Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Testing, Testing, Testing

Ferrari are testing their cars at Vallelunga near Rome this week. Nice work if you can get it I say, but some people are complaining that Ferrari test too much. At the beginning of this year, nine of the ten teams signed an agreement limiting testing to a total of 30 days per year. They didn't ask Ferrari to sign - why would the Italians sign when they own two test tracks, and are the only competitive team racing on Bridgestone (aka Firestone) tyres. So why complain when they do what they said they'd do. Everyone says that if Ferrari do get back to winning it'll be because they've tested too much, but that's just sour grapes. I drove past the new McLaren factory a few weeks ago and my goodness it's impressive. So impressive that there's no way you can see any of the buildings (or the lake to cool the wind tunnel) from the road. Security resembles Fort Knox and you just know that it costs a fortune to run. The Sauber factory on the other hand, is a straightforward industrial unit and when I go skiing (not far away now) I often drive past their premises, with the transporters parked by the side of the main road, next to the most expensive wind tunnel in motor racing history.

Peter Sauber chose to spend his money on a hair dryer, Ron Dennis chose to lay out shedloads of cash on 21st century premises and Jean Todt chooses to take his team testing. It's a free, competitive market and teams should do what they think best in order to win. And not give in to bullying tactics. Good luck with the tests boys.


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