TESTING

As the sport's technical demands have grown in recent years, so too has the importance of testing. With the FIA ever mindful of rising costs, as of 2009 teams are limited to 15,000 test kilometres during a calendar year. Young driver training and promotional events do not count towards this tally.

Testing can only take place at FIA-approved sites and, ahead of a session, teams must inform the governing body of their schedule so that an observer can be appointed if deemed necessary. All cars must be fitted with the standardised, FIA-approved Electronic Control Unit during tests.

From 2009, testing during the race season itself is banned (from the week preceding the first Grand Prix to December 31). There are also restrictions on wind tunnel testing - the scale models used may be no larger than 60 percent and speeds are limited to 50 metres per second.