Ferrari does not want private tests, with Frédéric Vasseur concerned about the budget cap, but this makes it difficult to catch up with Red Bull in Formula 1. It’s a paradox in which the Scuderia of Maranello finds itself stuck, as does the rest of the Circus. The International Federation must find a solution that balances the opportunity to develop the single-seaters with the now indispensable cost reduction.
The history of private tests in Formula 1 is quite controversial in some aspects. In 2014, collective test sessions were reintroduced, traditionally taking place before the start of the season and after the last race of the championship. Other tests are organized by Pirelli, but apart from these, teams only have the mileage of the so-called “filming days.”
Cutting costs, of course, but in doing so, it becomes complex to develop the cars. With FIA regulations already very specific about the components that can be modified during the year, restrictions on on-track testing risk impacting the spectacle. A particularly advanced team becomes unreachable if there is no way to work thoroughly on its own single-seaters.
The problem to address, as emphasized by Frédéric Vasseur, is the budget cap issue: “In the current situation, it would be difficult to reintroduce tests because their cost is extremely high. It would be necessary to produce twice the number of engines: in a single day of testing, the distance covered easily matches that of a race weekend. In 20 test sessions, in practice, you would need components for another entire season.”
“But it is also true that, if you are in difficulty, not having test sessions makes it difficult to recover ground. We could discuss one or two sessions, but we must not forget that we also have tests with Pirelli.” For the Ferrari team principal, finding a favorable moment in an already packed calendar would be a challenge not to be underestimated.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
A solution may have been provided by Zak Brown: allow teams to manage their resources and those of the budget cap independently. Rather than investing time in the wind tunnel, explains the McLaren boss, teams could take the cars on track, while staying within the spending limit. The ball is now in the FIA’s court.