Dennis frustrated by lack of in-season testing in F1


McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has been left frustrated by the lack of in-season testing opportunities in Formula 1 after a difficult first half of the 2015 season.

The British team joined forces with Japanese manufacturer Honda at the beginning of the 2015 season, but has struggled with a number of reliability problems with its power unit during the first ten races.

McLaren appeared to make a breakthrough at the last race in Hungary as Fernando Alonso finished fifth and Jenson Button finished ninth to record the team’s first double points finish of the season.

However, Dennis remains frustrated by the limits placed on in-season testing in F1. Teams are currently restricted to just two two-day tests across the course of the season.

“I think Fernando shares my frustration, which is not being able to test when you are not competitive,” Dennis said.

“It is such a huge handicap. It is much more difficult to improve both the performance of the engine and the performance of the car.”

In-season testing has been limited in F1 since 2009 in a bid to reduce costs, but Dennis believes that it does not actually achieve this goal.

“It actually doesn’t save money as we have to bring developments to the cars in quantities without proving it out,” he said.

“We don’t always get it right, and when we don’t get it right, we waste money, so it is a false economy.

“It is more about hampering the performance of the larger teams than it is about really saving money: it doesn’t save anybody money but the smaller teams.

“That isn’t what F1 is about. F1 is about competition, not about handicapping. And perversely the biggest handicap in F1 is no testing.”

Although reports have suggested that in-season testing will be banned once again for 2016, MotorSportsTalk understands that efforts are still being made to retain some kind of running outside of the grand prix weekends.