Testing, testing

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
We've already seen this year how the testing ban has affected new drivers joining teams mid-season.

However, there's a bigger problem looming for next season and that is to do with the new teams.

Most of them haven't even finalised their designs yet so testing is still a long way off.
When they are ready though, how will the testing ban apply to them?

Will they be restricted to the same limited testing as the existing teams?
If so that seems terribly unfair and we will more than likely end up with a 2 tier championship....convenient or what?

Are the new teams going to be so far off the pace that they'll effectively become mobile chicanes after a few laps?

I think the FIA need to review this silly testing ban and have dispensation for new drivers and teams.
Otherwise new teams may just end up folding after a year or 2 due to lack of sponsors and funds.

In addition, extra testing time should be allowed for all teams otherwise we might end up with the situation we had this year again where one team runs away with it before the others get a chance to catch up.
 

Amdathlonuk

Somewhat related.........
Contributor
But would the extra testing time really have had an impact on Brawns lead?

They had a clever design that simply 'skirted' the rules somewhat, once it was cleared up the others were on it pretty quick.

However you're right about the new teams, it will be an adults version of Scalextric TCR.....
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Amdathlonuk said:
But would the extra testing time really have had an impact on Brawns lead?
Undoubetdly it would have.

As teams are now restricted to on track "testing" during practice and qualifying, that is only about 4 hours of testing time per race.

If we assume that teams had caught Brawn by the 7th race, that equates to 24 hours of testing time.
If teams had been able to carry out testing away from the race weekends I think it's fairly clear that within a few days of solid testing they would have reached the same point they were actually at a few months later.

So in reality Jenson and Brawn would only have had a 1 or, at most, 2 race lead over the rest of the pack.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
However, to play devil's advocate, you could argue that the teams coming in will have had the luxury of seeing the parts that did and did not work on this years cars (diffusers, split floors etc.) and will have been able to adapt their designs accordingly and that they may have a jump on this year's teams with regard to sorting the geometry and wight balance for no refuelling as they could get on the design earlier, but design without testing is pretty futile in the long run.

Although I agree there should definitely be more testing, they tried it in MotoGP too and new riders or riders switching teams are having great difficulties adapting to new machines let alone radical redesigns.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
This whole testing ban really bugs me and I really hope it's ditched sometime. One thing that tends to go unmentioned is that untested cars are potentially dangerous as well. Who's to say we're not going to get a car flipping like Webber's Mercedes CLR at Le Mans 1999? The problem is no-one can answer that because without real-world testing we can't be sure.
And I tend to feel that the cost of simulations can easily exceed the cost of real-world testing anyway.
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
The testing ban is another example of the FiAs sledgehammer approach to governance. Before, the rich teams could test to their hearts content which meant that the small teams were left behind/any innovation they made was imitated rapidly. But rather than banning testing altogether reducing it to say, one day per month for everyone +practice at race weekend as well would be a fairer appraoch, allowing more testing but making it the same for everyone?
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Just a question, but if they can prevent testing altogether (i.e. would be able to find out if anyone broke the ban) then why not formulate a testing schedule inversely proportional to the number of points won the previous season?

For example, decide on a maximum number of testing days, and then subtract days from that maximum according to the points scored, maybe on a 6 points = 1 day scale.

Max points = 306 (17 races, 18pts), Maximum testing days = 50

So, 220 constructors points = 13.3 days,
200 points = 16.6 days,
80 points = 36.6 days,
0 points = the full 50 days.

Or you can do it by mileage, in the event of rained off days. With the FIA keeping records and monitoring everything else, it can't be that difficult, and enables teams that had a bad year to catch up and level the field a bit.
 
50 testing days is impossible for anyone due to the engine and gearbox restrictions. There is also a fundamental flaw in the arguement of relating points to test days because it assumes that a great car one year will lead to similar performance the next.

I myself do not see what is wrong with 3 testing days throughout the season, Catalunya in the spring, Silverstone in the summer and Monza in late summer but say that these test days must have only 1 car driven by the 3rd driver.

As for the new teams, god knows how they will catch up, I would imagine that for 2 or even 3 seasons they would be teams of Badoer pace cars, perhaps the only way for them to catch up is to reset the clock to zero again like this season and make everyone come from a blank sheet, its the only way I can see them catching up unless they spend huge.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
The problem with having 3 fixed days of testing though is it still alows 1 team to get a significant lead by the time Silverstone comes around.

