F1 Testing: Teams fail to agree extra day of track running

Sky F1's Craig Slater speaks to McLaren racing director Eric Boullier about why Wednesday's day of testing could not be moved to Friday due to adverse weather.

Formula 1’s pre-season testing schedule is set to remain unchanged after the teams failed to agree on a proposal to hold an ‘extra’ day.

Sky Sports F1 understands that, aware in advance of the forecast snow for Wednesday, a plan was put forward amongst the 10 teams to extend this week’s first test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The ‘extra’ day – in effect a replacement for Wednesday – would have been held on either Friday, Sunday or Monday.

However, for any change to take place all 10 teams would have had to agree to the new dates and Sky Sports understands at least two teams vetoed the proposal.

The refusal has caused anger in the paddock, with McLaren chief Eric Boullier complaining that the teams were “purely wasting money for selfish interests”.

It means that, already restricted to just eight days of track action before the new season, the teams will be arriving at the season-opening Australian GP with an acute shortage of data and track time for their new cars.

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Why was the proposal vetoed?
The FIA’s sporting regulations state that any changes to testing dates must be made with the unanimous approval of all teams, while extending next week’s test to five days by adding running on Monday would require the governing body to amend its own rules.

“The test schedule will be finalised within 21 days of the first publication of the Championship calendar, changes may only be made after this date with the agreement of all competitors,” the regulations read.

“Two tests, open to all competitors, of no more than four consecutive days’ duration carried out between February 1 and 10 days before the start of the first event of the Championship.”

McLaren boss Boullier explained to Sky Sports News: “[Under] the current governance, testing is organised and suggested by the teams and handled by the FIA.

“To change testing dates we would have required unanimity by the teams to be in agreement to change the dates.

“It appears two teams did not want to change the dates yesterday.

“It’s obviously wasted money. We tried to save costs and only go for eight days of testing. We need these eight days to offer a decent show on track from race one and covering reliability issues and other things we need to cover.

“We spend the money to be here and the track is booked for two weeks anyway so we had the possibility to move this day to another one later – we know the forecast is better on Sunday – so it is purely wasting money for selfish interests.”

How to follow Test One on Sky F1 Monday February 26 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Tuesday February 27 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Wednesday February 28 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Thursday March 1 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook

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