As the tiregate furore continues to escalate, with Mercedes and Pirelli awaiting a date with the FIA tribunal in the next six weeks, three of the current field have given their support to a return to in-season testing, believing that simulator work does not have the same impact as getting out on the track.
When asked in the drivers’ press conference about in-season testing, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg and Giedo van der Garde all supported its return.
“It would be welcomed, definitely,” Massa explained. “A simulator is always what we have, to try to understand something, but it’s always a simulator so when you are in the real situation on the track, you definitely understand a lot better so it would be welcome.”
Ferrari made good use of in-season testing during their ‘golden years’ of 2000-2004, using their private track at Fiorano. The ban on in-season testing was intended to prevent an imbalance between the teams, but it appears that drivers from both ends of the grid would be interested in extra running.
Monaco GP winner Nico Rosberg backed Massa’s sentiments, saying: “Just as Felipe said, it’s so difficult to get the simulator one hundred percent realistic so there are always several things that are better when you test the real car, more accurate.”
“I think it’s also good for a rookie to have more track time, of course.” Caterham’s van der Garde said.
The FIA is yet to comment on a potential return to in-season testing, but with the financial state of the sport apparently improving, it may become a viable option once again.