Horner proposes additional F1 testing cut
By Ian Parkes
Friday 24th February, 2023 - 12:57am
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has suggested F1 could cut its pre-season testing schedule even further for the next two years.
The fact Formula 1 has been pared back to just three days from six ahead of the upcoming season has been a cause for concern amongst drivers and team principals.
In running for only three days at the Bahrain International Circuit this week, the cost savings are obvious, along with additional environmental benefits.
One suggestion has been to run both cars to ensure each team’s driver pairing has a full test under their belt before going into the new season rather than the one and a half days each this year.
Horner, however, has dismissed the idea.
“No, I mean, look at the reliability we’ve had this morning,” said Horner, referring to the opening four-and-a-quarter hours of track action.
“I think we had one red flag very early on (for Aston Martin’s Felipe Drugovich) that was rectified pretty quickly.
“These regulations are pretty stable, and one could even argue the opposite (against two cars over three days), when you look at the reliability, and so on.
“You could almost say that with the number of races the promoters are looking to cram in now, why not go two days of testing and then go racing.
“Because if that does create a little bit of a more mixed field at the beginning of the season, is that such a bad thing? You’ve got enough of the year to then sort it out.”
Horner and Wolff in rare agreement
Horner feels when the teams will be running new power units ahead of the 2026 season is “a very different prospect”.
“Obviously, everything is new in terms of concepts of engine and chassis,” added Horner.
“But with the current regulations, I think three days is ample.”
Despite many past differences, Horner has an ally in Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff who feels there is no need for the additional expense in the sport’s budget cap era.
“We have a good plan going forward to stay where we are,” said Wolff.
“I don’t think we should increase costs by just having a second car or doing more days.
“We should give young drivers some time in the car, but it’s also not very easy.
“So if we were to stay where we are, that’s good for us.”
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