Handbags at dawn part 2: This time it’s Williams versus Ferrari

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Williams and Ferrari are going at it again
Williams and Ferrari are going at it again

Yesterday it was Nelson Piquet Jnr vs Flavio Briatore, today it’s Ferrari and Williams at loggerheads. Infuriated by Williams’ refusal to support Schumacher’s request for a test in the F60, Ferrari published a statement on its website saying:

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.

Them’s fightin’ words. But although seeing Williams and Ferrari trade blows is nothing new in F1, there’s something rather odd about Ferrari’s reaction.

To begin with, why is it only aimed at Williams when Red Bull also opposed Schumacher testing the F60?

I wonder if this has something to do with Williams splitting from FOTA at the height of their row with the FIA earlier this year. Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, also president of FOTA (and not above letting off a little steam in this fashion), surely hasn’t forgotten Williams’ defection which could have fatally weakened the teams’ unity.

But throwing around phrases like “a lack of spirit of fair play” is perhaps not the smartest thing for a team with Ferrari’s track record to do. Particularly when you consider their track record with Williams:

1997 European Grand Prix, Jerez

No-one’s going to forget this one in a hurry. Schumacher was leading the race and on course to beat second-placed Jacques Villeneuve to the world championship. But after the final round of pit stops the Williams driver suddenly began catching Schumacher and launched an attack at the Curva Dry Sack.

Schumacher swung in and the pair collided – but Villeneuve survived, while the Ferrari driver slid off the track and out of the race. The FIA confiscated Schumacher’s points for the season – a penalty widely regarded as far too lenient – and Ferrari hit back at Williams by claiming they had colluded with McLaren to rig the race finish.

1998 Canadian Grand Prix

When Schumacher shot out of the pits during the race he failed to notice Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Williams on the circuit, and shoved him off into the barriers. Patrick Head stormed over to the Ferrari pit and vowed to see the driver serve a lengthy ban for reckless driving.

The stewards penalised Schumacher but he won the race nevertheless.

1999 Belgian Grand Prix

With Schumacher injured, Ferrari were striving to keep Eddie Irvine in the championship hunt. The McLarens were running away with the race, and it fell to Irvine’s team mate Mika Salo to help Irvine into the best result he could manage.

Salo held back Williams’ Ralf Schumacher to the tune of nine seconds in the middle of the race, allowing Irvine to get out of the pits ahead of the Williams driver. Patrick Head blew another gasket, but once again there was nothing he could do about the situation.

2003 Italian Grand Prix

There were plenty of run-ins between Ferrari and Williams in the intervening period – often involving Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya. But the events that transpired in the run-up to the 2003 Italian Grand Prix threw the two teams into another fierce row.

Williams had emerged as one of the principal challengers to Ferrari, thanks in part to their Michelin tyres. But following an appeal by Ferrari’s tyre supplier Bridgestone, the FIA instructed Michelin to change the design of their tyres. The pre-race press conference was a hostile affair:

Ross Brawn (Ferrari): Our interpretation was not that the tread was constrained by only being measured when new. With the construction of the regulation I can understand how someone may wish to interpret that way but the construction of the regulation was not when?? it would have said, furthermore, when new, the tread would be no more than 270[mm]. It doesn’t say that. So we had an interpretation which was obviously different to the Michelin teams. We have a regulatory body??

Patrick Head (Williams): Why did you wait for 38 races before raising this point, if you had this view all the time? It seemed an odd time to raise it Ross.

Brawn: That tyre, as I understand it Patrick, you had at Monaco.

Head: It’s exactly the same mould, comes out of exactly the same mould that appeared in 2001 at Imola.

Brawn: Renault used different tyres to you Patrick. There’s a range of Michelins being used in Formula One. We weren’t aware of the problem so any suggestion that we had timed it is inaccurate. Bridgestone is an extremely ethical company and they were aware of this problem for some time and didn’t raise it to our attention. They were troubled with how to deal with it, and they came to us after the race in Hungary and said how can we deal with this problem, because in our view?? [laughing in the audience] Do you have to keep laughing? Thank you. In our view, they brought the photographs of the tyre in Hungary and said to us can you explain this to us and we asked Charlie for an explanation. He said to us he wanted to investigate it because he didn’t understand it. He didn’t understand what he could see on the tyres and went away, and the consequence was the letter that came out on the Wednesday after Hungary.

Head: I thought the consequence was a meeting at Maranello on the Tuesday, of the president of the FIA and the race director.

Brawn: As we know, paranoia runs rife in Formula One. Ron, quite rightly, said you need to look at yourself in the morning and ask yourself if you’ve got integrity. That meeting was set up weeks ago and was a meeting to discuss our business in Formula One. Some of that discussion has been discussed recently about the schedule that we should run in Formula One. It’s not uncommon for us to have meetings with the FIA to discuss things. To suggest that meeting was only about the tyres?? in fact we were asked not to discuss the tyres with Max and Charlie when they came, because they said they were dealing with it. They felt it was inappropriate to discuss the tyres, so I think to suggest that meeting was only held?? I don’t think Max would break his schedule to come over to Italy on a Tuesday after a race for a matter like that. So as I said, there’s a huge amount of paranoia in Formula One. We had an interpretation and we asked the ruling body for a clarification and that was the clarification they gave and I think all the suggestions of Machiavellian plots is just the normal paranoia that runs in Formula One.

For now at least, Williams has not responded to Ferrari’s attack.

