London: Champions Red Bull and rivals Ferrari have changed their plans for the final pre-season Formula One test after the sport’s governing body ruled that all testing must end by 5 March.
Both teams had planned to start the test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Friday, a day later than others, and run through until the end of Monday.
However they changed their plans after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) sent teams a clarification of the sporting regulations on Monday evening. Both will now test from Thursday to Sunday.
Article 22.4 states that no testing can take place “between the start of the week preceding the first event of the championship and 31 December of the same year” with the exception of a three-day test in August.
The season starts in Melbourne on 18 March.
The two teams had interpreted the rule to mean Monday March 12 was the cutoff, although the first practice session in Australia is on 16 March.
The FIA said that date was incorrect because the rules would have stipulated “the week of the first event” for that to be the case.
The new ruling means that Lotus, who pulled out of the second test with a chassis problem detected on the first day, will not be able to make up the missed mileage.
Nor will Marussia, who announced on Monday that they will be absent from Barcelona this weekend because their car had failed its final crash test.