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Testing cuts

THE FIA World Council has confirmed its plans to introduce major restrictions for Formula 1 testing in 1997. At the moment teams are not allowed to test at Grand Prix circuits until after the event each year. They each have a designated Grand Prix circuit where they can test - most use Silverstone - at any time. They are not allowed to test outside Europe but can use non-Grand Prix tracks in Europe (such as Jerez, Brands Hatch, Paul Ricard and Mugello) if they desire to do so.

Under the new regulations private testing may only be carried out at circuits already approved by the FIA and is prohibited anywhere in the week before a Grand Prix - except for a 50km shakedown run. There will also be a ban on testing between the last event of the year and December 1.

There will be one non-European test organized by Bernie Ecclestone this winter. Initially this was planned to be at Phillip Island but that idea has been thrown out by the teams. Ecclestone is now studying the possibility of a test in Brazil or in South Africa.

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