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Teams reject Ferrari's proposals
Alan Baldwin | December 07, 2004 10:43 IST
Ferrari's Formula One rivals rejected a proposal by the world champions to limit testing and cut costs.
"The proposal of Ferrari is completely unacceptable," Renault boss Flavio Briatore said at a meeting of team principals in London.
Minardi's Australian owner Paul Stoddart described the proposals, faxed by Ferrari in the absence of any team representative at the meeting, as "a piss take".
Nine of the 10 teams, including Ferrari-powered Sauber, signed up for their own initiative at the season-ending race in Brazil in October that would halve testing during the season to 24 days.
Ferrari, fresh from winning their sixth constructors' championship in a row, refused to sign up for an agreement described by team boss Jean Todt at the time as a piece of paper to be thrown away.
The Italian team are resistant to any reduction in testing since they have their own tracks in Italy and a special relationship with tyre maker Bridgestone.
They have sometimes tested at three circuits at once and last month signed Spaniard Marc Gene from Williams as a second full-time test driver, an indication of their determination to do as much mileage as ever.
The Ferrari proposal suggested restricting testing during the season to 15,000 kilometres per team for car development, with the obligation to run at just one track in any given week.
There would also be a limit of 15,000 km for each of the two tyre manufacturers.
The team pointed out that 24 days of testing with two cars on track for an average of 400 km per day would equate to 19,600 km.
French brand Michelin will supply seven of the 10 teams next year while Bridgestone have just Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi -- neither of the latter two doing much testing.
"We would get 2,142 km as Michelin team and Ferrari would get 15,000. I can't see that as particularly equitable," commented McLaren's Ron Dennis.
Ferrari say Michelin will be able to gather far more tyre data than them with seven teams at their disposal in testing.
They said on their website that their proposals were meant as a first step towards a more comprehensive plan to be drawn up in the next few weeks.
"We believe we must establish some sort of parity between the two tyre constructors...and above all, take into consideration their requirements regarding safety," said Todt in a question-and-answer sheet.
Asked what would happen if the other teams rejected Ferrari's proposals, he said: "It's very simple; we will all be free to test how and where we like."
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