McLaren Hope for 'Reasonable' Test Deal

McLaren's Formula One CEO Martin Whitmarsh is hoping that common sense prevails over testing this winter to prevent the situation turning into a free-for-all

McLaren Hope for 'Reasonable' Test Deal

The traditional winter testing ban from the end of the season until December is at the risk of collapse following Ferrari's decision to continue running during that period - and suggestions that Williams may now also follow suit by running through November.

Whitmarsh is hoping that a deal can be reached to prevent all teams needing to revise their testing programmes this winter so they are not at a disadvantage.

"Hopefully we can get to an agreement," he told Autosport-Atlas. "We are happy to go for a free-for-all or go for whatever, but if we are trying to be responsible then we all ought to agree to appropriate restraints. And it seems fair and natural in a competitive sport that those reasonable constraints should be equal for everyone."

With the FIA no longer governing testing limitations, any deal has to be agreed between the teams themselves. And although every outfit apart from Ferrari stuck to a 30-day limit during the season, there is no similar 'official' constraint on the winter programme yet.

Speaking about Ferrari's plans to test at Vallelunga and Bahrain in the next few weeks, Whitmarsh said: "Ferrari have been outside of the constraints (of the other nine teams) during the course of this year.

"It is a shame they are going down that route. We have circulated a number of proposals and what we have said to everyone is that there are proposals on the table.
"If someone else wants to suggest something then within reason we will sign anything so long as it is equal for all teams. We have to wait and see if common sense will prevail in the next few weeks."

And Whitmarsh is not hiding away from the fact that he is unhappy about Ferrari's resistance to fall in line with the other teams - especially because the team will no longer have the disadvantage of being the only front-running Bridgestone team thanks to the defection of Williams and Toyota from Michelin.

"At the moment nine of the ten teams agreed to a 30-day restriction this year, one didn't," he said. "That team argued that it was the only Bridgestone developing team and of course they couldn't.

"That excuse or reason has disappeared but they still seem reluctant to pull themselves into line.

"So it is a classic case of they are great for standing up and saying how to reduce costs but everyone knows that reducing testing is about the only tangible thing we have done over the past 10 years to save money - but we are not actually addressing it."

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