Pre-season testing allocation determined by WCC position

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Looking at the testing times for this year, it's clear that the established order is more or less the same. To a certain extent this won't change much as it is largely determined by finances, key team members and drivers.

However, as I have stated many times in the past, any new teams entering F1 are fighting a losing battle trying to compete with those teams who have been around for decades. Those teams have years and years of data and experience and were fortunate enough to benefit from unlimited testing, allowing them to firmly establish themselves.

Even qualifying favours the better teams as they get to run in all three sessions, thereby getting more data from the circuit, tyres, etc.

If F1 really wants to encourage new teams and give them a fighting chance, it needs to change the pre-season testing rules to give the new teams a glimmer of hope in closing the gap.

The fairest way to do this would be to progressively allocate more testing days the lower they finish in the WCC.

The top three teams should all have the same number of days; three sessions like now.
The next two or three teams should have an extra session or five days.
And so on down to the last team.

These additional test days can be taken at any point during the season, either on a private track or a commercial circuit.

If nothing changes then I can't really ever see Lotus, HRT and Marussia catching up. Quite the opposite in fact; I expect that one or more of them will run out of money or the will to carry on and just leave the grid.

And so the cycle will continue.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I completely agree that the current system is structured to maintain the status quo.

Tragically, I would add Williams to your list of 3 as one that may depart from the scene soon.

Budgetary limits should, in theory at least, help the bottom-feeders by making more sponsors available to them by making the top-tier teams less voracious for money.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It sounds reasonable, but testing costs money - that's why it was rationed in the first place. You could give HRT or Marussia ten times the allocation of Ferrari and they wouldn't be able to take it up more than a fraction. Greater financial equality between teams would make more difference than a progressive testing allocation, I think.
 

canis

Race Winner
Valued Member
Something does need to be done to balance out the grid slightly, but here in lies the problem. The back end teams are tight on their budgets, they get less sponsorship, less appearance and less championship money than the top teams. Even by changing the rules to allow them to test for longer I am not sure how many of them would take that up due to the costs of running a test session for a few days (remember the costs of the test sessions currently are shared evenly between the teams taking part, fewer teams, higher costs per team).

I would like to see a capitalisation balance done. Do not cap the amount that teams can spend, but make the higher spending teams balance out the budgets for the ones with less cash to spend. So you set an limit of spending (I will use a random $100,000,000) to cover specific areas (build, development, transport etc etc). Now teams are not penalised for going over that limit, but for every dollar they spend over the set amount they have to pay the same into a pot used for the lower end teams to help their budgets (even by restricting it to pay for transport and hospitality that would free up cash for them to spend elsewhere).

Now in the old days Ferrari and other front running teams had virtually bottomless pits of cash to spend just to try and win. If you said this scheme would raise an extra $50 to $100 million for the lower end teams to relieve their spending woes then we would see those teams starting to catch the back of the front runners a little quicker than they do now. You may even find the lower end teams asking for more testing time then as they could afford to run it as well.

Just as an after thought to that, allow a bigger share of the pot to those lower end teams who don't have pay drivers and take on young talent to bring them into the upper tier of their careers?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I agree on the cost aspect; it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

Poor teams don't finish as high up and therefore get less prize money; they also don't attract (many) sponsors and therefore have even less then the top teams to spend on drivers, parts, testing, etc.

A more equal share of the prize money would obviously help considerably, but where would the incentive be to push for that extra place if the difference in winnings isn't worth the expenditure?

Of course, F1 isn't unique in this aspect. One only has to look at the Premier League to see how it has affected teams there for the last 10 years or so.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
A more equal share of the prize money would obviously help considerably, but where would the incentive be to push for that extra place if the difference in winnings isn't worth the expenditure?

More successful teams generally attract more sponsorship, of course. But on the prize money point, why couldn't the bulk of it be allocated in equal shares to all competing teams (not just the top ten as currently) with a much smaller proportion allocated according to WCC position? At the moment the equal share proportion is only 50% of the total, and only goes to the top 10 teams, who each receive an estimated $31m. If the proportion was increased to 80%, and went to all twelve teams, each would get a fairly reliable $41m per season (subject to fluctuation only in the value of TV rights and circuit fee contracts), with sponsorship and WCC prize money on top.

This ought to give much greater stability and allow even the smallest team to be self-funding, without requiring a rich owner to pump money in (unless they really wanted to, of course). They would also be much more resistant to economic downturn.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
If F1 really wants to encourage new teams and give them a fighting chance, it needs to change the pre-season testing rules to give the new teams a glimmer of hope in closing the gap.

Great point Bro. It is hard to imagine these teams ever making the transition to race winning (point scoring?) organizations without having some sort of additional track time.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
To me, the obvious solution is to allow cars that are in the bottom 3rd of the constructors championship Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of a GP weekend to run, Middle third lose Thursday, and top third only get to run on Saturday and Sunday.

Whilst testing is expensive, the extra mileage covered at a GP weekend wouldn't have the same fixed cost as setting up a separate test!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I like that idea.

The testing would also be more relevant as they would be getting time on the actual circuit they're going to race on.
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
And the circuit owners could make some more money by running for an extra day, meaning it may help a little towards the hosting fees, it would not need to be too expensive, similar to "Peoples Sunday" at Wimbledon. I would suggest though that only running the big teams Saturday and Sunday may impact that, so I would say either restrict them to one session on Friday, or allow 2 x 3 hour sessions on Thursday, with the restrictions as already covered.

That said, the first session would likely be HRT, Marussia and Caterham doing install laps, then 3 hours of repairs!!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Surely the front running teams and drivers would prefer a more level playing field too?

At the moment it's akin to Manchester United playing in the same league as Shrewsbury Town (made up team as I don't follow football and have no idea how the leagues are set up or which teams play in them; you get the idea though).
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
To me, the obvious solution is to allow cars that are in the bottom 3rd of the constructors championship Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of a GP weekend to run, Middle third lose Thursday, and top third only get to run on Saturday and Sunday.

Whilst testing is expensive, the extra mileage covered at a GP weekend wouldn't have the same fixed cost as setting up a separate test!

That is essentially Success Ballast, if you start punishing successful teams then you end up with entertainment thinly disguised as sport such as BTCC.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
To me, the obvious solution is to allow cars that are in the bottom 3rd of the constructors championship Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of a GP weekend to run, Middle third lose Thursday, and top third only get to run on Saturday and Sunday.

Whilst testing is expensive, the extra mileage covered at a GP weekend wouldn't have the same fixed cost as setting up a separate test!

I agree it sounds like a good idea.But as tooncheese has already pointed out it is success ballast in essence.Then you have to consider the reactions of the top running teams.
I honestly can't see Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and the other front running teams ever accepting a solution like this.
F1 is exactly the same as all other sports in one respect.To the victors go the spoils.It was ever thus.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
....A more equal share of the prize money would obviously help considerably, but where would the incentive be to push for that extra place if the difference in winnings isn't worth the expenditure?....

Apart from pride and sheer competitiveness (which teams should have in abundance) the higher a team finishes the better sponsorship they get. So they would still have a monetary reason to push for that higher place.

What a shame that Bernie won't agree to such a suggestion, maybe what they need is some sort of Formula One Teams Association to present a united face. Oh, hold on....
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Perhaps instead of increasing the prize money for the lower WCC teams FOM pays for test days for the bottom 30%. They could use the Ferrari test track, that must be fairly idle these days.
 
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