Christian Horner says Red Bull Racing will only agree to conduct its pre-season testing in Bahrain next year if Pirelli contributes to the logistical costs for cash-strapped teams.
A row has broken out between teams over where to conduct pre-season testing ahead of the 2017 season, which will herald the introduction of new technical regulations and a new specification of Pirelli tyre.
With pre-season testing the only opportunity for Pirelli to trial the new wider tyres on 2017 specification machinery, it has urged teams to agree to testing in Bahrain – rather than the cooler Circuit de Catalunya in Spain - to ensure hot, more representative conditions for it to maximise the eight days available.
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However, while Mercedes and Ferrari are understood to back Pirelli's proposal, Red Bull's Horner and Williams have been vocal opponents on cost grounds.
As such, Horner suggests he is prepared to block any move to get testing moved unless Pirelli opts to contribute to the additional cost of travelling to the Middle East venue.
“The scenario is very simple really, if Pirelli want us to go testing in Bahrain, because after all the testing we have done with the cars we have built and running at the moment, if they want the teams to go and test for their benefit in a hot climate then they should contribute to the burden of cost.
“That ranges for different teams from £300,000 to three-quarters of a million pounds depending on your logistics. It seems unfair to burden the teams with that when Barcelona in March is a pretty decent venue to go testing at.”
With Horner unconvinced Bahrain represents significant benefits over Barcelona, he suggests a solution would be to move the in-season test – also held at the Circuit de Catalunya – to Bahrain.
“Maybe a better solution would be to stay in Bahrain after the race and rather than do the in-season test in Barcelona do it in Bahrain when the personnel is at the circuit.”
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