Red Bull and Alfa Romeo have joined Renault in announcing they will run experienced drivers in the post-season test which was originally designated for rookies.Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull’s official reserve driver, will appear for the team in next week’s Young Drivers Test. The team will also run a second car for Junior Team member Juri Vips, who will make his debut in an official F1 test.
Buemi, 32, started 55 F1 races between 2009 and 2011, and won the 2015-16 Formula E championship. He is eligible to participate in the test as the FIA confirmed it will be open to past F1 drivers who did not compete in the championship this year.
Renault confirmed last week they will run two-times world champion Fernando Alonso in the test on December 15th
“I haven’t driven the car since the Pirelli test last year in Silverstone, so the test in Abu Dhabi is very important to me,” said Buemi. “I spend a lot of time working in the simulator and if you get the opportunity to drive the real car it’s much better for the correlation.”
Vips did a part-season in Formula Regional European this year and appeared in Formula 2 as a substitute for the injured Sean Gelael at DAMS.
The 20-year-old from Tallinn in Estonia said he is “extremely grateful for the opportunity that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have given me to drive the RB16.
“This will be the first time I get to drive a current Formula 1 car as I did my 300 kilometres in an RB8. There will be a lot to learn but I will make sure I prepare as much as I can and it has been good for me to be with the team as reserve driver for the last few races.”
Alfa Romeo have also confirmed their drivers for the test. Robert Kubica, who last raced in Formula 1 in 2019, will drive alongside Formula 2 racer Callum Ilott.
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