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Ferrari to Ignore Winter Testing Ban

Ferrari look set to cause further controversy with their testing plans over the next two months, as they look set to ignore Formula One's annual winter testing ban

The Maranello outfit, who have operated outside of the 30-day agreement that has operated with the other nine teams during the course of the season, are now also not planning to fall in line with the end of year break that will be taken by their rivals.

With the other teams traditionally not testing before the first week of December to allow team members the chance to rest after the season, Ferrari are instead planning major tests in Italy and Bahrain over the next few weeks.

A Ferrari spokesman told Autosport-Atlas: "We will test at Vallelunga on October 26 and 27 and again in early November then head to Bahrain in the middle of November."

As well as the Vallelunga test in October, the team will also test there from November 1-3, prior to a test at Bahrain on November 18-22.

On top of the controversy caused by testing during October and November, Ferrari's decision to run in Bahrain will only add to disquiet among their rival teams.

Teams agreed several years ago not to test outside of Europe because of the huge costs that entailed.

Ferrari's decision to test during the winter testing ban period comes despite sporting director Jean Todt hinting earlier this month that his team were considering joining up with their rivals to limit testing.

With front-running outfits Williams and Toyota joining Bridgestone's ranks for 2006, Todt said that the time was right for Ferrari to re-consider their stance on testing.

"We are in discussion about this, yes," he was quoted as saying by Autosport. "The situation will be very different next year. We will not be the only strong team on Bridgestone tyres.

"With the greatest respect to Minardi and Jordan, they have not been able to help us with tyre development this year."

It remains unclear what the other teams plan to do this winter, but Williams technical director Sam Michael said the Grove-based outfit will also be testing in November.

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