Formula 1’s first pre-season test of 2014 will take place in January next year, after the FIA rubber-stamped a revision to testing procedures.
Ahead of a dramatic overhaul of F1’s regulations for next year, teams will be allowed an earlier than usual start to run their new cars. Following approval by Formula 1’s Sporting Working Committee in Canada, the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the tweak, as well as the return of in-season testing.
A statement issued by the governing body said: “Four two-day track tests will be allowed in season in place of the current eight one-day promotional days and the three-day young driver test.
“These will take place at tracks in Europe on the Tuesday and Wednesday after a race in order to ensure minimal additional resources are necessary. Track testing will now also be permitted in January 2014 in order to allow earlier testing of the new power units.”
It is thought that the in-season tests will take place after the Spanish, British, Hungarian and Italian Grands Prix, although a final decision will only be made once the calendar is confirmed. Although the return of testing will increase costs for the teams, the FIA has also approved plans to counter the jump in expenditure by limiting other forms of factory work.
It said: “A significant reduction in the amount of wind tunnel testing and CFD work has been imposed to help reduce costs and potentially allow two teams to share one wind tunnel.”