Teams looking for way to bring back in-season testing

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

Stefano Domenicali, Pat Fry, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013Team principals are trying to find a way to reintroduce in-sesaon testing following a discussion involved six teams at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: “We were the one that were promoting, in a way, to go back to testing because we feel it is important.” Ferrari has persistently lobbied for the reintroduction of in-season testing which was banned in 2009.

Deomicali believes the six teams found a compromise between that view and the need of the smaller teams to keep costs down.

“I have to say that we were discussing, we find the right balance between the request from one side and the need to consider that were on the table to consider also the issue that small teams have always presented to us,” he said.

“And I believe that what was agreed and discussed is a fair, sensible, balanced approach that now it’s important that we go through and ratify in the new regulation because that’s now the key point of the future. Now is the moment to ratify what we have discussed and what I believe is the right compromise for all the entrants in the championship now.”

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said a relaxing of the testing rules would have to be accompanied by cost savings:

“Even as a small team per se we are not against testing because it does have a lot of benefits and looking at next year with the new engine coming up, we should look at young drivers, you can give them mileage there, or for suppliers when they need to test things. So as such it’s nothing we’re against.”

“But for us it’s all linked to the costs. Our ideal would be that you can try to link this to overall cost savings so you find some other areas where you can bring the cost down which again brings up discussions about the cost cap or so and whether we ca do anything within that, that’s something we’d be then looking for. But as such, we wouldn’t really be against testing.”

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30 comments on Teams looking for way to bring back in-season testing

  1. Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 7th June 2013, 21:58

    Teams testing on their own tracks would have to be out, as the smaller teams don’t have their own tracks. The simplest and easiest solution would be to add time to the existing practice sessions. There were still several hours of daylight left when they concluded FP2 in Montreal.

    • Euro Brun (@eurobrun) said on 7th June 2013, 22:26

      That’s fine in Canada where there’s not much in the way of support races (correct me if I’m wrong, but I think only Porsche Supercup this weekend?), but usually there’s GP2 and GP3 as well, each with its own practice and quali sessions. I totally agree tho that there should be more opportunity for them to run each race weekend as it would give more to the fans.
      If they’re really bothered about more dedicated testing, then they should test on the Monday after races like Moto GP regularly do.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 7th June 2013, 22:42

      I think testing makes sense, in particular because of the strange way the tyres behave. Alternatively, one could just fix the tyres.

  2. tmax (@tmax) said on 7th June 2013, 22:11

    I think it will be good to have the testing like the winter testing if it happens 3 or 4 times during the entire year where everyone can bring in stuff and do their testing on a designated track on specific days on the calender.

    It looks like by the time Vettel heads to Ferrari … in season testing will be fully back and then …. Vola …..it is Schumi days again.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 7th June 2013, 22:18

    There wouldn’t be nothing better to heal the open wounds in the teams, of course banning Mercedes for a while, and making Pirelli run all the costs. And these tests should start right away at the Canadian venue, to minimize the advantage gained by Mercedes. But I agree with most of people when they say all the teams should test in the same track at the same time, not allowing private tracks to participate

  4. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 7th June 2013, 22:38

    I think that’s a terrible idea: the whole idea behind banning in-season testing was to reduce costs and even out the playing field. Until a solution is found to stop this ludicrous aerodynamics spending war testing needs to be capped.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th June 2013, 0:20

      @vettel1, trouble is Max that the only successful alternative to testing is a multi-million dollar wind tunnel and 150 technicians and boffins constantly designing, building , testing and extrapolating from, 60% models. For some teams a day at the local track using a “test mule” with a man using a file and some Bondo for fine tuning would be a lot less expensive.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th June 2013, 0:30

        @hohum this is true: perhaps all testing could be conducted in the same way as you can now swap straight line tests for wind tunnel time?

        Either way though, really the solution would be to police the spending of hundreds of millions on gurney flaps and such like!

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th June 2013, 3:25

          So why not Monday/Tues/Wed testing after a certain number of designated races throughout the year as we’ve been reminded Moto GP does? An allowance to be able to haul a slightly larger amount of gear to those races for bringing new components etc. Wouldn’t this be the ideal way to introduce some amount of testing that would save costs as the likes of the Sauber team principal et al would want? Or maybe a few of those and a few designated tests on off-weeks so teams can bring whole new chassis’ if they want, that they couldn’t bring to a race weekend.

