McLaren speaks out against testing ban

McLaren has become the first F1 team to voice its opposition to the proposed plans to limit testing to just eight days in 2016.

The FIA has stated that the cut-down on test days will help to cut costs for the teams, but with two additional races taking place during a more condensed season, there is major concern amongst both the teams and manufacturers that just two pre-season test events will not be enough.

While the schedule has been agreed by the teams, SkySports reports that the decision as not unanimous, as discussed with McLaren Boss Eric Boullier: “The plan is for eight days of testing, we are not necessarily happy with that. But it’s been agreed by a majority [of teams] a long time ago so we just have to deal with that.”

Boullier’s comments come just a day after reports emerged that two-time World Champion and current McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso, is considering quitting F1 for endurance racing.

The development race

McLaren is under pressure to not only improve its car but also support Honda in the development of its engine, which has been a major limiting factor in its performances this year.

It is believed that discussions are underway with a second team for a Honda engine supply in order to speed up the development of the power unit.

Meanwhile, Haas F1, which enters the sport in 2016, is permitted to unlimited testing until 31st December 2015. They will then be limited to the eight days of pre-season testing, as well as promotional filming runs, during their inaugural season.

With the decision on another new team potentially joining the grid next season not expected until 30th September, such limited running would likely lead any newcomers to delay their entrance until 2017 at the earliest in order to start on a competitive footing.

Damaging drivers

Former F1 driver and current commentator for Sky F1, Martin Brundle, voiced his concerns about the impact of limited testing on the development of younger talent in the sport during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“If in-season testing is cancelled then where are we going to see young drivers? And just as importantly, how are young engineers going to emerge into this business, because there’s not testing now worth talking about?”

“You’ve got a bit of Friday running for the second half of the field that need the dosh – to sell those seats on Friday morning – so actually some kind of arrangement with a GP2 team and a secondary team in F1 is eminently sensible for a top F1 team.”

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