Friday August 31st, 2001
The testing ban which will take place at the end of the 2001 season will only increase the gap between the big teams and the small ones, according to top members of the Formula One fraternity.
The sport's governing body, the FIA, is to introduce a new rule by which teams will not be able to carry out any on-track testing after the end of the season on October 14 until the end of December, in contrast to last year's regulations, which allowed testing after the end on November.
But the FIA's decision, aimed at reducing the costs in Formula One, will backfire and the difference between the wealthier and the poor teams will be even bigger, according to McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
"It's important to remember the request for this came from the smaller teams but I have always strongly held the view that the cheapest place to test the car is on the circuit," said Dennis. "Most of the people who are now uncomfortable with the new regulations are the very people who asked for it.
"The result is that this is going to open the gap between the smaller teams and the larger ones for the first few races."
Williams technical director Patrick Head agreed with Dennis, saying that to make up for the lost time the teams will test with more than two cars, thus increasing the costs.
"It means it is going to be a lot more intensive in January and February than it was before," said Head. "I can see teams running more than two cars because they are going to have to get through more work in a shorter time."
Published at 16:43:06 GMT