F1 team boss points out flaw in Fernando Alonso’s bold testing proposal

Oliver Harden
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso makes his way through the Bahrain F1 testing paddock

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

RB team principal Laurent Mekies has dismissed Fernando Alonso’s calls for teams to be allowed to run two cars in pre-season testing, claiming the current situation is “easily manageable.”

Alonso has been a vocal of critic of F1’s existing testing arrangement, which sees a three-day test held roughly a week before the opening race of the new season.

The Aston Martin driver recently told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher that it is “unfair” that testing is so restricted, calling for the rules to be allowed to run two cars.

New F1 team boss dismisses Fernando Alonso’s testing proposal

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

However, former Ferrari sporting director Mekies – who replaced Franz Tost as team principal of Red Bull’s junior squad over the winter – believes it is unrealistic to request more testing time with a record 24-race season ahead.

But he claimed teams are pushing to be allowed more testing when the sport’s next major rule changes are enforced in 2026.

He told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain: “As a team, as engineers, I’m sure as drivers, you will always want more testing because it’s very difficult for the sport at that level to have the quantity of testing.

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“However, you have 24 races. We don’t have a test team crew anymore.

“What will happen if you do two cars here, for example – I’m not telling you that it’s right or wrong, I’m just telling you what the practical consequences will be – all the teams out there in the pit lane have a nightshift, so we work around the clock.

“It’s actually quite easily manageable because you are only running one car so you have Crew A that does the day [and] Crew B, which would normally run the other car, that does the night.

“So as a team structure, you don’t have your test team anymore. You bring both your crews to Bahrain: one does day, one does night.

“If tomorrow you run two cars at the pre-season test, for sure you will need a nightshift, so you need to find not one more crew but two more crews.

“Not straightforward. Same thing when you have the Pirelli test. It’s fine, we can go there, it’s the same guy who’s doing it.

“And we have a responsibility also to make sure we create the right environment for our guys. That’s not only a responsibility, but that’s also performance, meaning you need to protect your guys so they want to keep working with you.

“So, not easy. Of course, we are having discussions now. 2026 is a different beast. So for ’26 we are all conscious that with the new regulations, we will all want – need desperately – more testing.

“We will have more testing and a bit of time to get ready for it and to see how we want to deal with it.”

Asked if a curfew would help during testing, he said: “It would, but it goes even one more step in the other direction.

“It’s like testing even less, you will be able to do even less.

“You could then have two cars, but then you will say: ‘Look, it’s a new car, it’s a high-technology sport, I need to check the parts’ – so it’s not an easy one.

“I think it was also so difficult when we moved to a test ban and increased the number of races. It was better to have more races, less testing, so it’s part of the challenge for us.

“I think it’s also pushing F1 in the mega technological era with simulations, because you don’t have the testing, you’ve turn up at the race weekends and switch from your virtual environment to the real environment. Is is critical.

“You ask why you try to build these tools? Because, in the end, it’s always going to be more important.”

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