Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa has expressed his disappointment over F1’s limited testing time, having undertaken his first and only run in the F14 T car at Silverstone on Tuesday.
In an attempt to cut costs, the sport has been trying to limit testing time for teams. This season has seen three in-season tests take place, but this will fall to two in 2015. For de la Rosa, this is only to the detriment of the drivers in F1.
“It’s just a disappointment generally for drivers,” he explained. “You just question yourself if this is going in the right direction.
“I come out of Maranello after being two days in the simulator, and I see a nice track there just empty with no cars called Fiorano. For me, it’s a bit strange.”
In the days of unlimited private testing, Ferrari would use private track Fiorano almost daily in order to improve the car. Nowadays, this role has been taken by the simulators, but de la Rosa still feels that this is not enough.
“I just miss it,” he said. “I just miss it because it’s like today, for example, I came here and I need to perform. Thank God we have the simulator to train you a bit, but there’s nothing like the real car.
“I feel like if a tennis player could not train every day, and then suddenly you are thrown into the final of Wimbledon against Djokovic. How would you feel? I feel a bit like that.
“I feel like I’m in inferiority because the other guys are racing every two weeks and I am not, so I feel a bit sad about this because bottom line is all this will make drivers like me disappear.
“A bit of testing, a bit of agreed testing between teams would be good for the sport.”
The in-season testing debate is one that is set to rage on in F1. Although it does give drivers more time behind the wheel, it is also very expensive, and as the sport looks to cut costs, it is probably an element that can be lost.
The next chance for teams to test will come in the week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.