JANUARY 10, 2004
No chance for Wilson
Talking to Formula 1 team owners has revealed that there is no chance at the moment that they are going to change the rules relating to who is allowed to take part in Friday testing at Grands Prix. It is anticipated that any move to change the rule will be blocked by the big four teams who believe it is wrong for the smaller teams to gain a performance advantage by being able to do their tyre work using experienced drivers, who will get the job done quickly and thus enable the team involved to save on engine mileage on Saturdays. With the new one engine per weekend rule, this could be a crucial advantage and the big four teams are not going to offer it to the six teams which are allowed to run three cars on Fridays. The rule they argue was designed to allow the smaller teams to raise more money by offering new drivers the chance to run and was not meant to create a performance advantage.
This means that drivers who have competed in six events or more in the previous two seasons cannot take part in Friday testing. In other words: Justin Wilson, Antonio Pizzonia, Allan McNish, Mika Salo, Nick Heidfeld, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Yoong, Enrique Bernoldi, Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine.
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