- Mercedes news
Brawn outlines testing changes
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says the teams are close to agreeing a new testing schedule which will see one of the pre-season tests moved to after some of the early races.
In-season testing has been banned since 2009, but there have been growing calls for its return in order to allow younger drivers more time in modern Formula One cars. Brawn, however, told ITV-F1 that the teams were planning on moving one of the winter tests so that they could attempt to rectify any problems that arise with their cars in the early stages of the season.
"There's a lot of discussion at the moment but the plan is to try and defer one of the winter tests into the season at a convenient time and to spread those winter tests [out] with a little bit more gap in between," Brawn said. "What we found this year was with four tests but with hardly any gap in between there's not much you can do between the tests particularly when you're trying to sort a car out.
"So it was an incredibly tense period and I think everyone found it [a] very difficult period, because we don't have test teams anymore the guys are working exceptionally long hours, going straight from one test to the next. So the plan is to have three major winter tests which will be split by about a week, leading up to the season and then another test in the early-ish part of the season - perhaps after the flyaways, perhaps just after one of the European races. So I think that's a better programme."
Brawn also said that the gap in between tests would be more beneficial, as extensive pre-season testing is no longer required from a reliability point of view.
"I think three good tests with a gap in between so you can do work is a good solution. Teams have proven they can make the cars reliable enough in that small amount of testing, so I think that's a pretty good way to go."