The majority of the eleven F1 teams competing in 2013 are expected to call for more time to prepare for the switch to a new engine formula next season, with extra testing at the head of their agenda.
New environmentally-friendly 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 engines are set to replace the current 2.4-litre V8 units for the 2014 campaign and beyond, under an FIA-inspired move to make the sport 'greener'. The initiative has already attracted criticism for escalating costs at a time when the teams are trying to cutback on unnecessary spending, but the three manufacturers expected to form the backbone of the grid – Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari – are now too far advanced in design and production to scrap the plan.
With just three pre-season tests scheduled for early 2014, however, team bosses have expressed concern that there will not be enough leeway should anything go awry with the switch.
“We are looking for a solution,” Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn was quoted by the Dutch magazine Formule1
, “I'm not saying we need testing with the new engines this
year, but maybe the first test days [of 2014] can be brought forward.”
While Brawn is thought likely to find support from other sections of the pit-lane, not everyone shares his concerns, with Lotus technical director James Allison confident that the standard testing arrangement will be enough to iron out any issues.
"From the reliability point of view, can you be ready in three tests? Yes," he told Autosport,/i>, "Dynos are quite good at telling you whether the engine is reliable, and they are quite good at making gearboxes reliable - and that is the majority of the drivetrain.
"The only open point would be whether you are going to produce a car that has enough cooling. That is a fair challenge in 2014.”