According to Crash.net, Bernie Ecclestone is finally admitting that the idea of a season long test ban may have been a bad idea. Once again Bernie it has taken you nearly a whole season to realize you’re a tool. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, yet another indicator that Bernie has missed the plot. While I could go on and write another 6 pages of anti Bernie smack, I will focus on the topic of a new testing plan that may be put in place instead.
Currently, no Formula 1 team can test during the season for any reason what so ever. That is why the tests of Schumacher and Massa have been scrutinized by everybody on the planet. This also shows why the teams wanted to run GP2 tires on an F2007. This has made it impossible for teams to collect data on new pieces of aero or the much debated KERS. Teams would have to wait until that Friday practice session to see if the new device would pay off. Bernie now insists that perhaps teams and equipment should stay the day after a grand prix to hold a testing day in which new devices could then be tested before heading to the next event. This current testing idea is in use by the Moto GP teams and riders. It is Bernie’s firm belief that the lack of testing has hurt young drivers who have had no chance in a grand prix car…no kidding!?!?
The season long test ban is another cost cutting measure that was put in place by the FIA in order to keep costs down and keep everybody at a somewhat level playing field. Bernie’s rational for this setup goes back to the cost cutting measures and indicates that this is the best value for the teams, drivers, and fans. With adding an additional day at the speedway, this would appear to be a win-win for Bernie. Is this really the best for the teams, drivers, and fans, or is it what we all think and another reason for Bernie to drive up the price of hosting an event? Mr. Ecclestone has already realized that he is not going to get the asking price from circuits willing to host his traveling circus, however, now tack on an additional day of cars and fan interaction and boom! You have the recipe for Bernie trying to fatten his wallet at the hands of the teams and circuits. While I agree we need mid season testing, if I am a circuit, then I want that service provided for free. I am not going to host an additional day at the track for testing if it means I am going to have to pay an additional couple million. Let’s face it, half of these tracks make no money for hosting the event anyways, so charging me an extra couple cool million dollars is not going to get you that test day. Should be interesting to see how this plays out over the year. Perhaps this will be another idea Bernie tries to implement 3 days before the start of the season.