Giedo van der Garde & Sergey Sirotkin to drive for Sauber at in-season Bahrain test
Van der Garde will first make Sauber debut in P1 at Sakhir
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 31/03/14 1:43pm
As part of an overhaul of F1's testing regulations for this year, four two-day test sessions are being held on the Tuesday and Wednesday after grands prix with Bahrain, Barcelona, Silverstone and Abu Dhabi selected as the venues.
The first of those takes place following this weekend's Bahrain GP at Sakhir and Sauber have confirmed that new reserve driver van der Garde and Russian teenager Sirotkin will complete a day apiece in the struggling C33.
Eighteen-year-old Sirotkin had at one stage been in contention for a race drive at Sauber for this year following their link-up with a series of Russian businesses, before the team ultimately opted for the more experienced pair of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.
However, having driven an old Sauber and Ferrari in the closing months of last year, Sirotkin will now make his full F1 test debut on the opening day in Bahrain (April 8) in order to rack up the mileage necessary to apply for a super licence which would allow him to drive in GP weekends.
Van der Garde joined the team in February after being dropped from a race seat by Caterham and will run on the second day at Sakhir. It will be his second day in the car after the Dutchman, as he revealed to Sky Sports F1 during pre-season, makes his debut for the team in place of Gutierrez in this Friday's Practice One session at the desert circuit.
As well as the four tests providing Pirelli the opportunity to test their latest developments - Caterham, Mercedes and Williams are the first teams who will complete their respective one mandatory day of work for the Italian supplier in Bahrain - the sessions will crucially also allow teams the chance to fine-tune their complex 2014 cars and trial developments ahead of the forthcoming races.