As the sport's technical demands have grown in recent
years, so too has the importance of testing. But with the FIA ever
mindful of rising costs, since 2009 teams have been limited to 15,000
test kilometres during a calendar year. Young driver training (one
three-day test per year) and promotional events do not count towards
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.
Since 2009, testing during the race
season itself has been banned (from the week preceding the first Grand
Prix to December 31), with the exception of a small number of
straight-line aero tests. 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.