FIA take action with immediate effect over strict F1 testing rules

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen during pre-season testing

Testing is a vital component of an F1 car's development.

The FIA have doubled the amount of testing laps a team will be able to do during filming events with the changes set to come into effect from next season.

In comparison to other sports, F1 drivers and teams are heavily restricted in how much practice they can do before a race. While time in the sim is unlimited, their track time is limited to two promotional events and two demonstration events to go along with the F1-organised testing days.

Teams have often complained that this is too short a period and the FIA have relented, allowing constructors to run for double the length during promotional events.

Teams given more testing freedom by the FIA

While the wind tunnel combined with the sim produce pretty accurate results, there is still some things that slip through the net. The porpoising issue in 2022 was a perfect example of that with the aerodynamic phenomenon not appearing during the team’s in-house tests.

But areas like that, as well as a team’s ability to develop their car, will be improved from now on with the limit on promotional events rising from 100km to 200km, equating to around 40 laps of a typical circuit.

Some other minor changes made are in regards to the components used and the demonstration events. In terms of the latter, teams will no longer be required to inform their rivals if they undertake a test and for the components, a rule change stipulates that parts used on old cars for testing must have featured in a race weekend.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown was the latest voice to advocate for more testing, arguing that limited time on track is why cars tend to look similar.

“I would like to see some more testing,” he told Sky Sports F1. With the cost cap now, my general view is to give us a little bit more freedom because we’re capped out on what we can spend.

“Maybe if the rules weren’t so prescriptive, you might see some different-looking cars. If you’ve got a cost cap, I think you can then free up some of the rules and let people develop how they want to develop because we’re all capped by how much you can spend.”

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