Teams call for extra test event in 2014
A group of F1 constructors have requested an extra pre-season test event in 2014, brought about by the switch to new engines next year.
2014 will see the engines used in Formula 1 change. Currently in use are 2.4 litre V8 engines, and in 2014 1.6 litre V6 Turbo engines will be used.
Currently, regulations allow teams to have up to 12 days of pre-season testing, that are split across three sessions. However, teams are calling for an extra four days to be added to the calendar to allow time for the teams to adapt & test the new engines.
“There is what looks like quite a mature proposal to have an additional test session which we are completely in favor of,” Renault F1 Deputy Managing Director Rob White explained.
“I don’t know what the format would be or where it would be, but we’re of the assumption that it will be an additional session for all teams and it’s not optional as everyone will want and need it.”
The Renault boss ruled out suggestions that testing could take place during the current season, saying that it simply isn’t logical – and doesn’t leave enough time for teams to get a sufficient amount of work done.
“The difficulty is that the pieces necessary to build those engines will have had to be put into manufacture, say, three months before then and because you would want them to be race-intent type pieces, by May we’d needed to have decided exactly what spec they would be.”
“We’re still designing pieces and some pieces that we’re designing are not yet made. On the current project timing, it’s just not possible to put a representative engine in the car [this season].”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expressed interest in the suggestion, saying that the 3-time constructors champions are prepared to take part in the extra sessions. He also added that any issues surrounding the idea should be ironed as soon as possible, to ensure that needless work does not take place that could cost the teams time & money.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said ”There is some useful discussion going on about the challenge we all face with the 2014 engines.”
“I don’t anticipate any testing of engines this year but perhaps the 2014 test programme can be anticipated by some degree to help the engine suppliers cope with a pretty massive challenge.”
However, Lotus technical director James Allison is confident that if no additional testing is added to the calendar, teams will still be able to prepare their cars for the season opener.
“From the reliability point of view, can you be ready in three tests? Yes,” he said.
“Dynos are quite good at telling you whether the engine is reliable, and they are quite good at making gearboxes reliable – and that is the majority of the drivetrain. The only open point would be whether you are going to produce a car that has enough cooling. That is a fair challenge in 2014.”
“But wind-tunnels are not bad either, so most of the things that would be necessary to put the car on the ground and make it work are there, and the testing would be about getting performance” Allison explained.
It is yet to be seen whether or not extra tests will be arranged, however, rest assured the teams will have race worthy cars by Melbourne 2014.
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