In-season testing could be banned

Thursday 29-May-2014 13:04

In an attempt to cut the cost of running a Formula One team over the course of the year, in-season testing could be banned from 2015...

Although the FIA and the F1 teams are still involved in discussions about other cost-cutting measures - like the reduction of the number of personnel allowed and the expansion of parc ferme rules - a report by Autosport suggests a revamp of the testing regulations is on the cards.

The report adds that a number of proposals are being considered, including the ban of in-season testing and the reduction of pre-season testing sessions from three to two.

This year, in-season tests after the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix have already taken place, with further sessions planned after the British and Abu Dhabi races.

While some of the teams were satisfied with the outcome of the Bahrain and Spain tests, others feel they were an unneeded, additional expense that is a cause of stress for their employees.

Pre-season testing is also unlikely to take place outside the European mainland, with Spain's Jerez circuit the favourite to host both the rumoured 2015 tests.

James Allison, the Ferrari Technical Director, believes changes to the testing regulations are a more effective way to cut costs than simply changing technical rules.

"One of things we've said is that in general the technical regulations have not been the happiest hunting ground for saving margins," Allison told Autosport during last week's Monaco GP.

"Sporting regulations have been generally more effective in that, so if there's an amount of effort to be put into discussing stuff, probably the biggest amount of money will be saved if we focus our effort on the sporting side.

"Saying that, there always are areas on the technical side where you can save chunks of money. I think it would be wrong to say these things are a joke.

"There are a large number of proposals on the table, they just need to be talked about until the ones which are a joke fall off the table and the ones which aren't stay on the table, and hopefully the questions of sustainability are resolved."

His McLaren counterpart Eric Boullier isn't entirely convinced, though, and suggested that too many changes to the rules over a short period of time could have the opposite effect.

"We have to be careful. The more change we do to the regulations, the more money we could potentially spend adjusting our business to the new rules," Boullier said.

"We know trying to keep the regulations stable over a few years is the best way to make sure we are saving money.

"At the same time, there are a couple of big discussions about the format of the weekend, the price of the engine, restriction in the windtunnel, where we could potentially save more money.

"This is what we are trying to agree for the future, but not going into any crazy decisions, because we could produce the inverse of what we want to do."

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