Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, testing, 2023

FIA relaxes some F1 testing rules for 2024 and adds new wet weather test

Formula 1

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The FIA has introduced a raft of changes to next year’s Formula 1 sporting regulations to open up opportunities for supplementary testing.

Next year’s F1 season will once again see just a single three-day pre-season test in Bahrain a week prior to the opening round at the Sakhir circuit.

Although there will be no official in-season tests and teams are largely prohibited from running their 2024 cars privately, the FIA has expanded the scope for testing in some specific circumstances through the season.

At the request of F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli, the allocation of FIA-organised tyre testing days permitted for Pirelli to gather data for tyre development has increased by five from 35 days to 40. In addition, there will be four days dedicated to testing wet weather tyres.

This will give teams an opportunity to assist Pirelli in developing the intermediate and wet tyre compounds which have been criticised by many drivers. The FIA is also seeking to develop a form of wheel guard to reduce the spray thrown up by the tyres.

As was the case this season, teams will be permitted to run so-called ‘promotional events’ – commonly referred to as ‘filming days’ – in which they may run their current cars using specifically designed tyres. However, the previous 100 kilometre allowance for filming days has been doubled, with a clarification that teams are only allowed to carry out one promotional filming event in a single day.

One major benefit for teams next season is that regulations over ‘testing of previous cars’ (TPC), which allows teams to run private F1 track days with cars at least two years old, will permit teams to run 2022 cars that use the ground effect aerodynamic concepts of the current generation of F1 cars. However, a new tweak to the TPC rules for 2024 states that teams must only use components and software that was used at at least one grand prix event or test during the 2022 season – preventing teams from using TPC days for running experimental or untested parts that could be used to gather data for their 2024 cars.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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15 comments on “FIA relaxes some F1 testing rules for 2024 and adds new wet weather test”

  1. Surely with a cost cap in place we should allow teams to test as much as they can afford to?

    1. Agreed, let the teams spend to the limit as they wish. I’d also like to see an end to parc ferme rules to allow changes after qualifying or if it is going to be a wet race. This could spice up qualifying a bit…..

    2. That would be a nice idea. Since costs are capped, a lot of earlier regulations aimed at limiting spending could be relaxed or abolished altogether. But it’s important to also note that a lot of the items under the cost cap are essentially fixed costs, so there’s not as much wiggle room as there might seem to be when it comes to how teams allocate funds to testing or development. It’ll take more than a bit of tinkering with the rules to change the way these teams are set up; even with these cost caps they’re still spending a ludicrous amount of money on two cars, and there are large parts of the budget that aren’t even capped to begin with.

      1. MichaelN, it’s also a move that would disproportionately favour Ferrari, given that Ferrari does not have to pay for circuit hire costs at Fiorano and effectively zero transportation costs, whereas every other team would have to pay circuit hire costs that would make testing significantly more expensive for them by comparison (let alone Fiorano being usable for far more days throughout the year than Silverstone, the main circuit that teams in the UK could use).

        By contrast, Sauber is disproportionately punished for having their headquarters in Switzerland, where there are no permanent racetracks that could be used (and, until 2022, constructing a permanent racetrack in Switzerland was prohibited). Comparatively speaking, Sauber has to pay disproportionately high costs to undertake any track testing compared to other teams.

        The point of having collective testing was that the teams would be sharing the costs between them, and therefore the advantages and disadvantages that any one particular team might have from historical wealth or from geographic location would be reduced, given that costs would be shared amongst the teams. By contrast, your proposal effectively chooses to favour particular teams and to penalise others.

        1. Given that there are already items which have a fixed cost, maybe the same could apply to testing. By making a test day cost X dollars (an amount teams agree on) a day, then you ensure that Ferrari take the same monetary dent that a team that are forced travel?

    3. I agree these rules need to be scrapped. Testing and the power unit limits were all trying to limit spending. Since most of the teams don’t spend anywhere near the cap, it would be a great opportunity for a team to gain sponsorship and spend an extra few million on developing the car. That would get the close racing and competition that we all want!

