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De la Rosa: Test ban unsafe for reserves

McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa believes the in-season testing ban will lead to reserve drivers being dangerous if they have to replace a teammate this year

In-season testing has been banned for this year, meaning test and reserve drivers will not only not run in F1 machinery from March to November, but that they will also drive less during the winter.

De la Rosa reckons that if a reserve needs to replace a racing driver mid-season, he will be facing a difficult situation.

"We have three sessions and I had this day that in theory I should not have had, and I'm hoping I can test again in the next few weeks, because to me it's very important to arrive in Melbourne with as many miles as possible," de la Rosa told reporters at Jerez, where he tested yesterday.

"Otherwise, the situation for a reserve driver is ridiculous. Arriving in Melbourne with very little mileage done or not having a single day of testing during the season just makes the test driver rusty in case we have to climb into the car. And we could be a problem in the safety aspect if you haven't driven enough."

De la Rosa last raced in the final part of the 2006 season, when he replaced Juan Pablo Montoya in the last eight races.

Before that, the Spaniard had a one-off at the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix, but he reckons the situation would be very different if he had to do that this year.

"It's very different. When I raced in Bahrain I had done a lot of miles," he added. "The only thing I was not used to was to take a start, but this year the situation would be very different if I have to replace a driver mid-season, because I will have been four or five months without having driven an F1 car, with the problems that brings to the rest.

"Because obviously it won't be as easy as getting inside the car and be competitive on the second lap. You are going to need some running, so that's the problem is going to cause for the reserve drivers."

The GPDA president also believes the testing ban will not help reduce costs much.

He added: "To me, it would be fantastic if we could test more. Because I think that testing is the cheapest way to develop a car. That's my opinion. But I don't think that's possible."

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