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In-season testing to return?

As the row over Mercedes' private test for Mercedes rumbles on, a longer term fix to the issue has emerged in the form of a controlled return of in-season testing in 2014.
Mercedes' private test with Pirelli last month might have stirred controversy and be still up for adjudication by the International Tribunal, but its immediate effect appears to have been to galvanise teams to agree to a limited form of in-season testing starting in 2014 under a plan that has been under discussion since Monaco.

According to the latest reports from the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a Saturday night meeting of the Sporting Working Committee has seen a majority of teams vote in favour of a rethink on the current ban on testing during a championship season using current cars, which has been in place since 2009.

Another impetus behind the rethink on testing comes from the team's need to work on their new-specification turbo engines for 2014, with many teams fearing that without substantially more testing time the introduction of the new V6 engines could descend into farce.

But in an effort to still keep control of costs, the proposal - which would need to be presented to and approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in due course before becoming official policy - stipulates tight controls on where, when and how many times the teams can test during the year.

Four two-day tests have been proposed, which would see teams stay on at a venue after a Grand Prix. Barcelona and Silverstone are the favourites for the teams, with Budapest and Spa also thought to be front-runners.

Whether they can be used for testing depends on whether or not the races are scheduled as the first week of back-to-back races on next year's calendar, as teams would not be able to test mid-week and still get their cars and equipment to the next venue in time for the start of the next Grand Prix.

It's understood that the new proposals are in addition to the already agreed three pre-season tests - the first of which will take place at Jerez in January - and a possible two further tests sessions in the Middle East.

However some of the costs of testing will be clawed back by axing the annual young drivers test and by tighter controls on filming days and straight line tests.

Tagged as: Mercedes , Pirelli , testing

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June 10, 2013 4:45 AM

this makes sense in theory, another factor to help control the cost of this could be to limit each team to a certain number of engines, transmissions, tyres, etc for testing purposes. just as they do for races.

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