Formula 1 News

Consensus for an extra January test round?

Engine Manufacturers and most teams support the proposal.
Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5th (GMM/F1plus).- It is no news that new regulations for 2014, which includes the re-introduction of the turbo engines to Formula 1, means a huge change for all teams, and all parties involved are trying to convince the authorities to add an extra testing session before the start of the official championship.

In this sense, F1's engine manufacturers have reportedly won the battle for an extra pre-season test for 2014.

Apparently against the resistance of some teams (others support the extra test), the engine suppliers had argued that - given the workload and complexity of preparing for the new V6 rules - next year's pre-season test period should be extended.

Writing in Speed Week, correspondent Rob La Salle said the manufacturers have indeed won the argument for a fourth test, possibly in the Middle East.

La Salle quoted Renault's Rob White as saying a proposal is on the table for a January test, in addition to the usual three tests in February. White said an earlier test, perhaps at the tail end of this year, is not feasible.

"To be at a test track for example in October, the engines would have to be built in September.

"There is a lead time of three months, so you would have to decide upon the specification in May. We would prefer to have that time on the test benches instead. With some components, we are still in the design phase. A test in October would be just too early."

White confirmed to another source (Autsoport) the wish to have the proposal approved. "There is what looks like quite a mature proposal to have an additional test session [pre-season] which we are completely in favor of.

"I don't know what the format would be or where it would be, but we're of the assumption that it will be an additional session for all teams and it's not optional as everyone will want and need it."

Ferrari, a staunch critic of F1's now severely limited track testing, will be happy with the news of an extra pre-season test.

"The testing situation is ridiculous," team boss Stefano Domenicali told the latest edition of the British magazine F1 Racing. With the other teams, we'll try to convince them that we need to find another balance -- and I am positive we can find a solution."

The introduction of the new V6 turbo engines has huge implication over the car that go beyond the mere "power" output. Drivetrains and chassis will suffer a comprehensive overhaul. This year we heard the term "evolution" when describing 2013 wave of car, next year it would be more a "all new". 

Such an effort, and the lack of initial data has prompted some of the team to request for that extra set of testing, which would make four the total number instead of the three we had this year. Most probably, their wish will be granted as in the past there were four testing rounds. 


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