Oliver Turvey, McLaren, Young Drivers' Test, Silverstone, 2013

FIA overhauls testing rules after Mercedes row

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Oliver Turvey, McLaren, Young Drivers' Test, Silverstone, 2013The FIA has laid down detailed new rules on in-season testing following the row over Mercedes’ secret test for Pirelli earlier this year.

Mercedes were stripped of the right to run at this year’s Young Drivers’ Test after it emerged they had conducted three days of running with their current car for Pirelli at the Circuit de Catalunya in May.

Ferrari were also revealed to have conducted tests for Pirelli on multiple occasions using an earlier car, details of which were not disclosed at the time. The new rules on testing for 2014 will require teams to give the FIA three days’ notice when they conduct tests.

New testing definitions

New rules for the 2014 season divide the running of cars by teams outside of race weekends into Testing of Current Cars (TCC), Testing of Previous Cars (TPC), Testing of Historic Cars (THC) and Promotional Events (PE). These are defined as follows in the Sporting Regulations:

Testing of Current Cars (TCC) shall be defined as any track running time, not part of an Event, in which a competitor entered in the championship participates (or in which a third party participates on behalf of a competitor), using cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2013, 2014 or 2015 Formula One Technical Regulations. No competitor may sell or make available a car of the current year to any third party without the full knowledge of the FIA.

Each competitor will also be permitted to carry out two Promotional Events (PE) with the above cars which will not be considered TCC. A PE shall be defined as an event in which a competitor participates purely for marketing or promotional purposes. No such test may exceed 100km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used.

In order that an FIA observer may be appointed, competitors must inform the FIA of any planned TCC or PE at least 72 hours before it is due to commence, the following information should be provided:

i) The precise specification of the car(s) to be used.
ii) The name(s) of the driver(s) if known.
iii) The nature of the test.
iv) The date(s) and intended duration of the test.
v) The purpose of the test.

22.2 Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) shall be defined as any track running time, not part of an Event, in which a competitor entered in the championship participates (or in which a third party participates on behalf of a competitor), using cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2010, 2011 or 2012 Formula One Technical Regulations.

TPC may only be carried out with cars built to the specification of the period and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose may be used.

In order that an FIA observer may be appointed, where possible competitors must inform the FIA of any planned TPC at least 72 hours before it is due to commence, the following information should be provided:

i) The precise specification of the car(s) to be used.
ii) The name(s) of the driver(s) if known.
iii) The nature of the test.
iv) The date(s) and intended duration of the test.
v) The purpose of the test.

22.3 Testing of Historic Cars (THC) shall be defined as any track running time, not part of an Event, in which a competitor entered in the championship participates (or in which a third party participates on behalf of a competitor), using cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2009 Formula One Technical Regulations or earlier.

THC may only be carried out with cars built to the specification of the period and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose, or tyres of the period, may be used.

In-season testing

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In-season testing will also make a return during the 2014 season. Teams will be allowed to conduct four two-day tests during the year, which must take place “on circuits where an event has just taken place, such tests commencing no less than 36 hours after the end of the relevant events.”

There are 19 races on the 2014 F1 calendar but should that rise above 20 in future the number of tests will be reduced according: “one test will be cancelled for each event above 20″.

The FIA has also made arrangements for F1′s official tyre supplier to have access to each team’s car at one of each of their eight in-season test days with the following stipulations:

• Allocation of dates will be negotiated with the appointed tyre supplier who will give priority to teams according to their positions in the previous year’s Championship.
• Allocations must be declared by each team to the FIA before the start of the first Event of the Championship and may not be subsequently changed.
• The team must test tyres on the allocated day according to run plan defined by the appointed tyre supplier.
• The run plans and results for each day of tyre testing must be made available to all teams.
• Tyres used during such testing day will not be drawn from the team’s annual allocation of tyres for testing.

The FIA has also stipulated that one of the days of pre-season testing “must be set aside for testing of wet-weather tyres” and the arrangements for this “will be made by the appointed tyre supplier in full consultation with the teams and the FIA”.

Factory shut down, wind tunnel and CFD

The FIA has also incorporated the rules governing how teams are restricted during the August break into the regulations as follows:

22.12 All competitors must observe a shut down period of fourteen consecutive days in the month of August during the time that two consecutive Events are separated by at least twenty four days.
Competitors should notify the FIA of their intended shut down period within 30 days of the start of the championship season.

During the shut down period no team, nor any of its suppliers, may carry out any of the following activities for or on behalf of the team:
a) Operation or use of any wind tunnel (excluding any service and maintenance activity).
b) Operation or use of any computer resource for Restricted CFD Simulations (excluding any service and maintenance activity).
c) Production or development of wind tunnel parts, car parts (including the power train), test parts or tooling.
d) Sub-assembly of car parts (including the power train) or assembly of cars.
e) Any work activity by any employee, consultant or sub-contractor engaged in development or production (excluding any work activity to be undertaken at the race track in preparation for the Event immediately following the shut down period).

Each competitor must notify its suppliers of the dates of its shut down period and must not enter into any agreement or arrangement with the intention of circumventing the prohibition on the above activities.

22.13 During the shut down period the following activities will not be considered a breach of the above:
a) Repairs carried out with the agreement of the FIA to a car seriously damaged during the Event preceding the shut down period.
b) The assembly and servicing of running or static show cars, none of which may entail the production, assembly or servicing of any current car parts.
c) The operation and use of any wind tunnel or computer resource for Restricted CFD Simulations provided this is being carried out for projects with no direct relation to Formula One or for or on behalf of a competitor that is not at that time within its own shut down period.
d) Any activity the sole purpose of which is supporting projects unconnected to Formula One, subject to the written approval from the FIA.

Wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) development work are also subject to new restrictions detailed in a new four-page Appendix 8. That can be read, along with the full 2014 Sporting and Technical Regulations, on the FIA’s website.

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Images © McLaren/Hoch Zwei, F1 Fanatic