FEBRUARY 22, 1999
How testing will work
DETAILS have finally been announced about how testing will work this season with Bridgestone revealing details of a 50-day limit for testing. Half of this allowance will be at "official" tests organized by the FIA and by Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Administration. Any teams which do not appear at these test days will lose that allocation of days. This should guarantee that most of the teams will be at the official tests.
There will also be 25 days of "free" testing although these will not be totally free as they must be arranged with Bridgestone, which has asked teams to try to hold three-day tests. In an effort to stop teams establishing secondary test teams, it has been decided that if there are two tests on the same day in different places, the team involved will be judged to have used two days of free testing. Shakedown runs will not be included in the figures.
For the 50 days of running, Bridgestone has agreed to supply a total of 200 sets per team which means that drivers will have two sets a day. This total will include both wet and dry tires.
There will be additional testing for McLaren and Ferrari but this will be restricted to tire work and although this may seem to be an advantage, it may be that the teams will prefer to pass them on to other teams so that they can concentrate on car development, particularly if they are fighting for the World Championship. As there is no tire war there is little to be gained from tire testing.
If the two top teams decline to do the extra testing it will be offered to rival operations in the order of the World Championship result in 1998.
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