Testing still causing discontent

Testing still causing discontent

Ferrari's continuing refusal to agree with the other teams on limiting in-season testing to 30 days is still stirring up discontent, and it's possible the test pact may fall apart. The nine teams have so far adhered to the cut in track activities...

Ferrari's continuing refusal to agree with the other teams on limiting in-season testing to 30 days is still stirring up discontent, and it's possible the test pact may fall apart. The nine teams have so far adhered to the cut in track activities between races, and to only test with two cars at one circuit, but Ferrari continues to test when and where it likes.

Fernando Alonso takes the checkered flag in front of Michael Schumacher.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

Michael Schumacher was on fine form at Imola but BAR chief executive Nick Fry believes Ferrari's test schedule is giving the red cars an unfair advantage. "Frankly I'm glad Alonso won because if Ferrari had won it would have been a hollow victory and I would have felt very sorry for Renault," Fry said, according to AFP.

"It would have been fairly un-sportsmanlike in some ways had Ferrari revelled in a victory when we have handicapped ourselves deliberately by (limiting testing) to keep costs down. Ferrari are flaunting that and this is the result."

Michael's brother Ralf, who drives for Toyota, was also critical of the Maranello team. "What Ferrari are doing is unfair to everyone else," he told Germany's RTL television. "We restrict ourselves and Ferrari carry on testing happily. I don't understand this at all."

"We at Toyota and maybe the other eight teams could also test but we adhere to the rules. We're interested in Formula One carrying on for a long time, while Ferrari are not. That's not the right way."

Toyota president John Howett believes that the test agreement may not last because the other nine teams would find it hard to continue to limit testing if Ferrari becomes dominant again.

"Either Ferrari must join the remaining teams or we need to find some sort of compromise where there is an equivalence," he said. "Otherwise people will start to test remorselessly."

Ferrari was undoubtedly more competitive at Imola than in the first three races and many say the amount of testing the team did was what made the difference. Ferrari reportedly did over 5000 miles on the test track between Bahrain and Imola while the most of the other teams (BAR) was three and a half thousand.

It didn't help Rubens Barrichello, whose car failed him after his first pit stop with a suspected electrical problem, but it's predictable that if Ferrari continues with its test schedule, its successes will be labelled as unsporting.

"Ferrari undoubtedly will start winning because you cannot test in the way they test with their resources and not benefit versus the rest of us," said Fry. "It was inevitable they would come back."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Fernando Alonso
Teams Ferrari