Minardi welcomes extra F1 session

Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart has welcomed the new F1 testing arrangements [Oct 28]. Teams undertaking not to test independently on more than 10 days during the season will get an exclusive two-hour test session on the Friday morning of each race weekend. "It could be a significant benefit to smaller teams," Stoddart said. "In each host nation, we could run one of that country's drivers on Friday. If the driver had a sponsor, it would be straight commercial business."

Minardi welcomes extra F1 session

He continued: "In the USA, for example, I would have run both Townsend Bell and Bryan Herta on the Friday morning. The interest that would have created at Indianapolis would have directly translated into gate attendance and interest. We need money, and it's a good way of earning it."

The bigger teams are not expected to forego their extensive test programmes during the season. "At the moment the 'Big Three' are not showing signs of signing on," noted FIA president Mosley. The midfield teams are being tempted, however. Eddie Jordan said: "It's a very interesting new concept. It's a fair option to see whether you want to take the full testing, or the Friday -- a balance. At the moment I haven't decided."

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