Former Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has added his name to the growing list of F1 luminaries calling for a revision or elimination of the ban on testing. Speaking recently at the Autosport International Racing Car Show, in Birmingham, UK, former Brundle indicated that there were “two aspects” to the problem resulting from the ban.
“Firstly, they’re being put under the spotlight too early,” Brundle said, referring to F1 rookie drivers. “They’re not ready for it. Alguersuari has got nowhere near enough experience to cope with driving a Formula 1 car. It’s not like running a spec Formula 3 Dallara that’s pretty much set up for you. An F1 car has to be designed by the team and they’re all running prototypes. To learn how to make your one work is tough. You need some experience and knowledge to do that, and getting the best out of the engineers.”
Brundle said that the second aspect of the problem was that otherwise experienced reserve drivers were unable to stay physically tuned for racing conditions without in-season testing opportunities. “Not allowing them to go out on the track either just finishes them off,” he explained. “They don’t have a prayer, frankly. They have got to change that system.”
Brundle offered Ferrari’s situation in 2009 as an example of how reserve drivers are put at a disadvantage with by the testing ban. “How are you going to keep your neck muscles up to speed?” he said. “With Felipe Massa having his accident Ferrari needed a reserve driver, but he hadn’t got any mileage, Badoer. He wasn’t fast enough either, which was another problem. But how on earth are you going to keep your drivers sharp and fit if they can’t go round the race track?”
Brundle suggested that, as is often the case with FIA regulations, the unintended consequences of the testing ban had negated the intended ones. “It can’t save money in the end,” he said. “It must cost money.”
(Image source: AUTOSPORTdotcom)