Extra testing planned for new engines

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Renault Sport F1’s Rob White has revealed that there is likely to be an additional pre-season test in 2014, giving teams additional time to work with the new V6 engines which will be introduced next season.

“There is what looks like quite a mature proposal to have an additional test session which we are completely in favour of,” White told Autosport.

“I don’t know what the format would be or where it would be, but we’re of the assumption that it will be an additional session for all teams and it’s not optional as everyone will want and need it.”

Pre-season testing in 2013 saw three test sessions held: one in Jerez, and two at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. Although this does give teams a chance to work on their new cars, many believe that increased testing would be beneficial.

However, with in-season testing banned, an extra test would be welcomed by the teams in order to get used to the new engines. White underlined the importance of the extra session to Renault, with the French marque set to work with Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham next season.

“Even if it was safe to assume that there would be no significant engine or power unit work to do, which is probably not the case, then all of the teams would be busy in characterizing and confirming the design assumptions or gathering data to amend.”

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.