Jules Bianchi and Pedro de la Rosa are to test for Ferrari in the upcoming Pirelli tire test in Bahrain. With Pirelli furiously working away at its new-for-2014 tires, the FIA has gifted them a pre-preseason test to develop the prototype tires the company hoped to try out in free practice of the 2013 season finale in Brazil.
However, it has emerged that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will not take part in the test, therefore leaving the seat open for their test driver, de la Rosa and Young Driver Academy member and Marussia F1 team driver, Bianchi.
De la Rosa is set to drive on the first two days with Bianchi taking over on the third and final day. This is a good opportunity for both drivers as it will validate and confirm the work de la Rosa is doing on Ferrari’s revamped simulator and will also give Bianchi an opportunity to continue his work with Ferrari as he aims for a race seat with the team in the near future — it is rumored that the Frenchman could be racing for the Scuderia as soon as 2015.
Pirelli has complete control over this upcoming test. They will designate what tires will be used at what times of the day, and they will also set the parameters for the cars’ set ups as well as fuel levels.
McLaren and Force India have also confirmed that they will, in fact, not partake in the test next week, while Sebastian Vettel will also not be driving for Red Bull at the test. Mercedes and Toro Rosso have not confirmed who they will be fielding in Bahrain, but it is expected that the former will have Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg split the driving duties.