McLaren: Testing at new F1 tracks would send “wrong sign”

McLaren Formula 1 boss Andreas Seidl has welcomed the ban on testing at new Formula 1 venues, saying it would have sent the wrong sign.

McLaren: Testing at new F1 tracks would send “wrong sign”

The FIA sporting regulations allow teams to run 2018 cars without limitation, as long as the governing body is kept informed, and several had been planning to visit Portimao, Imola or Mugello before the newly-scheduled races there.

Prior to the start of the season and before the calendar additions were confirmed, Ferrari was able to run a 2018 car at its own Mugello venue, while AlphaTauri went to Imola, where it combined extensive 2018 running with a filming day with the current car.

In recent weeks, teams have been negotiating with the circuits for track availability, but that planning has now been stopped thanks to an initiative pushed through by F1 boss Ross Brawn, on the grounds of costs and the fact that the teams taking part would have gained a competitive advantage. 

The teams agreed at the recent Strategy Group and F1 Commission meetings that they would not visit the new tracks before the races there, and a rule change is being approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

McLaren was not able to conducts tests at new venues before the start of the 2020 season because it didn’t have an older car available, available but Seidl conceded that the team might have been forced into finding a suitable machine.

“I’m very happy with this outcome,” said Seidl when asked by Motorsport.com. “And yes, not a secret that we were also pushing for that, because especially when you think about going to new tracks I think it puts you at a competitive disadvantage if other people can go testing.

"I think even we considered taking out one of our own cars and going there.”

Read Also:

Seidl said the extra travel for personnel was another consideration.

“It would definitely have been absolutely the wrong sign also to the public and towards our people as well in the times of COVID, in the times of where we should avoid any unnecessary trouble for our people in order to protect them.

“I think it would have been completely the wrong sign also to do these tests. And therefore, I'm very happy with the outcome. And it was good to see that in the end, all teams agreed on this, which is not always the case.”

Mercedes ran a 2018 W09 at Silverstone to get its drivers back up to speed before the start of the season, but team boss Toto Wolff agreed the ban was a good move.

“We would have taken the 2018 car to some of the tracks,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “We were planning to go to Portimao, but I think that it’s not the right call. 

"I think we’re all looking at saving costs with the prize fund being considerably down, and in that respect, if nobody gains an advantage by not going testing, it’s the right thing to do.”

Mercedes ran a two-year old car for George Russell and Nicholas Latifi at the Algarve circuit in 2017, but Wolff played down the value of any knowledge gained.

“We went to Portimao quite a few times, but I don’t think you can extract any performance topics from a car that back then was two years old.”

Gunther Steiner, whose Haas team does not have a running 2018 car that it could call upon, also stressed the cost issue.

“I mean it’s the right thing to do, especially in the financial circumstances most of the teams are in,” he said. “We don’t need to exaggerate in the moment.”

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff: Engine mode ban can make Mercedes faster in race
Previous article

Wolff: Engine mode ban can make Mercedes faster in race

Next article

Tost: F1's constructor definition is “out of date”

Tost: F1's constructor definition is “out of date”
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021