Ferrari set to avoid Italian anti-noise law

Ferrari's testing programme looks set to escape a new noise pollution law that could be passed by the Italian parliament next month

Ferrari set to avoid Italian anti-noise law

The law aims to limit noise at race tracks to 70 decibels - about the same level a current F3 car produces. An exception has been allowed for motor racing events, so tracks such as Monza and Imola could continue holding events 12 days per year.

It was thought, however, that the legislation could affect Ferrari's testing activities on their own tracks of Mugello and Fiorano. The Italian team put in around 100 days of testing at the tracks this season in its quest to win both the drivers' and constructors' championships, so losing track time on these circuits could seriously disrupt its efforts in 2001.

But a source close to the Maranello-based outfit believes Ferrari and the Italian Government will reach an agreement that will allow the team to continue testing at Fiorano and Mugello.

"It is almost certain that a compromise will be reached. It would be strange for an Italian law to punish Ferrari," said the insider.

The news of this possible compromise comes as F1 nears the end of the November test ban. Most of the teams will be heading to Spain next week, and it came as a surprise to some when Ferrari announced that it would be joining arch rivals McLaren at the Jerez test on 5-7 December.

Ferrari usually prefers to test alone in Italy, especially before the start of a new season, but the team announced recently that Rubens Barrichello will be at the circuit south of Seville as the teams begin their preparations for 2001. It now seems that the team's decision to go to Spain may have been in anticipation of any moves the Italian Government might have made on the anti-noise law.

But if, as it now appears, Ferrari is allowed to continue as before, the team will be mightily relieved, knowing just how important testing their home tracks is.

"Everything becomes much easier if you're lapping at home," admitted Barrichello. "The car gets better more quickly. If there is a problem, you confront it and resolve it quickly. If you need a spare part, it can be there in minutes."

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