Motorsport's governing body has moved to erase grey areas that existed in previous F1 testing rulebooks, setting out tighter restrictions ahead of the 2014 season.
Partly in response to the return of approved in-season testing and partly as a reaction to the furore caused by Mercedes 'private' Pirelli test, which took place immediately after this year's Spanish Grand Prix, the FIA has included a raft of clarifications in the latest sporting regulations document.
Despite being seen by some as an unnecessary addition to the annual spend, the rules on in-season testing have been relaxed for 2014, with each team allowed a maximum of four two-day tests between the first and last rounds of the championship, These tests will be subject to their own set of rules, restricting them to circuits where a grand prix has already taken place and preventing teams from hitting the track within 36 hours of the event having finished.
In a bid to retain some control over costs, the number of in-season tests will also be linked to the size of the calendar, with the proposed limit of four remaining in place unless the number of races grows above a maximum of 20. Should additional events be added to the calendar - as was proposed for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons - one test would be removed from the allocation for each race above 20.
With tyre testing becoming a particular point of contention this season, the FIA has also moved to provide some assistance for Pirelli (or whoever takes over the supply contract in future seasons).
“In the interests of providing the appointed tyre supplier with access to current F1 cars for the purposes of tyre development, all teams will be obliged to allocate one date from amongst the eight in-season test days for testing tyres,” the latest regulations stipulate, before setting out the following controls:
• Allocation of dates will be negotiated with the appointed tyre supplier, who will give priority to teams according to their positions in the previous year's championship.
• Allocations must be declared by each team to the FIA before the start of the first Event of the Championship and may not be subsequently changed.
• The team must test tyres on the allocated day according to run plan defined by the appointed tyre supplier.
• The run plans and results for each day of tyre testing must be made available to all teams.
• Tyres used during such testing day will not be drawn from the team's annual allocation of tyres for testing.
Such was the consternation arising from the 'discovery' of Mercedes' Barcelona test, which was conducted using one of the 2013-spec W04 chassis, the governing body has deemed it necessary to clarify the rules surrounding development work using current and historic cars going forward.