Ferrari Ready to Cancel Test

Ferrari are ready to prove they do not have a 'win-at-all-costs' attitude to Formula One by cancelling a planned pre-British Grand Prix test due to take place at Silverstone in June, Autosport-Atlas can exclusively reveal, after the testing row that has marred the season erupted again on Friday

Ferrari Ready to Cancel Test

The Maranello-based outfit, who only ever get to test at Silverstone in the traditional pre-race British GP test, booked use of the track for a four-day test from June 21-24 late last year - but the use of the track on those dates has now stirred up fresh controversy on the back of recent arguments over testing.

Ferrari have stuck to their own reduced testing programme this year while their rivals, in the so-called 'Group of Nine', have agreed a strict 30-day limit during the course of the season. Part of the latter agreement includes the fact that teams can only test on one track each day and that they will not test at a Grand Prix venue in the month leading up to it.

Reports circulating on Friday suggested that Ferrari's run at Silverstone in June would therefore exploit their rivals' separate agreement and allow the team to have exclusive use of the Northamptonshire track - handing them a potentially huge advantage at a time when the fight for the World Championship is expected to be very close.

But Autosport-Atlas has learned that Ferrari will only give the green light to the Silverstone test if their rivals join it at the venue - and the team are ready to cancel the test and put themselves at a disadvantage to their rivals in terms of track data if their opposition choose not to run at Silverstone on those dates.

A source close to the team told Autosport-Atlas: "If the other teams don't want to do it, then we won't do it. Our etiquette is not to gain an unfair advantage and we will therefore not go to circuits that the others do not want to go to."

Ferrari's offer to cancel the test flies in the face of criticisms aimed at them this year, which claim the Italian outfit are getting an unfair advantage from conducting their own testing programme. The team, however, have constantly claimed that they believe their own reduced mileage and the reduction of staffing at tests has done more to reduce costs than the proposed 30-day limit would.

The prospect of cancelling the June Silverstone test is a big deal for Ferrari, because there is no opportunity for the team to test at Silverstone on any other dates than those currently scheduled. This means that if the test is cancelled then the team will head to the British Grand Prix without any up-to-date data for the F2005 on the track.

The compact nature of the Formula One calendar this year has left teams with very little opportunity to test at Silverstone. With no gap between the Monaco and European Grands Prix and teams preferring to test at the low-downforce Monza prior to the flyaway races at Canada and Indianapolis, the only realistic dates for a Silverstone test are the late June ones currently pencilled in by Ferrari.

A Ferrari spokesman confirmed: "We are awaiting the decision of the other teams simply because there is no other week when the Silverstone test can take place. We do not intend to go to Silverstone unless the other teams are in agreement."

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