Ferrari has put forward to Bernie Ecclestone its proposals for a reduction in testing for the 2005 season. This is meant as a first step towards a more comprehensive plan, which will be drawn up in the next few weeks, aimed at containing the...
Ferrari has put forward to Bernie Ecclestone its proposals for a reduction in testing for the 2005 season. This is meant as a first step towards a more comprehensive plan, which will be drawn up in the next few weeks, aimed at containing the running costs of a Formula 1 team. The Maranello company's Managing Director, Jean Todt, was asked to shed light on these proposals.
Q: Why has Ferrari not adhered to the proposal put forward by the other teams, preferring to come up with its own suggestions?
Jean Todt: Because we believe that what has been proposed would not be effective and would not produce a real reduction in costs, as well as leaving the teams to work in a not very efficient fashion. At the moment, we face two alternatives: maintaining the agreement that has been in force since 2004 or come up with a plan that would lead to real cost savings for all the teams.
Q: What are the main points of your proposal?
JT: Let us start with an assumption: limiting testing to 24 days, with two cars running on track, would mean an average of 400 km per car per day, giving a total of 19,600 kilometres. Well, we propose a limit of 15,000 kilometres per team, for the purpose of developing the car, with an obligation to run at just one track. There would be total freedom to schedule the testing according to the needs of each competitor during a period running from the first to the last race of the season."
Q: So that covers testing for the overall development of the car, but what would be the situation regarding tyre testing?
JT: We believe we must establish some sort of parity between the two tyre constructors, Michelin and Bridgestone and, above all, take into consideration their requirements regarding safety, in the light of the new rules which come into effect at the start of next year. With that in mind, our proposal is for a maximum of an additional 15,000 kilometres dedicated to tyre development for each of the two companies. They would be at liberty to subdivide that testing between their teams, with the sole condition that these tests take place where the chosen team is already testing on track."
Q: What will happen if your proposal is not accepted?
JT: It's very simple: we will all be free to test how and where we like. Having said that, we are aware that the issue of costs affects everyone and we have to move towards a reduction. Furthermore, some of the regulation changes already agreed and which we were among the first to approve, such as the need to use just one engine for two race weekends, are already taking us in this direction, as well as addressing the need to reduce performance on the grounds of safety. It is for this reason that, as I already said in Sao Paulo at the Brazilian Grand Prix, we will rapidly present a more comprehensive proposal, which will take into account information supplied by the FIA last May, with which we are in agreement."
Q: The format of the Grand Prix weekend provides the possibility to use a third car in the first two hours of free practice on Friday, for those teams classified from fifth to tenth place in the previous year's Constructors' Championship. What is your view on this?
JT: This arrangement needs to be looked at. The opportunity to run a third car on Friday was designed as a concession to allow the smaller teams and their sponsors to gain more exposure. In our view, such an arrangement would be incompatible with a further reduction in private testing. In any case, we would not be opposed to the use of a third car, if the teams that chose this option then went for a consequent reduction in their overall mileage covered in private testing.