Testy About Testing: F1's Ban Creating New Problems

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Testy About Testing: F1's Ban Creating New Problems
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Breaking into an extremely competitive sport is undoubtedly difficult.

It's even harder when the teams can't test.

Getting ahead in an extremely competitive sport falls in the same category.

Guess what?

It's even harder when the teams can't test.

As the Formula 1 cars return for a three-day outing at the Circuito Permanente de Jerez, it's hard not to wonder why the FIA have insisted on banning in-season testing.

Sure, cost cutting is critical, but can the teams not manage their own financial affairs?

It's unfortunate that the FIA's regulation of testing has caused many young drivers to find Formula 1 too tricky in their debuts, and their struggles could cost them their careers.

Just look at names like Romain Grosjean and Jaime Alguersuari, who impressed in the junior series, but were unable to achieve the same level of success in F1 mostly due to their inability to gain experience in the cars via testing much like other newcomers.

Now, Grosjean and Alguersuari's seats are in jeopardy for the 2010 season.

With a variety of young drivers testing this week, many have to fear similar fates.

While few will get the chance to race next season, even the impressive drivers such as Paul di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo will make their F1 debuts with a lot left to learn about the fastest closed-circuit racing cars on the planet

Meanwhile, those who did not post quick times, like Bertrand Baguette, Mirko Bortolotti, or JR Hildebrand will have no opportunity to improve their craft unless they can test again.

Beyond the driver aspect, a lack of testing detracts from the spirit of the sport.

Innovation and car development have played a massive role in Formula 1, and with new parts being introduced at every race, keeping an advantage can be close to impossible.

Now, though, it's harder than ever to know which developments will actually make an impact, as the testing ban hinders feedback.

Even computer simulations cannot always be trusted, and with teams relying on them more and more, costs aren't exactly being reduced.

If a team wants to test, they should be allowed to.  If a team would prefer to save their money, fine, let them.  They don't have to participate.

And if that team feels they're at a disadvantage by not testing when other teams can but cannot afford to do so, well, is it not their own fault for getting in over their heads joining a sport that's above their level.

Being the pinnacle of world motorsport, it's hard to be competitive in Formula 1, whether the hopeful participant is a driver or constructor.

By banning testing, the FIA's only made it harder.

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