Stefano Domenicali has blamed the lack of F1 private testing for the sport’s failure to produce bright new star drivers in recent times.
With the sport moving to reduce its exorbitant costs, expensive track testing has become almost a thing of the past. Now, the few pre-season tests are used exclusively for car development and the race drivers, and even the new mid-season test – held at Mugello this year – has been scrapped for 2013.
That leaves just the ‘young drivers’ test, but that concept has been a shambles in 2012, with the twelve teams splitting their running throughout the season between Silverstone, Magny Cours and Abu Dhabi. So with Ferrari now essentially unable to use its vast resources or private venues including Fiorano for extensive track testing, team boss Domenicali insists a bad side-effect is that uncovering bright new talent is now harder.
“I don’t want to speak badly about the drivers (of today),” he is quoted by Russia’s f1news.ru, “but in my view it is clear that in recent years we have not seen many bright new stars. If we do not increase the level of testing, the problem will just get worse and worse. Testing is not just for technical innovations, but also to give young drivers the chance to learn something and make themselves known.
“Without testing, Formula One puts itself at risk. In the current situation, we are not able to find the new stars because you would be having to put young drivers immediately in the races, without the necessary experience behind them, and that is not good for anyone,” added Domenicali.