Ferrari Urged to Cut Testing Again

Formula One teams have taken their campaign to reduce testing in the sport all the way to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in an open letter that has called on the Italian outfit to change their attitude to the sport

Ferrari Urged to Cut Testing Again

With Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt clearly showing no sign of being willing to listen to calls for the World Champions to fall in line with rivals and reduce their in-season testing programme to 30 days, the teams have now decided to appeal directly to di Montezemolo.

In the letter, which was copied to Todt, they have claimed that Ferrari are acting in a manner that is 'highly disrespectful' to the sport by running to their own testing programme after rejecting their rivals' proposals for a day limit.

After an impromptu meeting at Sepang on Sunday morning, the teams agreed on the wording of a letter that was signed by eight team principals. The only signature missing was Peter Sauber, who appears to have fallen in line in not openly criticising Ferrari because of his current engine supply deal with the outfit.

The letter, which was distributed to the media on the back of post-race press releases from the eight teams involved, said: "For the past two years, the Formula One teams have been extremely active in finding ways to control costs and there is no doubt that a reduction of the track test programmes has been one of the few effective controlling mechanisms available to the teams.

"This year, while 8 competitors, including some of the largest world manufacturers, have been very supportive and constructive, coming to an agreement aimed at a further decrease of testing time during the F1 season, the Ferrari team has not only declined to operate within the spirit of this agreement but has operated against it, with a COST INCREASE, by implementing a testing programme that is extended to the race weekend, breaking agreement which had been previously supported by Ferrari as well.

"We believe that this attitude is highly disrespectful to the sport and we strongly request that Ferrari reconsiders its position in regards to testing constraints and aligns itself with the arrangements agreed between the other Teams."

The letter clearly refers to Ferrari's apparent increase in testing this year with their F2005, which has run extensively in the build-up to both the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

Ferrari, however, have insisted that their testing programme this year will actually lead to a reduction in costs, because it is using less staff for tests and, rather than limiting the number of days it runs, it is limiting the mileage.

The team also feel that, because they are Bridgestone's only major runner, they will be put at a huge disadvantage in tyre terms if they have to limit the number of days they can run - with Michelin able to call on all seven of its teams for tyre data.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
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