McLaren-Mercedes number two Heikki Kovalainen
has called on F1's governing body, the FIA to abolish the in-season testing ban.
The ban was brought in, like a number of measures in recent years, to cut costs. It has though created certain 'problems' and in addition to making development harder, it has also meant test drivers and those aspiring to step up to the top level haven't been able to do any running.
Indeed it has made life especially tough for F1 'newcomers', Jaime Alguersuari
and Romain Grosjean, both brought in mid-season to replace Sebastien Bourdias at Toro Rosso
and Nelson Piquet Jr
It could also be blamed, partly at least, for Luca Badoer's failure to perform after being drafted in to replace the injured Felipe Massa. Badoer had now been replaced by ex-Force India man, Giancarlo Fisichella, who will make his debut for Ferrari
at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.
Speaking to Reuters
, Kovalainen added that the ban was one of the main reasons it has taken McLaren-Mercedes so long to catch up after a bad start to the 2009 F1 campaign.
"As a driver, I'd prefer to get the testing back," Kovalainen stated. "I'm an F1 driver and I want to drive the car - that's the best part of the job.
"The fight last year went on very late so all the top teams - us, Ferrari
- had to develop the car until very late into the season. This compromised the work for this year.
"The testing ban is a big factor [why we have struggled to get on terms with Brawn and RBR] because teams like us and Ferrari
would have been able to catch up quicker if we'd had more testing. Quite a lot of work had to be done in the factory, which is not always as accurate as when you go on the race track.
"We are also doing a lot of testing on Fridays [during practice], which is compromising our set-up work a little.
"This is why the season has been a bit silly, up and down. You have to find a balance with the difficult circumstances, you have to do something; for me, the ideal situation would be that we wouldn't limit the driving but we would limit other things."