A good compromise between cost and testing would be to allow teams say 5 days of testing throughout the season and they can take them when they want.

So this year for example, McLaren and Ferrari would have taken some (or all) of theirs after the first race allowing them to close the performance gap to Brawn.
Red Bull and Brawn on the other hand can keep theirs in reserve and use them once the other teams have improved.

It may not change the overall result too much (then again it might), but at least we wouldn't have the situation we had this year where 1 team virtually won the WCC (and WDC) with less than half the season gone due to the fact that their car was so much better than the rest of the grid.

New drivers who join mid season should be given additional testing time.
To stop the teams benefitting all the FIA have to do is have observers and ensure any telemetry is either not recorded in the first place or destroyed.

As for the new teams, they should be allowed unrestricted testing between whenever they get their cars finished and the start of the season.

They're starting from a blank slate and the existing teams will be way ahead of them if allowances aren't made.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Maybe, if a team is way ahead of all the others, they should obtain (by fair means or foul) detailed dossiers of the other teams' car, take them round to the copy shop and get a load of copies printed off and hope the copy shop doesn't know the phone number of the leading team. That's gotta work...
 
For me, the idea of having testing at those three tracks on those specific times is as much to keep 3rd drivers familiar with the car as it is for development. That and those tracks are good for gaining setup information for a variety of tracks.

I do agree though that something needs to be done to help those new teams catch up, but with limited budgets are they not fighting a losing battle anyway in terms of being able to spend on development what the established teams can.

I remember it was said that to improve your car by a second cost £10m, what chance does a new team have if they start out 3 seconds slower than a Ferrari.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
where do you draw the line?

as long as i remember teams have been pushing the envelope of what the rules allow as much as possible. i fully sympathize with people who want changes to the current testing system. but at the same time, i don't think anyone of us wants to go back to the non stop testing some teams did earlier.

the problem with more refined rules, is simply that it's so much easier to misuse the system. right now the rules are pretty simple and basic so it's harder to find ways around it. just remember all the fuzz about the 'testing' schumi did, i mean he was driving an old ferrari on a private circuit and still could have been using tyres he was not allowed to use. that's how far it can go.

in all the mentioned suggestions, i miss this one point. maybe a ban on testing is not a good idea in some situations. but overall, it is an improvement. and it does help for cost cutting and making the sport more competitive.

also, teams know the rules. the fact they use young drivers to show the 'badness' of the rules, to me is a clear PR trick. there are indeed driver changes during the season but to change the rules cos of that... maybe the solution is for teams to only be allowed to enter drivers with a certain number of hours behind the wheel of an F1 car.
 
A simple specific number of allowed tests seems to me to be the way to go, I know it will increase costs but if you have a bunch of untested vehicles with a bunch of inexperienced drivers its going to cost everyone a lot more when it turns into a demo derby at the first race...
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
O_Danny_Boy said:
A simple specific number of allowed tests seems to me to be the way to go, I know it will increase costs but if you have a bunch of untested vehicles with a bunch of inexperienced drivers its going to cost everyone a lot more when it turns into a demo derby at the first race...
Whilst I agree with having some testing back, do you believe teams will use these young drivers, given the choice? I haven't checked, but I'd guess that most of this year's pre-season testing was conducted by the main drivers.
If testing is to return, there would have to be a requirement for x % of miles/laps to be by the nominated 3rd driver.
 
Muddytalker said:
Whilst I agree with having some testing back, do you believe teams will use these young drivers, given the choice? I haven't checked, but I'd guess that most of this year's pre-season testing was conducted by the main drivers.
If testing is to return, there would have to be a requirement for x % of miles/laps to be by the nominated 3rd driver.
Well I don't think it would make much sense to have guys with minimal F1 experience get on the job training at the first race, there certainly isn't enough guys with reasonable experience to fill out all these new teams so there is certainly going to be more rookies than normal that will be full timers and not 3rds. So I would say that at least a portion of the testing would need to be the actual driver and not a 3rd driver just to get them some seat time before they go out and effect the entire field in an accident. new driver + new car - testing = bad things for everyone
 
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