Formula 1 has this rule of banning off-season (Apart from the official F1 approved tests at the end of February or the start of March) and in-season testing. This is done mainly to reduce costs to Formula 1 team owners and make their existence in the sport sustainable.

Source: This

Of all the different rules changes which have been enacted in Formula 1 in recent years, perhaps none has been as controversial as the ban on in-season testing that started in 2009. The move was done to help to control costs as the sport dealt with the reality of economics in a global recession.

And this.

Most, but maybe not all, teams will have their new cars ready to hit the track as soon as the off-season testing ban is lifted - by which time they should also have a clearer picture of what the future holds.

There are a few teams that own private racetracks (For example: Ferrari owns the Fiorano Circuit). How do Formula 1 administrators ensure that testing does not take place on these circuits at any times apart from the ones on the official itinerary?


1 Answer 1


Monitoring of test tracks is actually quite well policed, and is quite easy, as it isn't a simple logistical exercise to get an F1 car track tested.

What is harder to check for is testing of particular components, or windtunnel testing, by 3rd parties as these may not be obvious to the monitors.

So instead what they rely on is that F1 teams will be punished if they push the rules too far. It is understood that F1 teams will try to exploit any loophole or push any rule to its limit in order to gain an advantage, but the penalties for actually breaking a rule are quite high so they have to weigh up the potential cost to themselves, versus the potential gains.

Many agree it appears to work, but there are a fair few cynics who suggest that the biggest names may have ways and means that the smaller teams don't, including relationships with fluid dynamics teams, manufacturers, test suites etc.

  • Thanks for your answer! Yes, there might be problems in logistics and the financial penalty, if the testing is discovered, might be huge. But I would like to know how FIA tracks testing (especially on tracks owned by the teams) and discovers violators to penalize them? I basically wanted to know the means of tracking and not the consequence or reason of abusing the rule. Feb 26, 2013 at 4:37
  • An element of it is random monitoring and reporting -when the test tracks are used social media almost makes it a certainty that iinformation about the test will be published.
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 26, 2013 at 8:01
  • Orangecrush: Does this answer your question? @RoryAlsop If not, would you like to elaborate based on the OPs comments?
    – user527
    Mar 3, 2013 at 0:28
  • edmastermind29/@RoryAlsop Sorry for the late reply. Like I mentioned in my previous comment, yes, teams would not want to do any testing other than FIA authorized ones to avoid massive penalties. Yes, most of the tracks are well policed and it is next to impossible for the teams to test there, even if they wanted to. But I am sure FIA cannot keep tab of tracks like Fiorano throughout the year. I wanted more clarification on how FIA handles tracks such as these? Like Alsop mentioned, random monitoring is an option, but that surely is not sufficient as top manufacturers can counter this easily. Mar 8, 2013 at 2:39

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