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Teams urge Ferrari to play fair
Alan Baldwin in Sepang | March 18, 2005 17:03 IST
Ferrari's rivals have repeated a call for the Formula One champions to limit their testing for the good of the sport.
The nine teams, in a statement at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday, expressed dismay that Ferrari had refused to join them in self-imposed restrictions and indeed planned to do more testing than ever.
In the past teams have agreed not to test in the week of a grand prix.
"Ferrari's actions not only potentially destabilise Formula One and increase costs but also provide Ferrari with an unequal advantage over all other teams," the statement said.
"Inevitably, such actions on the part of Ferrari can only increase costs within Formula One and undermine the principle of a 'level playing field' in the sport.
"The nine teams are requesting that Ferrari now reconsiders its position and acts in a responsible manner to support this valuable cost-saving initiative," the statement said.
Ferrari's rivals have agreed to do no more than 30 days of testing during the season, a commitment that Ferrari have refused to consider.
The Italian team, winners of the last six constructors' championships, have their own test circuits and have run in the past at three separate venues on the same day.
They argue that restrictions would play into the hands of rivals since Michelin have seven teams to test their tyres whereas Bridgestone rely on Ferrari.
"We wanted to find a solution and we don't want to be at odds with our fellow teams," said Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn.
"We tried to offer some compromises but they weren't acceptable to the other teams and their compromises were not acceptable to us. It's an unfortunate situation."
Renault engineering head Pat Symonds said it was the first time that he could recall there being one rule for one team and another for the rest.
However, he felt Renault, who finished third last year and won this season's opening race in Australia, had not been as disadvantaged as other teams such as Honda-backed BAR or Toyota.
"Renault are not a rich team and last year the testing agreement was that you could test for 48 days with no restrictions. Most of our competitors took full advantage of that," he said.
"Our budget didn't stretch to that. We could only afford to do 36 days testing in the season and could only test at one venue.
"So strangely enough while Ferrari may be gaining some advantage...we as a team have probably gained from it because we have pulled other teams back to our level. It's a compromise that I am not too uncomfortable with."
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