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Russell calls for return to two car tests

NEWS STORY
16/02/2023

George Russell joins Fernando Alonso in calling for a fresh approach to pre-season testing.

Next week sees pre-season testing get underway in Bahrain, just one week before the 2023 world championship season kicks off at the same venue.

Hard to believe but as fans look forward to the three days of action (February 23 - 25), not that long ago testing was pretty much a free for all.

Not only was there pre-season testing, there was in-season testing, post-season testing, often with two cars, sometimes teams were even in action at two tracks, there was so much testing teams had dedicated test crews.

However, in a bid to reduce spending and hopefully level the playing field, testing is now reduced to a minimum.

Last year, due to the rules overhaul we got six days of pre-season testing in Barcelona and Bahrain, this year, with few rule changes, it's just three.

Not only does this mean that the reserve and test drivers won't get a look in, it means that just one week before the season opener the likes of Lewis Hamilton et al will have around a day and a half of running... assuming they're lucky and don't suffer any incidents or reliability issues... any red flag stoppages robbing all of precious track time.

Speaking at the launch of the Aston Martin earlier this week, Fernando Alonso was critical of the lack of running.

"It's a little bit unfair," said the Spaniard. "This is the only sport in the world where you do a day and a half of practice, and then you play a world championship."

At the launch of the Mercedes yesterday, George Russell echoed the Spaniard's frustration.

"Personally speaking, I don't think three days is enough," said the Briton. "You've got to remember, from a driver's perspective, that is one and a half days per driver.

"We were fortunate to do the test last week but had we not, that would have been getting on for twelve weeks out of the car from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain," he added. "Could you imagine Rafael Nadal spending twelve weeks without hitting a ball and then going straight into the French Open with one-and-a-half days of training? It would never happen!"

The GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association) director believes that it would make more sense for teams to be allowed to run two cars at the tests, as used to be the case.

"Three days with two cars would be a good place to be," he said, "and that would probably be the best compromise for all of the reasons why they're trying to limit it.

"Right now, one and a half days per driver is too few."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Defiant, 17/02/2023 20:35

"Here, Here. Well said Max Noble."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Max Noble, 17/02/2023 11:57

"F1 teams have never been more profitable as franchise businesses… can we please throw some more money back into track time? F1 has never been more about getting rich as a team owner than it is now… "

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 17/02/2023 3:11

"F1 used to have Thursday as well as Friday running. Make Thursday a testing day, preferably with a test driver (not race driver). Make Thursday testing separate from the team's engine/gearbox allocation. The teams are already there, so there is no shipping to another venue, no test team (or very limited addition to the race team). Medical staff are already on hand. Plus it adds on-track action for the fans who pay to watch in the stands.

I've posted this opinion many times over the years. To me, it's a no-brainer."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by alvarezh3, 16/02/2023 23:18

"@ChickenFarmerF1

You may have a valid point. If there is a financial restriction in place, let the teams decide on what to spend their money on, whether it be testing, 5 star hotels, private jets, real gold paint for their cars or whatever they feel they should spend their money on.

There are restrictions needed to level the teams. For example, Ferrari doest not need to pay for track use as it owns two tracks. But you can reduce from their overall budget an established rent amount by the use per day of the track.

Why not let them compete in managing their resources up to the FIA's budget limit?"

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5. Posted by @R1Racing71, 16/02/2023 18:50

"Too simple.
Sorry"

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6. Posted by @R1Racing71, 16/02/2023 18:38

"@defiant likewise - some of my most memorable times at Silverstone were during testing, at both the official 3 day Goodyear test as well as some private testing when only a few teams were at the circuit.

Personally I’d like to see a return, however I think there could be an opportunity to run 3 cars on the Friday like they used to and or make it a 4 day weekend with testing on the Thursday.

Or is that to simple?"

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7. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 16/02/2023 16:54

"I'm with Defiant. Ditch the testing restrictions. That will also give rookies a chance to actually get to understand the cars before the opening round. Plus teams can develop their cars more and fix problems like the porpoising from last year much earlier. Reduce the likelihood of one team running away with the championship because they got lucky (or a major rival got unlucky).

There's an overall budget limit. I don't like that either, but that should be enough. Let the teams decide how to divvy that up for best effect."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Defiant, 16/02/2023 16:14

"This on track testing restriction is ridiculous. It's time to ditch it completely. I used to love going to Silverstone on testing days, it was sometimes as much fun as a race weekend, particularly due to the lack of crowds."

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9. Posted by Superbird70, 16/02/2023 15:02

"Give them two car testing but take away wind tunnels."

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