Cost-saving measures remain a concern among some F1 teams, should the proposal for in-season testing be given the green light

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has expressed his hopes that next year’s proposed run of in-season testing will not have a big effect on the finances of the teams.

Later in the month, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council will meet in the United Kingdom to approve the teams’ proposal, which would see four in-season tests to occur in the days following a selection of European-based Grands Prix.

However, with money being a concern for some teams at the lower end of the grid, such as Caterham and Marussia, Whitmarsh believes that the re-introduction of in-season testing will put pressure on these teams to spend more money, when budgeting is already tight.

“Historically I have always supported a limitation on testing, as well as a whole range of other limitations, but the compromise being struck of testing at a circuit on the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday after a race in Europe makes it a little bit more practical,” he said.

“What we have also done is take out plethora of demo runs, aero runs, and the young driver test.

“It is a balance and a compromise that has been struck, which I hope a majority of the teams support.

“We have to, nonetheless, continue to find ways we can save costs for the small teams, and be mindful of the challenges that they have as a business.”

One way for teams to work around this is to find a different way to use money to make these events work. It would aid the back of the grid teams and would give every team on the grid, a fair chance to test their new developments, Whitmarsh added.

But one stumbling block could be F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who owns the commercial rights for testing and the work of the teams. If he demands a cut, then this could hamper the teams’ efforts.

"We have tried and done a little bit of that, and by testing together you can do a deal with the circuits," added Whitmarsh.

“But it is more a matter for the commercial rights holder, because when we are running together he owns the rights.”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.