          Surely they can work to manage the costs of this such that what it does cost is well worth the benefits.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th June 2013, 7:09

          Funnily that was exactly what Ferrari seems to have proposed @vettel1, but the other teams were against it (either because they though Ferrari would get more out of it overall or because they feared no one would be able to keep a check on total cost).

          All teams apart from Ferrari and Red Bull are into opening up restrictions a bit but imposing a spending limit. I guess its clear why.

    • Bio said on 8th June 2013, 8:52

      Like my mom said yesterday: “if you don’t have enough money, stay away from F1″. BTW the money they saved from testing days is now spalshed on those multi millions state of the art simulators…which one is better? Give me a real test anyday.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 11:03

        the money they saved from testing days is now spalshed on those multi millions state of the art simulators

        It’s not as simple as that. Given free rein the richest teams would have both massive testing programmes and hugely expensive simulators.

        The test ban is a simple and successful means of keeping the sport from spending itself into destruction – something other series have done in the past. If they’re considering relaxing it they should proceed very careful, ensure the new limits are strictly imposed and make sure significant savings are made elsewhere that more than make up for the increased expenditure.

        • Bio said on 8th June 2013, 15:09

          I’m sorry but I completely disagree. There are plenty of much more effective methods to prevent the massive rise in F1 costs than banning tests. The only reason they banned testing back in mid 2000s was to prevent Ferrari from winning more championships after they failed to do so with the tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin, it is as simple as that. I’m sure if they bring back old testing Ferrari would concentrate on that rather than improve thier simulator and fans will have the oppotunity to see F1 cars in challenging tracks (Monza or Mugello) for real at a more affordable price than that of a F1 week-end like it used to be when I was a kid. To settle the matter down, FIA can ask the team to choose between the sim or the testing sessions at the beginning of the F1 champ, teams that pick the sim ar not allowed to do track testing and viceversa. I think it could work…

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th June 2013, 0:45

            That’s completely untrue. The ban on in-season testing was introduced in 2009 (five years after Ferrari’s dominant period ended) with the agreement of all the teams – including Ferrari. It was a response to the economic downturn which was developing at the time which saw Honda withdraw at the end of 2008 and BMW and Toyota do the same a year later.

            Banning testing is an extremely effective way of cutting costs because teams no longer have to run separate test teams alongside their existing race staff, nor cover the considerable costs of transport, venue hire, engines, tyres and so on.

            I’m sure if they bring back old testing Ferrari would concentrate on that rather than improve their simulator

            I guarantee you they would do both. Because in a simulator you don’t have to physically build the parts before you put them on the car, you don’t have to spend hours making set-up changes, you don’t have to wait for it to stop raining – you don’t even have to leave the factory.

          • Bio said on 9th June 2013, 9:03

            It’s your pov and I completely desagree as I said before, I can guarantee that “if they bring back testing Ferrari will immediately concentrate on that rather than improving their simulator” because an insider told me they would do so, everyone got ther sources…Running a simulator is not as cheap as you might think given that only the hardware costs around 5 million euros, not to mention the 30 people staff responsible to run it…If you have your private track out of the backdoor like Ferrari with Fiorano or Mugello and the English based teams with Silverstone, costs are comparable. Banning tests has only to do with political matters, not cutting costs.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th June 2013, 11:51

            I never said running a simulator was “cheap”. And I don’t mean to be rude but one anonymous person giving me second-hand information from another anonymous person isn’t going to convince me of anything.

            Your example of Silverstone serves to prove my point about why simulation is so valuable. Despite it being on their doorstop the wealthier British teams they generally used Silverstone only for shakedown runs and tyre testing ahead of the British Grand Prix. They usually went to Spain for their testing because the weather conditions were warmer and more reliable. In a simulator they have total control over the weather conditions.

            There are real and practical reasons why teams choose simulation and will continue to use it even if testing were increased.

            The only reason they banned testing back in mid 2000s was to prevent Ferrari from winning more championships

            Banning tests has only to do with political matters

            The testing ban was introduced after it was agreed by the FIA and FOTA at a time when Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo was also the chairman of FOTA. So I’d like to hear your explanation for why he consented to a move designed to prevent his team “from winning more championships”.

          • Bio said on 9th June 2013, 15:06

            “So I’d like to hear your explanation for why he consented to a move designed to prevent his team “from winning more championships””: run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, ever heard about it? Everyone wants a piece of the Formula 1 cake sooner or later otherwise the same cake will blow up…

          • Bio said on 9th June 2013, 15:09

            …and btw I don’t have to convince you or anybody else here and I don’t even care TBO.

