A return to limited in-season testing took a step closer on Saturday when the FIA met with the team managers to fine tune the details.
The plans were discussed in Monaco by the bosses of the six teams in the ‘Strategy Group,’ compromising Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus and Williams. The next step is formal approval by the World Motor Sport Council later this month.
The intention is to have eight days of testing in 2014, split over four two-day sessions. All will take place on the Wednesday/Thursday after a race weekend. No venues have been confirmed as the calendar has not yet been finalised, but likely candidates include Barcelona, Hockenheim, Hungary and Spa.
As part of the arrangement teams will give up aero testing and most of the promotional/filming days that they current undertake, probably leaving just two of the latter.
There are some reservations about the new system, with the smaller teams concerned that their crews will now have to stay an extra five days at those venues, while larger teams have more capacity to fly in extra staff to assist with night shifts. Most teams will also now have to prepare a separate test car and bring it to the track while sending the race cars home.
The lack of aero tests and filming days will make up for some of the difficulties, at least for the teams that have used their full allocation. Teams regard even a 100km filming day as an ‘event’ that require extensive preparation and organisation, and typically they have been running 12 aero and filming events. Adding four tests to a race weekend makes the logistics less complicated.