Willis – Testing Ban A Total Mistake
Geoff Willis, the well respected Formula One car designer who now works as a consultant to Spanish minnows Hispania Racing believes that the testing ban imposed on Formula One is totally ridiculous and should be scrapped or at least adjusted as soon as possible.
The ban came in to place at the end of 2009, a further ban from the original ban which meant teams could only partake in certain restricted testing sessions. While testing is allowed at the start of a season it is not allowed during the year, apart from some straight line tests and press days. The rules are already being called into question by various individuals including Ferrari who have been accused of secret testing and also by Pirelli who cannot test the 2011 F1 tyres on F1 cars.
Willis believes a restricted ban is and was the way forward.
“The mistake, for me, is that while it was sensible to stop unrestricted testing, a better balance would have been to have certain fixed testing times common to all teams and wrap up a commercial operation around it,” he said.
While he was scathing about testing he was impressed that the 107% rule is making a return, despite his team being at the back of the grid.
“I think you have to expect the teams to operate at a certain level, that’s what we want from Formula One,” he said. “Obviously we would be a little bit uncomfortable with 105% in our current position but it wouldn’t surprise me in the future. It’s just the nature of Formula One.”