Dennis to return for Red Bull at Hungaroring test

Jake Dennis (GBR) Red Bull Racing Test Driver
© XPB 

Blancpain GT Series racer Jake Dennis will have another opportunity to get behind the wheel of the RB14 in August, Red Bull has confirmed.

The team's simulator development driver had his first chance to try the car out in real-life conditions in May when he took part in the official in-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Now it's been confirmed he will be back in action in the two day test that follows the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Team principal Christian Horner said that Dennis "did a great job for us in Barcelona, so it’s good to give him another opportunity."

However, Horner made it clear that Dennis hadn't been the team's first choice for test duties.

Originally, Red Bull had wanted to try out European Formula 3 title hopeful Dan Ticktum behind the wheel at the Hungaroring. However, that was blocked by the FIA's new rules regarding racing licences.

Only drivers who qualify for an International A licence are permitted to take part in official Formula 1 test sessions. And the 19-year-old Briton currently doesn't have enough points to allow him to do so.

The Red Bull junior driver was the recipient of the 2017 McLaren Autosport BRDC award after winning last year's Macau Grand Prix. Horner insisted that this should have given him the necessary standing to take part in testing.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that there are drivers with lesser achievements that are able to be driving there,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 at Hockenheim.

“Dan won Macau, which is a big race in Formula 3, but it doesn’t register," he complained. "It doesn’t qualify for any points.

"There’s a few things that need to be looked at there, I think," he added.

Dan Ticktum, Red Bull juunior

© Red Bull Racing

Ticktum currently has just two points toward the Formula 1 superlicence which would allow him to take part in a Grand Prix weekend. Those come from his efforts in the 2015 British F4 championship.

Those will expire at the end of this season, so even if Ticktum were to win the Euro F3 title this year he would still be ten points short of the 40 needed to step up to Formula 1.

As a result it's unlikely that Ticktum could realistically be in the frame for a seat at Toro Rosso in 2019.

“It’s still a long way to go," said Horner. "For Dan his main focus now has to be on trying to win that Formula 3 championship."

He added that Dennis was also unlikely to be a F1 prospect next season.

"I think Jake is firmly going for a different route," Horner explained. "But he just correlates the work he is doing for us on the simulator very well."

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