Ferrari Hears the Word “No” For the First Time Since 1947

What Happens When the Enemy is One of Your Own

— Today, the hot online topic remains Michael Schumacher and his return to the F1 grid.  Only this time, he and team Ferrari are being told “no.”  In a divisive move, AT&T Williams and fellow FOTA teams Red Bull Renault and Scuderia Toro Rosso have publicly opposed lifting the in-season testing ban for Schumacher to test the F60 in his quest for fitness before his F1 return in Valencia.  Sir Frank Williams, Williams team boss, likened the situation to that of Toro Rosso rookie Jaime Alguersuari, “the fact is that any form of in-season circuit testing is strictly prohibited – a regulation clearly laid out by the FIA and adhered to by all of the teams.  It was for this reason that Alguersuari, who drove an F1 car for the very first time in Hungary, did not have the opportunity.”

The Toro Rosso team, through Dietrich Mateschitz, added that, “We asked for a test permission for Alguersuari before the Hungarian GP and it was turned down.  So why should we approve an exemption for a seven-time-champion after this?”  (Who wants to lay odds that Ferrari engines will cost more next year? or that it’ll be Cosworth Red Bull instead of Scuderia Toro Rosso?)

Finally, Red Bull Renault’s Christian Horner remarked, “Michael has driven a two-year-old Ferrari last week in Mugello so I have no doubt that he will be on the pace quickly.

This, I think, is the crux of the matter.  While it would behoove Ferrari to have a master testing robot such as Michael Schumacher spend some time in its relatively lackluster F60, it does not seem necessary to someof the paddock and most of the world at large for Schumi to need time in a new car to be fast, safe, or fit.

Well, except Norbert Haug at McLaren-Mercedes, who says, “His [Schumacher’s] team-mate has thousands of kilometres in this car, and he has nothing.  As we are fair players, why should he not get some testing?  I would be very open to that.”  Somehow this smacks of old-guard desperation.  In the more recent F1 era, Ferrari and McLaren have fought amongst themselves for the driver’s and constructor’s championships (just forget about that team called Benetton, then Renault and that Spanish fellow: Fernando Something-or-Other).  The next thing we’ll see is Heikki Kovalainen out, Mika Hakkinen in, and some testing for us, too, please.  With the early season dominance of Brawn and Red Bull’s rising star, the former powerhouse teams are left feeling shaken and angry.

Let Schumacher spend some of his millions testing the ’07 car through F1 Clienti in Tuscany for fitness and have a straight-line test in the new car, following the rules to be “fair players,” Mr. Haug.  And, please, let’s try and keep the fighting between teams to the track, or at least to the stealing of the other team’s players in the off-season.



  1. Am I the only one baffled by Ferrari’s expectations?

    I am surprised to see Ferrari expecting compassion so quickly after rejecting Torro Rosso less than two weeks ago. Then they had the audacity to come out and sensationalize the situation with what was essentially petty name calling.

    I don’t see the need for Michael to be in the F12009 car in particular – I think that the 2007 car with slicks is more than enough for him. Especially someone of his caliber.

  2. I’m not baffled, but I do agree. Just because its Ferrari does not mean that they should automatically receive special privileges.

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