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Kimi Raikkonen will take part in the ‘young driver test’ at Silverstone next week.
The Formula 1 driver, third in the 2012 Drivers Championship, was a surprise inclusion when the names were announced for next week’s exercise, which will also be used to test Pirelli’s new tyres.
Raikonnen’s younger Lotus teammates Nicolas Prost and Davide Valsecchi will be on track earlier next week, with Development driver Prost behind the wheel on Wednesday, followed by third driver Valsecci on Thursday.
Both have experience of the newer models already, Prost having sat behind the wheel of the 2012 Lotus F1 car the E20, with Valsecchi having had the privilege of driving the current model, the E21, during pre-season testing ahead of this year’s championship.
However, it is the feedback of Raikonnen that will be most sought after next week, given the furore over the Pirelli tyres recently.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal said: “It’s great timing for us to have this season’s Young Driver Test scheduled in the middle of the year as it allows us to evaluate more of the new parts we have for the E21 as the championship battle intensifies. ?
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director added: “This will be an interesting test and we have a lot planned across the three days. Obviously we want to give all three drivers the maximum track time possible as well as assessing the latest upgrades to the car.
“Our aim on the third day will be to help Pirelli understand the latest changes to their tyres at the same venue where they most notably had issues this season. For Nico and Davide it’s an opportunity to learn and improve, while for the team it is a great opportunity to try to refine some of the latest developments we have for the E21.
“Kimi is also allowed to run, enabling him and other race drivers to test tyres for Pirelli. This will benefit both him and Romain by granting us a better understanding of these tyres before we head to the next event in Hungary.”