Formula One could be poised to adopt a testing programme already used in the equivalent MotoGP series, with teams and drivers staying on at circuits after grands prix weekends.
That is the suggestion of Bernie Ecclestone, who admits that banning all in-season testing has had some adverse side effects, including not giving up-and-coming talent that chance to acclimatise to the power of an F1 car. With the option of returning to a testing free-for-all not sitting comfortably with the desire to reduce spending in the top flight, the sport's commercial guru has hinted that a compromise may be on the horizon.
"Has one of the tests been missed this year?" he asked in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
, "I am sure that we will test in the future on the Monday after a race. The cars are there, the people too, [and] this keeps costs within limits.
"[That way], we can give young drivers a chance. The failure of the current system is that it is virtually impossible to test young drivers. This protects the established drivers, but it is absolutely wrong. A test on Monday after the race would be ideal, as one might compare the lap times with each other directly."
The withdrawal of Honda late last year served as a catalyst to the cost-cutting programme, something which the various teams have generally worked together to achieve, but Ecclestone believes that more can be done to shore up the future of those appearing to struggle for survival.
"While it is unfortunate that it has come, [the economic crisis] is also good - it was a wake-up call," he claimed, "Everyone must tighten their belts. The manufacturers have spent a lot of silly money - everyone in the team flew business [class], they lived in the most expensive hotels, and all senior executives had an assistant who had an assistant. I understand that teams want to entertain their sponsors, but must everyone take a huge team in order to provide for the team?"
Despite criticising the manufacturers for their excessive spending, however, Ecclestone insisted that he had nothing against them being in F1
"I have nothing against the manufacturers," he claimed, "On the contrary, they are good for the sport. There is only one problem - they are not able to run an F1 team at a reasonable cost. We have now found a way to restrict this from the outside, but some do not like it because they prefer to live on in the old style. Some people might need to come down from their high salaries."
Maintaining that spending more does not necessarily guarantee success, Ecclestone insisted that 'there is no cheaper form of promotion for a manufacturer than F1'.