Could new rules could prompt testing rethink?
4 April 2013
Ferrari team manager Massimo Rivola believes that teams' desire to run their 2014 cars with the new V6 engine installed could lead to a reconsideration of the current testing regulations.
Should it come to pass, it would be good news for team principal Stefano Domenicali, who believes that the testing situation has gone from one extreme to the other in terms of track time, with no in-season running allowed in 2013 following the decision to axe the session that took place at Mugello last season.
Domenicali is particularly aggrieved that Ferrari has a perfectly useable venue, Fiorano, idling away while the teams struggle to reach a consensus on testing and development running is limited to three four-day sessions in Spain before the opening round.
"The testing situation is ridiculous," he told F1 Racing magazine, "At the end of the day, it is ridiculous - I use this word again - that we are not able to use this track. We were too far [in one direction on testing] a couple of years ago and we are now too far on the other hand. 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."
Rivola, meanwhile, is optimistic that the introduction of a new rulebook for 2014, when the current V8 engines are replaced with turbocharged 1.6-litre V6s and the cars undergo further changes and restrictions, will prompt teams to side with Ferrari and call for greater opportunity to run before the end of 2013.
"When the others see how much work there is to do for the 2014 regulations, I think they will also be happy to have more time on the track," he concluded.
Autosport, meanwhile, believes that it will not be possible for the 'extra' test to take place before next year, with Renault Sport F1's Rob White confirming that, even at this early point in the year, scheduling a test before the end of 2013 is fraught with issues.
“It's a debate that has now more or less timed out because the timing now is that the cars will run for the first time in the new year," White claimed, "If you were going to test in October, then you would need to build the engines in September. The difficulty is that the pieces necessary to build those engines will have had to be put into manufacture, say, three months before then and, because you would want them to be race-intent type pieces, we'd needed to have decided exactly what spec they would be by May.
"On the current project timing, it's just not possible to put a representative engine in the car by October."
The suggestion of a fourth pre-season group test is also likely to end Ferrari's chances of using Fiorano for development of its car and engine package.
The Scuderia is expected to be one of three suppliers of the new-spec engine, along with Renault and Mercedes, for 2014.