Daily Debate: Should Testing Be Restricted?

Daily Debate: Should Testing Be Restricted?

For a few years now, testing in Formula One has seen a mileage restriction enforced, designed to limit the amount of running the teams and drivers can do away from the actual grands prix. Since then, a full in-season testing ban has also been implemented to curb running even further. Although all these changes were unanimously agreed upon by the teams, they have been tweaked slightly for 2010 due to the issues resulting from driver substitutions mid-season.

The main reason for the recent clamp down on testing was in an effort to reduce costs and make the sport more fair, essentially giving all teams the same opportunity to test. However, isn’t testing just an extension of the race, whereby the fastest win? And in Formula One, much like most other sports, the richest tend to be the quickest anyway. Should testing revert to being unrestricted and those who can afford it can test all day every day, and those who can’t will need to think more about their developments and perhaps, as Max Mosley once said, be more innovative?

Testing can also be very beneficial to upcoming young drivers who are looking at making the jump from lower formulae into Formula One. The vital experience gained from testing a car around a circuit proves very useful to them for when they make that jump, more so if the promotion happens mid-season. Although the rules have been adjusted for 2010, the extra day of testing awarded to new drivers isn’t really that sufficient from the pilots standpoint, who would undoubtedly prefer to spend a week or more charging around in a Formula One machine before lining up on the grid.

Should testing have the current restrictions in place, or should the non-race running be opened up to all teams, allowing them unlimited mileage at any time of the year?


  • The lack of last seasons testing in order to save teams money was pretty stupid in my opinion. F1 was lucky to have avoided disaster from running cars with theoretical technological improvements and not being able to even test them prior to race events. Making changes to regain advantage over the competition and not being allowed to test the changes is kind of nuts. But no one got hurt and massive amounts of money was saved I am told….I guess the test ban was successful.

  • F1 was lucky to have avoided disaster from running cars with theoretical technological improvements and not being able to even test them prior to race events.

    This is very true. I remember the RB4 that Coulthard piloted in 2008. The thing kept falling apart. Although testing was allowed during that year, the mileage was restricted. Red Bull ended up making changes to the car after the FIA got involved and ordered a thorough inspection.

    Also, while hunting for the article on Red Bull’s RB4, I found this piece I wrote in 2008, asking what people thought would happen if testing was outlawed completely.

  • Look this is Formula One.

    There should be NO restrictions on testing, race car development , team management, driver fitness etc. In fact every single penny in the pot should be spent to improve the car, the the driver , the team ,all in pursuit of victory and ultimately both championships. Some teams simply have better structures inplace that give them the oppuritunity to spend as much as is needed to get the results that they have convinced thier sponsors will come from such investments.

    Formula One is all about being the best…restricting spending so that it is more fair for all or making the attempt to level the playing field does nothing but dillute the sport into something less than it should be.

    If you can’t dance then don’t come to the party

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