Testing Agreement 'Breaking Down'

The gentlemen's agreement to limit in-season testing to 30 days per year could be on the verge of a breakdown after Ferrari stunned their rivals with their pace in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix

Testing Agreement 'Breaking Down'

Ferrari refused to sign up to the 30-day limit because they believed it gave their rivals unfair advantage but they have now benefited enormously from their decision to continue to test relentlessly this season.

They have turned their performance around thanks to almost 20 days of testing since the start of the season and Toyota president John Howett has admitted the situation cannot go on any longer.

"I think the agreement has already (started to break down) because I don't think Ferrari's competitors can just sit there and accept them driving into the distance," Howett told Autosport-Atlas.

"Either Ferrari must join the remaining teams or we need to find some sort of compromise where there is an equivalence. Otherwise people will start to test remorselessly.

"I think everyone is saying that we feel everything we are doing is correct and right but Ferrari's (testing schedule) will force others to do the same. It is a question of common sense."

Ferrari were a massive two seconds per lap quicker than top rivals Renault in parts of the San Marino race and much of that performance has come from improvements to tyre performance achieved through methodical testing.

Howett admitted Toyota, who are currently second in the Constructors' Championship behind leaders Renault, had suffered from limited testing between the last race in Bahrain and Sunday's race at Imola.

He also said that with their Formula One programme costing millions of pounds per year to run, Toyota simply cannot afford to cut back the cash while another rival continues to spend.

The German-based team are already considering their options and Howett admitted: "If one competitor continues to test at a level that is significantly more we have to consider what we need to do to ensure that we remain competitive."

Ferrari's defiance against the testing limits of 30 days has been clear in recent weeks and they have already tested for 20 days in the first one-and-a-half months of the Grand Prix season.

If they continue at the same rate to the end of the season they will clock up more than three times the limit agreed by the other teams.

But Howett admitted Ferrari's comeback had been good for the sport after Schumacher and Renault driver Fernando Alonso's fight for victory created one of the most thrilling Formula One races in recent years.

Howett said: "I hope the fans enjoyed it. To me it was good for Formula One, it has been a good season for Formula One, a whole mixture of drivers on the podium so far and it augurs well for the rest of the season."

shares
comments
Todt: Schumacher Can Stay All he Wants

Previous article

Todt: Schumacher Can Stay All he Wants

Next article

Toyota Confident of Bouncing Back

Toyota Confident of Bouncing Back
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jordan King
Author Will Gray
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021