  5. Akira-Fan said on 7th June 2013, 22:48

    If testing is brought back then expect the big teams to dominate & the mid-field teams to fall back again.
    I’d also expect to lose some teams as cost’s increase further.

    I also expect testing will allow teams to figure the tyres out much sooner in future season which will make racing more boring.

    Also big teams will be able to develop there cars faster so will pull away from mid-field teams even more early in the year.

    the test ban has been great for the racing & testing should therefore stay banned!

    • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 7th June 2013, 23:14

      I also expect testing will allow teams to figure the tyres out much sooner in future season which will make racing more boring.

      I know … let’s have Pirelli introduce completely new tyres every six races instead of every year. That’s a compromise of course – ideally the teams would have new tyres sprung on them every race. Because, you know, excitement!

      Seems to me that if people find motor racing boring they should simply not watch it, rather than trying to change it into something it’s not.

  6. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 7th June 2013, 23:52

    @tmax Why do people assume Vettel will move to Ferrari ? He seems pretty happy with RBR with all the spoon-feeding he gets.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 8th June 2013, 0:18

      Because I imagine he’d like the new challenge and driving for Ferrari @shreyasf1fan. Besides, I don’t reckon he’d go there without a certain degree of “spoon feeding” such as that which Alonso gets from Massa currently.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 8th June 2013, 3:36

        yeah I can see Vettel going there some day. But of course it won’t be while FA is there or any other rooster of course. SV is young and he’s got a long career ahead of him. I think Ferrari is almost inevitable for him. Sure he has it great at RBR and why would he move now. But all good things come to an end and it’s easily imaginable that at some point in the future the shine will come off the apple. It did for MS at Ferrari and LH at Mercedes and FA at Renault and KR from F1.

      • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 8th June 2013, 5:08

        @vettel1 the guy is young – probably 12-13 years more in a formula 1 car. He will be a top level driver for the next 10yrs. So yeah..a move to ferrari is possible..but when? 5years? 6? That was the point i was making – it is not happening in the neae, so why think about it??

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 9th June 2013, 16:31

      @shreyasf1fan The reason why he has a high chance of moving to Ferrari is

      1) Vettel is just 25 with 3 World championships in the bag. Ferrari takes in only tried and tested drivers as their lead horse. So given today’s form guide he has the best potential to replace Alonso. Probably right reason they did not go for Perez who was a a superstar last year same time.

      2) If you look at Forbes List of Top Paid Athletes Vettel is 89 with just 18 Million contract fee. Alonso is the top F1 driver with 38 Million ranked 39th. When Vettel’s contract is Re-Negotiated next year it is going to be a $50+ Million contract. Be it Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes or Mclaren the amount is going to be big. In today’s scenario only Ferrari is hungry or rich enough to pay out that amount. Being a triple world champion and having achieved what people probably achieve in a life time, he is in the best position to negotiate his contract. Only caveat here is that , he does not have a management agency. His manager is Bernie so it is upto Bernie to sell him out for a good price.

      3) All said and done the Ferrari has a Charm to it. The Tifosi being the life and energy to the car. Their passion for a team is unbelievable. Michael knows it. He Thrilled the Tifosi’s to all possible means. Michael being a good friend of Vettel would have passed on some of his “Ah Ha” Moments to Vettel.

      4) Ferrari runs a Single driver show. Somebody like Vettel thrives for such attention and responds back for such a favor. A person like Kimi does not care things like that. But Vettel like Michael and Alonso has a natural ability to return the favors.

      All said and done Vettel might think that he does not need the Money or he does not need the Tifosi moments to be part of the history of F1. He might think he is am happy with a small team making winning cars. He might not care about the manufacturer’s name , car’s Color and the size of the paycheck. He might think all he wants to do is beat Michael’s record by raking up some 100+ wins and 10 championships. He might think Between Newey and Horner with the blessing of Marco and Mateschitz he can do so. He might just stick to Red Bull. He seems to be super aggressive racer but not a flashy attention seeking individual.

  7. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 8th June 2013, 5:10

    *in the near future

  8. Ivano (@) said on 8th June 2013, 14:51

    I really don’t think a team testing on it’s private track will make the diffirence wider between the big and small teams. It’s years that testing is banned, and still Marussia and Caterham have yet to score points, and the pecking order is still pretty much the same. Ferrari, Red Bull, Enstone, McLaren (an off season this year) and Honda/Brawn/Merc, then comes the rest as it was during the years when teams were testing.

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