Formula One eases in-season test ban
"One three-day test will be carried out during the season, formerly there were none," the International Automobile Federation said.india Updated: Dec 07, 2011 22:15 IST
Formula One's ban on testing during the season will be relaxed next year with teams allowed one test, the governing FIA said on Wednesday.
"One three-day test will be carried out during the season, formerly there were none," the International Automobile Federation said in a statement detailing rule changes after a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in New Delhi.
Teams were allowed to carry out one test in Abu Dhabi this year but only with young drivers or those with limited or no race experience. The change would appear to allow testing by race drivers, something that teams such as Ferrari have increasingly lobbied for.
The test ban was introduced in 2009 as part of efforts to cut soaring costs in the sport at a time of global economic difficulty.
Teams had previously spent fortunes testing, putting in many more laps at empty circuits than during race weekends, in pursuit of often infinitesimal gains.
The FIA also said there would now be a maximum race time of four hours to ensure that a lengthy suspension, as happened in Canada this season, would not lead to an unregulated eight hour marathon.
Drivers were warned that they would no longer be allowed to take short cuts on the track, such as cutting a chicane to save fuel on reconnaissance or slowing down laps, without a 'justifiable reason'.
They can also expect action from the stewards if they move back onto the racing line to defend their position having moved off it.
The safety car regulations were revised, with lapped cars allowed to unlap themselves and join the back of the pack before the safety car returns to the pits.
The measure is designed to ensure a clean re-start without slower cars impeding those racing at the front.