2014 pre-season testing to begin in January

Friday 26th April 2013, 11:47 by TF1T Staff 

Williams, LAT Photographic

Plans for pre-season testing to begin a month earlier than usual are under discussion and likely to be approved for the 2014 season following widespread changes to the technical regulations.

A new power unit which includes a 1.6 litre V6 turbo-charged engine and a more powerful ERS unit, will force the teams to design brand news cars which are unlikely to share many of the components of their predecessors.

Talks have been held between the Sporting Working Group (SWG) to host an engine test at the end of the current season, but that idea was shelved as it would have meant adapting their current cars to run with the new power unit.

Instead, it's reported that the teams have put forward plans to host a late-January pre-season test in Jerez to ensure the engine manufacturers and teams have enough time between the first test and the start of the season to overcome any obstacles.

Two tests would follow, with at least one being held in a warmer climate such as Bahrain or Qatar.

At present Article 22.4 of the Sporting Regulations blocks testing in January, but the FIA will submit an amendment for ratification at the next SWG meeting in May to allow the test to go ahead.

The plans would likely see all 11 teams launch their new cars at the opening test or in the days before, as running their old chassis or an interim chassis wouldn't be a viable option.

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