Whitmarsh: “A little bit of testing in F1 would be the right thing”

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McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has voiced his opinion on the recent “promotional Purposes” running of Ferrari’s current car on June 18th. The presumption is that this promotional running was used for testing and development that has seen a resurgent Ferrari this weekend at Valencia.

Speaking to reporters, Whitmarsh explained his thoughts and did not mince words:

“Formula 1 is a very competitive business and people are going to try to take advantage of any perceived ambiguity,” Whitmarsh said.

“It isn’t ambiguous in my English interpretation of it, but others obviously thought it was,” he added.

It seems that Whitmarsh is not alone in his concerns over Ferrari’s “promotional Purposes” running as Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner said Ferrari’s promotional running was “arguably within the letter of the laws, but not within the spirit”.

Perhaps the most pressing issue is the testing ban during the season and to that point, Whitmarsh may be the first team boss I can recall to publicly suggest that testing should come back:

“A little bit of testing in F1 would be the right thing,” he said. “We had to take significant measures, given the crisis that our economy and F1 had, but I think now as we can see and feel signs of the economy improving, then hopefully we can go back to testing.

“F1 is about running cars. I think drivers enjoy testing, the teams enjoy going testing and developing cars, so I think it is a good thing to do and progressively, as the health and well-being of the teams develop, then hopefully we can do it.”

I couldn’t agree more with Whitmarsh that testing is something the FIA nd FOM should look at. Perhaps not the wholesale style that existed before but a controlled, more efficient testing sequence that would allow teams to develop fairly. Even the new teams are betrayed by this cost-cutting testing ban as they cannot develop their cars as well. Let us hope that Whitmarsh, as the FOTA president, can arrange a logical discussion about the return of testing for 2011.


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