Testing Agreement to Continue in 2006

Honda vice president Otmar Szafnauer revealed the agreement among nine of the teams to limit testing during the season will continue next year but will be changed in time for the start of the 2006 season

Testing Agreement to Continue in 2006

Szafnaur denied, however, that his company is pushing to get BAR-Honda out of the agreements altogether.

The Japanese engine manufacturer was thought to be keen on stepping out of the agreement with BAR's rival teams, which limits testing to 30 days within the season, because Honda believes it to be restricting its chances of success.

Szafnauer denied that was the case but admitted there are talks between the teams who are locked into the agreement - every one on the grid except Ferrari - to refine it following its first season of implementation.

"I have not personally worked on the testing agreement but I have seen the e-mails going back and forth and I don't think we are pushing to get out of the agreement," Szafnauer told Autosport-Atlas.

"I think next year's testing agreement will be something different to what it was this year because we have learned from it so we are just in conversation as to what changes should be made."

The sticking point is believed to be in the detail of the agreement after several teams, including BAR, chose to maximise running by taking three cars to the circuit on each of their test days.

That has allowed them to run almost continuously as, although they are only allowed two cars on track at a time, they have been able to send one car out as soon as another comes in, to maximise their testing miles.

Some of the teams believe this is against the spirit of the agreement, whose primary aims were to cut the teams' costs, but Szafnauer suggested Honda and BAR are pushing to keep it as an option for next year.

It is understood that the teams feel the agreement has been a success, and the limit of 30 days will remain as it currently is in place with only minor details of the agreement expected to change.

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