With the recent test sessions at Barcelona and Jerez, it has become apparent that Honda may be flouting the universally agreed mileage limit. Testing in Formula One currently is capped at 30,000km/year, partly due to massive costs involved and wanting to make the sport as fair as possible. Obviously, Ferrari would love to run continuously around their own private test track at Mugello, but that would give the team an unfair advantage over those that cannot afford their own facility. Therefore, the teams have agreed on the limit and in the spirit of the sport, they generally keep to it. Any changes have to be unanimously agreed. However, having two teams under one giant umbrella could prove lucrative for the parent team. And that is the storm that is quietly brewing inside the Formula One teacup.
On Wednesday, Andreas Zuber left the Super Aguri garage in the RA107, Honda’s 2007 chassis. The Aguri team famously used the RA106 chassis during the ’07 campaign, sparking off the customer car row along with with STR. However, while Honda are developing the RA107 under the watchful eye of Ross Brawn, they could essentially be doubling their mileage by trying out some new components on the Honda, and different components on the Aguri.
It isn’t known if this is what is happening, but some members of the paddock have noted that just changing the decals on the car does not make it different. And quite rightly, they’re questioning Honda’s testing mileage and whether or not the two teams are keeping to the spirit of the sport and the agreements made within.
Is this clever thinking on Honda’s part, a load of nonsense that won’t make too much of a difference? Or is this a serious breach of trust between the teams; what do you think? Should the mileage limit be changed to accommodate different chassis? As in, the teams are allowed to test each chassis for a set number of miles rather than one blanket statement over the whole team for the year? Or should they all be allow to run merry throughout the season and winter racking up as many miles as they dare? Have your say below in the comments.
I think the spirit behind the mileage limit is a sensible one – and I thought that if anyone would break it then it would be Ferrari!
The way things are, Super Aguri may well be running the RA107 next year anyway – or is that definitely out the window now with all the customer cars shenanigans?
If Honda are found to be contravening the rules then they deserve to be punished – this rule was put in place to help teams like Super Aguri, not teams the size of Honda.
This just proves that Honda really don’t see Super Aguri as more than a customer team, even if Super Aguri themselves want to be a team in control of its own destiny. Teams should only test for the mileage agreed, though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with teams sharing drivers. It’s when they share data that it’s a problem – though how that would be prevented is a mystery. It’s not as if the F1 paddock is really capable of proper data separation as it is…
[…] Are Honda testing the limits of the rules? – Honda are using Super Aguri to squeeze in extra testing without exceeding the limit. […]