Alain Prost says Formula 1 test limit biggest challenge of 2014 rules
|By Jonathan Noble and Edd Straw||Tuesday, June 4th 2013, 16:12 GMT|
Alain Prost believes that the lack of testing will make adapting to the new generation of Formula 1 engines an unprecedented challenge for drivers.
While next year's test plans have yet to be set in stone, there are set to be only three pre-season tests, although teams are working on pushing through a plan to allow a limited number of days of in-season running.
As it stands at present, 2014's move to 1.6-litre turbocharged engines will be the first time that F1 has implemented such an enormous technical shift without ample testing opportunities.
"In the old days when we had the new technology, we were doing a lot of tests," Prost told AUTOSPORT.
"Today, it is going to be only three tests at the beginning of next year.
"That is going to be one of the biggest challenges, it's very difficult."
The four times world champion, who won 35 grands prix driving turbocharged engines produced by Renault, TAG Porsche and Honda, suspects that the new powerplants will change the way the tyres must be managed.
He is unsure of exactly how things will change because of uncertainty about the 2014 tyres, but doubts there will be any parallels with F1's last generation of turbo cars.
"It depends on the tyres next year, so we don't know," he said.
"You cannot compare the turbo engines next year to the turbos we had in the past where we had an unbelievable lag.
"When you have extra power, the work of the tyres can be a little bit different."
Prost also expects the new engines to favour the drivers who take a keen interest in the technical side of the sport.
The man nicknamed 'le professeur' during his F1 career has tipped the more intelligent drivers to thrive under the new regulations.
"The cars next year will be very interesting," said Prost.
"You are going to see some drivers with different skills being more curious, [getting] closer to the engineers and technology.
"Maybe they could get an advantage, or better understanding than others."