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Willis plays down testing increase fears

Honda's technical director Geoff Willis has played down fears that testing will increase drastically if teams fail to reach an agreement to limit it.

It was hoped that a repeat of last year's 30-day agreement would be put in place for 2006, but it is understood that the deal is likely to collapse, with some teams ready to test in Bahrain next month.

But Willis believes that, even if deal collapses, the number of testing days will not increase significantly.

"I don't think there will be a significant change. Certainly we are quite carefully planned what we want to do and in this business it is not clever just using up resource," said Willis. "We are all resource limited in one way or another, even if you are very well resourced, and the advantage is if you use it sensibly.

"We don't do miles for the sake of it, we do carefully planned out list of everything we plan to do on a daily basis and the guys here today, what tyre tests they are doing, what aero tests, it is all very well planned out and we do that for the whole year. So it is not a question of just turning up and running around just because you can."

Sources have claimed that some teams are not ready to commit to the deal unless Ferrari do so, and the Italian team believe that the best way to reduce costs is to limit mileage rather than days.  

"My recollection is that nine teams have signed it and one hasn't," Willis added. "Really that is the understanding that it was going to be agreed upon if there was unanimous agreement.

"My suspicion is that if it doesn't get unanimously agreed the teams will probably run a testing programme not very distinct from it anyway.

"Certainly some of us are running very efficient testing programmes, running 500km a day or so, in a controlled way and this probably means we can achieve most of what we want to do through a programme that is very similar to the one agreed among the nine teams."

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