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Kamis, 06 Agustus 2009

Ferrari slates Williams over test block

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By Pablo Elizalde

The Ferrari team has hit out at rival Williams over its decision not to allow Michael Schumacher to test this year's car ahead of his return to action at the European Grand Prix.

Ferrari asked all Formula 1 teams for permission to have a one-day test for Schumacher ahead of the Valencia race, where the German will replace the injured Felipe Massa.

On Tuesday, Ferrari published an item on its website, which suggested that the Williams team had demonstrated a lack of spirit of fair play. The text referred to Ferrari's rival as "a team that hasn't won anything for years."

Ferrari also revealed it had given Toro Rosso its approval to test rookie Jaime Alguersuari ahead of his debut in Hungary.

"Guess who opposed the test with the F60? A team that hasn't won anything for years and yet didn't pass over the opportunity to demonstrate once more a lack of spirit of fair play," Ferrari wrote in its official website under the title 'Indiscretion'.

"Just for the record, the Scuderia Ferrari had given its approval to let Alguersuari test, but it seems even in this instance someone decided to stick to the precise wording of the regulations."

Team boss Frank Williams said on Monday that he welcomed Schumacher back in F1, but that his team would not allow him to test.

"While we welcome Michael Schumacher back to Formula 1, 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," Williams said.

"It was for this reason that Alguersuari, who drove an F1 car for the very first time in Hungary, did not have the opportunity to familiarise himself with the Toro Rosso before he made his race debut.

"Williams sees no distinction between Alguersuari's situation and Schumacher's and feels that any deviation from the rule would create a precedent for the future.

"In a similar situation, Williams would unhesitatingly use its current test driver. For the sake of consistency and fairness, therefore, we oppose Ferrari's proposal to test ahead of the European Grand Prix."

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz also said yesterday that his teams were opposing the test.

A Williams spokesperson told AUTOSPORT the team was not planning a response.

"I don't think we would wish to dignify Ferrari's statement with a reply," he said.

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