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Support for in-season testing grows
Sunday 21st August 2011
Sauber and HRT have backed calls for the return of in-season testing, providing the F1 fraternity does not lose track of their plans to cut costs.
Testing during the season has been off-limits since 2009 after rule makers outlawed the practice in an attempt to save costs. However, several role players have voiced their unhappiness with the ban and FIA President Jean Todt, Ross Braw of Mercedes GP and Williams' Sir Frank Williams have all in recent weeks backed proposals to re-introduce limited in-season testing.
Sauber's managing director Monisha Kaltenborn and Colin Kolles, the HRT team principal, have now also thrown their weight behind the calls.
Both, though, warned that it is important that the sport does not lose focus of their goal to reduce costs.
"For us it is extremely important that this restriction is not given up totally," Kaltenborn told Autosport. "We do feel, however, that, especially for young drivers, it is quite a challenge to get into Formula 1 because they hardly have any opportunities to try the car.
"So we feel that if you consider allowing them to drive within the existing restrictions, I'm sure we could find a balance there. So as a team we wouldn't oppose such move provided we stay within the parameters of our resource restriction."
Kolles says his team are more than happy to test "if it's done in an efficient way".
"In principle we are in favour. In principle," he told Autosport. "Then it depends where it is, how it is done, at what point in time it is. The cost factor plays a big role in this. If it's done in an efficient way again, we are more than happy to go testing. It would be beneficial for us.
"But it's a matter of where you do it. I mean, you have a race in Hungary and you have to travel to Jerez or to Paul Ricard, then it's a little difficult.
"But if it makes sense, in the way that you say 'okay, you have a race here and you continue like two, three days of testing' and then you go to the summer break, it's okay. Because it's not huge costs."