      1. Since most of the teams don’t spend anywhere near the cap

        That may have been true when the budget cap was drawn up, but it certainly isn’t anymore.
        There would be 3 teams (at most) that aren’t spending to the cap now.

        That would get the close racing and competition that we all want!

        Nope. It wouldn’t, unfortunately.

    4. I sort of agree I think the problem you hit with testing is that you need to hire a whole crcuit along with some track and fire marshalls, first aid staff on standby, etc, so it can be quite pricey, and the joint testing sessions were meant to get economy of scale and help the teams, so not sure how viable it will be for teams to test within the budget cap. I agree with another poster that it was great for true F1 fans to be able to go watch testing days, and also it was good revenue for circuits like Silverstone and Donnington which got valuable revenue. Part of the reason so many GP teams were based around the midlands and south was the convenience of being just a truck ride away from a testing facility, no flights, no hotel bills. The ban on testing is also somewhat unfair on Ferrari which had invested over the years in its own test track.

  2. It would be foolish to expect that Pirelli would organise the wet tyre testing in a suitable location.
    Cold, wet and rain arriving sideways – i.e. Silverstone in late winter/early spring.

    Or maybe they have the idea of taking it somewhere warm and windless and spraying water delicately over the track?

  3. I honestly really, really miss the days of unrestricted testing as I miss been able to go watch the cars from trackside as often as I used to be able to in those days.

    As testing has become so restricted & with it been closed to the public now on top of how expensive attending race weekends has become i’ve started to feel less & less connected to the sport as having those opportunities to be trackside & to watch them in person was a big part of my enjoyment as for as good as the TV coverage has gotten over the years it’s no substitute for seeing these cars in person.

    I think it’s a shame that the younger/newer fans won’t have those opportunities. I also think it’s a shame that so many seem to overlook the joys of attending Friday practice sessions (Wanting to see them abolished for ‘the show’) which are a good alternative to testing and where you can usually walk around the track & just watch & appreciate the cars from different places which allows you to get a far greater appreciation for the cars than what you get sitting in one place during a qualifying session or race where your also trying to pay attention to times, positions etc..

    It’s so much harder to get invested in something & feel a connection to it when you don’t have many opportunities to be able to go see it.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th December 2023, 17:54

    Out of curiosity, how did Max get away without a penalty in the pit lane exit overtakes at Abu Dhabi?

    1. He did it before they changed the rules, during the race weekend, dis-allowing passing in the exit.

  5. Coventry Climax
    7th December 2023, 18:13

    Great, so now at least the teams can test the things they cannot design anymore.
    F1 is getting more ridiculous by the day.

  6. Doesn’t seem like enough testing is allowed, although I’m unsure on if adding more testing (3 more+ days like the old schedule, plus in-season testing) would help the competition catch up, or will the gaps just remain the same as the leader tests too? Money is obviously an issue for smaller teams but surely FOM could allocate testing time with prize money like they do with wind tunnel time – maybe even part subsidised. The smaller/poorly performing teams need more of an opportunity to catch up for the sake of the sport.

    1. Coventry Climax
      8th December 2023, 11:05


      or will the gaps just remain the same as the leader tests too?

      That can only bring them forward in equal measures if the rules were fully open, which they aren’t.
      Quite the opposite actually: The technical rules actually determine the maximum achievable.
      The team closest to that already, has less room to ‘wiggle’ and develop than the teams that are behind.
      Which is why, with the rules kept stable for some years, you see the teams getting closer to one another.

      That’s the FiA’s general idea of ‘fairness’ and ‘equal playing field’, to which they ‘occasionally’ even ‘add’ during a season, issuing Technical Directives. (Meaning teams are supposed to act and design according to the clairvoyance of what the FiA might have meant instead of according to what’s actually on paper at the start of the season.)

      I’d love to see develop made free again, and see where the engineers take us, in terms of speed and efficiency. I’d love to see a good idea being rewarded again.

      As it stands though, to me, with the currect FiA’s rules set? That’s just BoP in disguise. Punishing success, hampering progress.

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