Ferrari told to gain 'respect'

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt has been told to rise to the challenge of proving just how great his team is by ditching his opposition to a set of radical cost-cutting measures that have been rubber-stamped by every other team on the grid

Ferrari told to gain 'respect'

The Frenchman has remained defiant about a proposed set of new rules, agreed by the nine other teams on the grid in Interlagos last weekend, aimed at cutting costs through a dramatic reduction in testing next season.

Ferrari's resistance is believed to stem from the fact that it currently benefits from having two of its own test tracks - Fiorano and Mugello. The team also conducts almost the entire tyre testing programme for supplier Bridgestone.

But although Todt has questioned the new rules, and would understandably be reluctant to agree to regulations that would cut his team's advantage at the front of the field, rival boss David Richards is adamant that the situation provides the Italian team with the perfect opportunity to prove its strength in depth.

He cites the example of Moto GP world champion Valentino Rossi, who chose to take the challenge of switching from the dominant Honda team to rival Yamaha this season and gained more respect by winning the title with it.

"I just look at great teams and great characters, I look at Valentino Rossi and he was in a dominant position with Honda," Richards told autosport.com. "How many more world championships could he have won had he stayed with them?

"He didn't do that. He went to the underdog; he undertook a great challenge and showed he could do it again. Those are great people and I think Ferrari should accept that a change of circumstances would prove their strength and would prove how great they are. The sport needs it."

The cost-cutting measures were proposed following a series of meetings at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend as the majority of team bosses came to realise just how big a threat was posed by the growing costs of competing.

The proposals can only be put into next year's sporting regulations if unanimous agreement among the teams is reached before October 31. FIA president Max Mosley has hinted that even wider-sweeping cost-cutting measures could be introduced were unanimity reached in this matter.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said about the initiative: "The team principals are often portrayed as a bunch of people who can't come to a common position. This time we've tried to walk around the stone wall, rather than into it."

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