Formula 1, testing and tyres

United States GP 2005

United States GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

The proposed FIA regulations for 2008 are much as expected but they do include two very interesting items: a restriction on testing to no more than 30,000 km in a calendar year and the introduction of a control tyre. These were both proposals for which the FIA was arguing a year ago but both were later held back as negotiating tools in the bigger fight going on over the control of Formula 1.

When the nine F1 teams proposed a control tyre and a restriction of testing last October in Brazil, the FIA refused and later an F1 Commission meeting was cancelled to stop the rules being forced through against its wishes.

As a result of this Ferrari has been doing a lot of testing days this year.

The team has run for 76 days of testing so far but it is worth noting that it has been notably less efficient than some of the other teams. Ferrari has completed 41,460km in 76 days (545km a day). BAR on the other hand has tested for 45 days and has completed 41,350km (918km per day).

In terms of efficiency, therefore, BAR is ahead of Renault 32,190 km in 41 days (785km/day), BMW-Williams 32,185 km in 46 days (699km/day), Toyota has managed 32,320 km in 49 days (659km per day), and McLaren-Mercedes 28.750 km in 46 days (625km/day). And all of them have been more efficient than Ferrari.

When one considers these figures, just six months into the year, one can see that the FIA is now proposing a halving of the CURRENT low levels of testing.

One cannot put this down to anything other than political gaming.

The proposed new rules will also allow for a change of tyre at a race if there is a problem similar to what happened in Indianapolis.

"If, in the opinion of the appointed tyre supplier and FIA technical delegate, the nominated tyre specification proves to be technically unsuitable, the stewards may authorise the use of additional tyres to a different specification," it states.

Which, welcome though it is, looks a lot like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

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