Formula One: Testing Ban Is a Disastrous Recipe for New Teams

Daniel ZylberkanCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2010

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26:  Karun Chandhok of India and Hispania Racing Team drives during practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 26, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Bruno Senna had this to say Thursday in Melbourne when talking about Formula One's testing ban on new teams:

"I think, both for the new teams and the new drivers, it is very important to get some miles of testing. It would be great for us if we could test a little bit when we get to Europe after the first races, as we could take many of the kinks—the very basic things that we could have been able to sort out with a few miles of testing—and get them sorted out. I believe that it would make everyone's life much better if we were a bit quicker and more prepared—both the new teams and the current teams, considering that these guys have to overtake us a few more times than necessary."

Senna is absolutely right—F1's current testing ban is counterproductive at best, and at worst will corrode what is already a bad situation.

Just look at what happened during Friday practice in Melbourne: Timo Glock ran eight laps in the morning session and Di Grassi ran not a single flying lap in the afternoon. While both HRT cars had productive mornings, neither left their respective pit boxes for the second session.

The FIA always creates regulations with the best intentions. However, as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

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The testing ban, as with most regulations, was implemented to cut costs. In this particular case, cost-cutting is only hurting the new teams.

More testing for the new teams will not speed the cars up to catch the leaders, but it will allow them to run consistent enough distances and times in all qualifying sessions.  Neither HRT or Virgin has been able to do this so far this season because of nagging problems like hydraulics, fuel pick-up, and transmissions.

Data is the most important thing in F1. With no testing, the amount of acquirable data will diminish.

The lack of testing makes it tougher for all teams—from Ferrari to HRT—to develop their cars. However, it makes it tougher for the new teams who have little or no experience in development.

Testing must be reinstated for the 2010 season for the benefit of the new teams and F1 itself.

Reinstating testing for the new teams is something that must be done to help with the reliability and development of their new cars.

This will stop new teams from hurting the level of competition and stop Bruno Senna and Timo Glock from "moving chicanes."

Some saw there would be an issue allowing new teams to test more. I say just allow the established teams to test, but not as much as the new ones.

This proposed plan will only benefit F1—the battle at the top would be more exciting and the new teams would be able to work out their technical glitches and develop their chassis, making for more unpredictable racing week-in and week-out.

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