F1 2017 testing: McLaren dismisses idea of split tests

McLaren has dismissed the idea of 2017 Formula 1 pre-season testing being split across two different circuits on the same dates

F1 2017 testing: McLaren dismisses idea of split tests

At present there is a battle over pre-season testing for 2017, with one group - including McLaren - supporting Pirelli's push for warm-weather running outside of Europe to ensure its new wider tyres are ready for the new season.

Opposed is another faction, led by Red Bull, that believes on cost grounds the two tests should take place at Barcelona as planned.

It has, however, been suggested a parallel test could take place, with the two groups divided across both venues.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier told Autosport: "We want all teams to go together.

"And there is a cost saving, which is why I don't understand why we are talking about splitting the test.

"With more teams at one track the less it will cost those teams.

"If we're all together then the cost is split across the 11 teams, but if there are only five, six teams then the cost is again split across those teams, so therefore higher.

"We've a testing agreement in place. Now we just need to find a location where we all need to go."

It has been suggested Pirelli will help pay towards any additional circuit costs that may arise should the parallel test proposal be voted through.

For a test to take place outside Europe, the sporting regulations currently state a majority of the teams must agree on that venue.

The FIA is due to meet with representatives of all 11 teams in the Suzuka paddock on Sunday ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The argument against Bahrain, as mentioned by Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds, Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley and Manor racing director Dave Ryan, is one of cost and logistics.

The difference in cost between attending a test in Bahrain compared to Barcelona is estimated to be in the region of £400,000, while transporting parts to Spain is also far easier.

"Yes, with Bahrain there is extra cost, but it is also a good track and with the good weather that is required," added Boullier.

"In the end what we want is the fairest solution.

"We want to respect the agreement, which is we all go testing together, and whatever that place will be, we will follow the F1 community."

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