F1 has slowly introduced a bit more testing over the last few years, including some days specifically for young drivers, but the amount of time young drivers get in modern cars is way, way less than it was a decade or so ago.
Specific test sessions are one thing, but Ross Brawn wants to introduce more ways for young drivers to gain F1 experience during actual race weekends so that they are better prepared for when they get their chance as F1 drivers.
In the 2000s teams used to be able to run a third car in Friday practice, which was often driven by a a young talent. It’s how Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica first made an impression, and although teams can still elect to run different drivers in practice sessions it has to be at the expense of one of their regular race drivers. Ross says he’s looking at ways of reintroducing a similar system.
Brawn also said that it would be a benefit if an F1 driver had to miss a race at short notice for some reason, because then an F2 driver would be more able to jump in and do a good job.
Liberty Media is starting to take Formula 2 a bit more seriously than it otherwise has been in the past, as news has already emerged that upcoming superlicence changes are going to make it more or less compulsory for young drivers with F1 ambitions.
Brawn told Motorsport.com that he sees the series as an potential place to experiment with rule changes which could then be implemented into F1.
He also said that he’d like to see the route to F1 be a bit more like that used in MotoGP so that fans can become more familiar with young drivers as they progress up the ladder.
It’s cool to see the sport paying a much closer interest in the junior formulae which are so crucial to the success of F1.
It’ll be interesting to see just how the path to F1 changes in the coming years as Liberty Media and the FIA seek to try and tie the whole process together.