It is unclear if they will be present.
Testing line up in full from the excellent MsportXtra:
#F1 Tomorrow starts #HappyTesting again. Here’s who tests when. #MsportXtra pic.twitter.com/1riTQuKUGH
— #MsportXtra (@MsportExtra) May 16, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas have confirmed that for the second in season test, Lewis Hamilton will have the opportunity to take part in the test.
@eRacingNews He’ll have the opportunity to drive during the Silverstone test. We have to run a rookie for one day of each 🙂
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) May 16, 2016
See below for a few social media updates from the rookie class of 2016:
Super busy And exciting testing week for me, can't wait to test The R.S.16 tommorow and the WO7 wednesday ! @F1 pic.twitter.com/uX6JhJon6w
— Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) May 16, 2016
I am happy to announce that on Wednesday I will be on the track with Ferrari SF – 16 H for the test day 💪🏼🇮🇹🏎 pic.twitter.com/zlGbgUwxAD
— Antonio Fuoco (@Anto_Fuoco) May 16, 2016
The additional finishing touches by @ManorRacing
— Jordan King (@42jordanking) May 16, 2016