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F1 testing to increase in 2011UPDATE (GMM) Discussions about a pre-race test in Bahrain immediately before the 2011 season took place at Spa-Francorchamps. We reported at the weekend that the team managers' meeting about the 2011 test schedule took place on Friday.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport had said 15 days of winter testing, with four of them occurring in Bahrain in the days before the March 13 season opener, were on the table.
But FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that there will actually be six full tests in the off-season, including one in Bahrain.
"It (Bahrain) hasn't been quite agreed yet," he warned.
"We want to make sure that it's cost effective for the small teams," added the McLaren team boss.
A more contentious issue for the small teams is their bigger rivals' desire for some proper in-season testing, with the only non-race running allowed at present being straight-line tests and demonstrations.
"I personally would like to see more testing but I am respectful of the fact that there are teams still hurting," said Whitmarsh.
"We've now got at least six tests in the winter so that's a step further forward. What we haven't got at the moment is agreement to test during the season."
08/30/10 Amid complaints that the current in-season testing ban is harming the chances of both newcomers and veterans alike, it appears that more will be done to help teams ahead of the 2011 campaign.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has all but confirmed rumors doing the rounds in Belgium which suggested that several outfits were planning to stage their final running in Bahrain ahead of the potential season-opener, but added that the test could be the sixth of the winter.
“We’ve agreed there will be six tests during the winter and, probably, the last one will be in Bahrain, although it hasn’t been quite agreed yet,” Whitmarsh, in his role as chairman of teams’ association FOTA, told Reuters, “We want to make sure that it’s cost effective for the small teams.
“I would personally like to see more testing, but I am respectful of the fact that there are teams still hurting financially. But we’ve now got at least six tests in the winter so that’s a step further forward.”
Whitmarsh admitted that he would also like to see a return to testing during the season, but conceded that there was no agreement to do so as yet. Such testing was banned last season in an effort to cut the cost of competing for the smaller teams.
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