Two cars from each team will participate in the tests, which will take place on Tuesday after the final race of the season. The drivers will ride on 2023 Pirelli tires in one car, while the rookies will drive the other.
Traditionally, drivers moving to next year’s teams get their first experience of their new outfits during the Abu Dhabi race, provided they have been able to negotiate a release from their previous teams. Often part of the arrangement is that they appear in neutral or unbranded jumpsuits.
Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost revealed in Mexico on Friday that Nick de Vries will ride for his team for now Pierre Gasly This is expected to be the first appearance for alpine as part of a larger deal that released him from the Red Bull camp for 2023.
However, Oscar Piastre has not yet been released by Alpine to drive McLaren. Enstone team boss Othmar Schaffnauer noted in Mexico: “I think our legal teams are discussing it now. And I don’t know. There will be more next week, so ask me in Brazil.”
It is understood that Alonso had to obtain permission for the release from Alpine himself, without the direct involvement of Aston Martin, and that he was able to do so.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he had the cards in his hands to help him get that release, Alonso smiled and said: “I’m always in charge of my own destiny!”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
Photo: Andy Hone / Images of motor sports
Alonso is expected to spend half a day of tire testing in Abu Dhabi alongside his new team-mate Lance Stroll make the other half.
The Spaniard will be able to log an extra run with the AMR22 during the Pirelli tire test in February, ahead of the launch of the new car and the only official test session in Bahrain a week before the first race of the season.
Felipe Drugovic, meanwhile, is due to field last year’s Aston Martin AMR21 at Silverstone on Tuesday, the same car Zac O’Sullivan recently used to compete in the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC.
As well as being the first big step in Drugovic’s development program with the team, it will be an important day for the Brazilian as he will need to complete 300km to qualify for FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
If he doesn’t for any reason, the team will have to find someone else to run the FP1 session, and De Vries is the obvious candidate. However, Drugovic will still be able to pass his young driver test after the race weekend,
Aston Martin ambassador Jess Hawkins is also due to do a few laps in the AMR21 on Tuesday, after Drugovic’s run.
In other rookie pilot news, Liam Lawson is expected to replace him Max Verstappen in Red Bull at FP1 in Abu Dhabi, the Kiwi has already completed two sessions for AlphaTauri.