Aston Martin hands Abu Dhabi rookie test to Yelloly


The Aston Martin team will hand an F1 outing at Abu Dhabi next month to its simulator driver Nick Yelloly.

The two-day post-season test at Yas Marina will feature each F1 team, except for Williams, running a mule car fitted with 18-inch wheels as part of Pirelli's tyre testing program, and a 2021-spec car on one day exclusively assigned to a rookie status driver.

Aston Martin does not have an active young driver program, but the Silverstone-based outfit will rely on Yelloly as an opportunity to correlate its sim data with its real car.

The 30-year-old British driver rose through the ranks of motorsport's junior single-seater categories before switching to GT racing here he became a works BMW driver in 2019.

However, Yelloly has tested previously with Team Silverstone, at Barcelona in 2015 and again at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2019.

"Nick is a really good guy and he's been with us quite some time," Aston team boss Otmar Szafnauer told

"There were other opportunities, but we had to weigh up those other opportunities with doing this.

"You're not going to use your normal racing drivers anyway. So this is a perfect trade-off."

Szafnauer underscored the importance of validating its sim work through a correlation process involving real track data.

"[Yelloly] helps to develop the simulator itself, more so than the car," he explained. "We always to try to get the software and the hardware of the simulator working a bit better.

"And to be able to do a really good job you need to in your mind be able to correlate what you're feeling in a simulation to a real car. And every once in a while you have to drive a real car.

"So this is one opportunity we have to put him in it to help with our development, and that's what we decided to do.

"It's a good use of our test day, and simulator development ultimately helps car development."

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