Drivers Unhappy with Test Days Seek Changes

Several Formula 1 drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with the current limit of three official test days before the season, arguing that it is insufficient for adequately testing their cars and adapting to new technologies, and suggesting an increase in test days or the use of a second car to mitigate the disadvantage, especially considering the challenges posed by complex cars and the inherent disadvantage faced by teams with less financial resources.

Highlights

‣ Several F1 drivers are expressing dissatisfaction with the current limitation of three official test days before the season starts, highlighting the need for more time to adapt to new cars and gather data.

George Russell points out that red flags during testing further reduce the already limited track time, emphasizing the complexity of F1 cars and the importance of every lap for drivers to familiarize themselves with the vehicles.

Alexander Albon discusses the inherent disadvantage for teams with less financial resources, despite efforts to level the playing field, suggesting that additional test days could help mitigate this issue.

Fernando Alonso argues that the logistical setup in Bahrain, with teams already present for the race, minimizes the cost argument against increasing the number of test days, advocating for the use of two cars over an extended testing period to ensure adequate preparation.


F1 drivers? They’re not too happy right now. They’re voicing their concerns loud and clear. What’s the issue? They’re craving more test days to fine-tune their cars and gather crucial data.

Right now, the pre-season offers a mere three official test days. And guess what? Those days have to be split between two drivers. That’s roughly one and a half days per driver to get cozy with their new rides. Back in the day, test days weren’t capped. But to level the playing field for less wealthy teams, a limit was introduced. Initially set at 12 days, this number has dwindled over time, leaving many drivers feeling short-changed.

### Red flags? A major time thief
George Russell from Mercedes has his take. Three days, he says, is barely scraping by. Throw in red flags, and it’s a whole different ball game. “Silky-smooth test? One and a half days might just cut it. But today? Look at the drivers who lost precious time. Every lap is gold. These cars? More complex than ever. And the tyres? A nightmare. F1 cars are no joke. They’re not your average Formula 2 cars. They’re beasts with all the bells and whistles. My two cents? We need more testing time. Or maybe a second car. One and a half days just doesn’t cut it.”

### The financial divide
Alexander Albon from Williams points out a harsh reality. Despite efforts to even the playing field, teams with shallower pockets are still lagging behind. “Agreeing with my fellow drivers here. The intention was good, making testing fairer. But reality? We don’t have a test car. While others were busy testing this winter, I hadn’t touched an F1 car since Abu Dhabi. Fair? Hardly. The money some teams pour into simulations and virtual tracks is staggering. Sure, there’s a cost cap. But money’s just being shuffled around. Another three days of testing would be a breath of fresh air.”

### Why not make the most of it?
Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin chimes in, highlighting a logistical advantage. The teams, cars, and crew are all in Bahrain for the race the following week. “Our crew’s here. The mechanics? They’re ready for next week. The extra cost of having both cars here? Minimal. We’re racing here in five days. It’s not like we’re hopping back to Europe only to return. We’ve got two cars. Ready to go. So, why not extend testing to three or four days? For a sport and athletes of this caliber, competing in a world championship, it seems only reasonable.”

In essence, the call for more testing days is loud and clear. Drivers are looking for fairness, more time behind the wheel, and a fighting chance to start the season right. Whether it’s the need for more sophisticated preparation or simply leveling the playing field, the consensus is undeniable. More testing days, please.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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