McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl says Formula 1 should revert to an extended pre-season testing program in 2022, ahead of the introduction of the sport’s brand-new designs.
Due to cost constraints, F1 teams warmed to their 2021 campaign with three days of testing in Bahrain, which implied just a day and a half for each driver.
The limited track time inevitably put additional pressure on those drivers – such as Daniel Ricciardo - who switched outfits over the winter or who encountered technical difficulties at the outset, like Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
Seidl says the relative underperformance in Bahrain and at Imola of those racing with new teams was not unexpected given their short time to adjust to their new environment and machines.
"I won't say it's a surprise," said the McLaren team principal, quoted by Motorsport.com. "We know it's not just straightforward to jump from one car into another one, when you only have one and a half days of testing.
"I think there's no point complaining about the one and a half days of testing, because that was an agreement between all teams in order to only have one test this year to save costs. So no point going into that too much.
"We all hope that for next year, we go back to more testing days again, especially knowing that we have completely new cars next year."
Next year, Formula 1’s budget cap will decrease from $145m to $140m. But Seidl nevertheless hopes that the that 2022 testing pre-season testing format will be extended, and preferably split between two multi-day sessions.
"In my point of view, or at least from the McLaren point of view, it makes sense to do two tests with a good gap also in between, in order to be able to digest what we have learned from the first test, and also to be able to react with these brand new cars."