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Rookies centre stage as in-season testing returns - updated

08 Apr 2014

The first in-season test of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship begins in Bahrain on Tuesday, with a number of rookies set to take on driving duties during the two-day session.

2012 Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns will drive for Caterham and 18-year-old Sergey Sirotkin will be at the wheel for Sauber. McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne had been due to get his first F1 outing, fresh from his GP2 debut win at Sakhir at the weekend, but a late change means McLaren are expected to run Kevin Magnussen on both days.

Sirotkin's Tuesday test should allow him to complete the mileage needed to qualify for his FIA Super Licence. The Russian will then hand over to Sauber’s reserve driver Giedo van der Garde for Wednesday’s running.

Mercedes in contrast will use race drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, who staged a thrilling battle for victory in Sunday’s 2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Rosberg will drive for the Silver Arrows on day one, before handing over to Hamilton for the second day.

Red Bull and Ferrari will use one race driver for both days. Daniel Ricciardo, fresh from outpacing Sebastian Vettel on his way to fourth in the Bahrain race, will drive the RB10, while his team mate works in the simulator back in the UK. Fernando Alonso will conduct both days of testing in the Scuderia’s F14 T.

Each of the 11 F1 teams has agreed to dedicate one day of testing this year exclusively to tyre development work for Pirelli and on Tuesday it’s Caterham’s turn, when Frijns will be at the wheel of the CT05. The tyres the team uses will therefore not form part of the 135 sets they are allocated for 2014.

Mercedes and Williams will take over as Pirelli’s designated teams on Wednesday, with the rest of the field set to share tyre duties across the next two in-season tests at Barcelona, on May 13-14, and Silverstone, on July 8-9.

A further two-day test in Abu Dhabi on November 25-26 will complete official testing for 2014, the first year since 2008 to feature a series of in-season sessions. will, of course, bring you the latest images and daily reports throughout this week’s Bahrain test.