Image (C) Williams/Sutton

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126 comments on “Handbags at dawn part 2: This time it’s Williams versus Ferrari”

  1. Pedro Andrade
    4th August 2009, 20:33

    Sour grapes from Ferrari. I’m happy Williams took the stance they did, and I hope they don’t get bullied further by Ferrari.

    1. err.. I was gonna say sour grapes form Williams. Frank has been eating them ever since FOTA was formed.

      Frank Williams has not really shown that he likes to work “with” the teams as yet. I am not referring to Schu test, but rather to the recent FIA vs FOTA issues. Williams did not help matters, they got sxpelled form FOTa only later to beg to be returned to it. And the recent Concord agreement is excellent for all teams, and it wouldn’t have been possible without FOTA. So Williams should at least show some respect and try to work with the teams from now on…

      There is a bigger picture here and im not referring to Schu test..

      1. Don’t the teams exist to compete? Why should they work together. The FOTA should purely exist to allow all teams to have a say in the setting of regulations, and commercial arrangements. It shouldn’t exist in order for the different teams to “work” with one another.

        I find it rich that Ferrari is claiming that Williams is showing “a lack of spirit of fair play”. From my understanding Williams are perfectly entitled to say no. If anything Ferrari are showing “a lack of spirit of fair play”, by cracking the ***** because some of the other teams won’t play the way they want them to. The only team that benefits from Schumacher testing the current car is Ferrari.

        Secondly Ferrari has shown their inability to play fairly by bringing Schumacher in, instead of using one of their designated reserve drivers. Reserve drivers exist exactly for this reason don’t they?

      2. History is where you should look for the bigger picture with Williams, and Ferrari. Williams know that the only agenda Ferrari care about is there own, they were expelled from Fota, because they signed up , unconditionally, for 2009. Historically Ferrari have proved to be devious, and not to be trusted, Frank Williams has no other business than Motor racing, why would he align himself with a body that could potentially put him out of business?
        The words ‘fair play’, and ‘Ferrari’ have been proved by the existence of a technical veto, not to have any substance, Frank Williams has always known this, and after 40 years of being a fan of F1 so do I…….

      3. Pedro Andrade
        5th August 2009, 10:20

        Yes, I understand Williams’ departure from FOTA caused the team to become an outsider in the eyes of the others, and for resentment to arise in both sides. But this problem is unrelated to the FIA-FOTA-FOM war, so it should be treated as such by the teams. Ferrari’s comments were childish.

        And if Toro Rosso had to abide by the rules, Ferrari should too. We’ve all been complaining too much over the years that they do not.

        1. Williams has sour grapes because he has done bugger all in f1 for years. And cant handle the fact he had the chance to be as successful as Mclaren and Ferrari and screwed it. He had the perfect opportunity with BMW and turned it down, he had a similar opportunity with renault and even honda and was to stupid to push it. Instead Mclaren went totally opposite and now they are as big as Ferrari with MERC. Would BMW would have left williams dont think so Williams has a big following similar to mclaren.

          In relation to the test Williams were right in accordance with the rule. But i dont necessary agree with them. They are just worried because ferrari have overtaken them now and they will be now where again.

          1. i’ve got just 2 words for ferrari & shoemaker

            YOU SUCK!!!!!

          2. Frank Williams didn’t blow it.

            If Williams went with BMW (ie sold up, as BMW didn’t want to continue to be engine suppliers, they wanted total control of Williams) then Williams would be about to go under and pull out of F1, just like the former Sauber team are doing right now.

            If Williams had bowed to BMW, they would be in a far worse state than they are now. And let’s face it, this year at least, Williams are improving.

          3. i’ve got just 2 words for ferrari & shoemaker

            YOU SUCK!!!!!

            91 race wins for Schumacher and 209 wins for Ferrari say otherwise.

  2. hee hee hee, this is going to be good.

  3. Red Bull were not targeted as Ferrari said yes to allow Alguesuari to test

    “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.”

    source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77551

    I would have MS test the car but I’m a Ferrari fan and are biased but if it had been made public at the time I would have said the same for Alguesuari so he could gain experience. Also Keith I think you’re probably right about the FOTA issue being part of this with Williams becoming the FIA and Mosley’s new lapdog’s.

  4. I am a Ferrari fan, and I don’t see the purpose of this attack. Ferrari won’t gain anything from it, as sniping will make Williams less likely to reverse their decision on the Schumacher test ban. And although Williams aren’t FOTA members, they’ve signed the Concorde Agreement, so it’s not exactly a political move. Montezemelo has always been a bit of a prima donna though.

    1. I am also a Ferrari fan, but Im DISGUSTED by Ferrari attacking Williams like this. It is one thing to cordially ASK for an exception to the rules, but they should be ashamed of themselves for throwing out insults like this when they dont GET an exception. I too thought that Williams was being stingy and bitter about it, but rules are rules, and that is their right

  5. This is a disproportionate reaction from Ferrari. They act as if they own the sport.
    If we end up with Todt “Newman” in charge of FIA it will be the day of fire and brimstone.
    Lets hope this does not come to be.

  6. Ferrari have, I think, missed the point. They wanted the rules bent for them and didn’t get their way. That shows the sport still has some integrity. If Ferrari doesn’t want to play by the rules, it shouldn’t play.

    1. do you not remember what happened recently when Williams pulled out of FOTA? Frank did not help matters much. I dont think this is as simple as you say it is. This problem goes even further back to when FOTA was created. Thats where the root of the problems are between Williams and Ferrari. btw if it wasnt for FOTA strong stance you would now be licking Mosleys #$% so you should thank the persistence of Ferrari, McLaren, and all FOTA teams EXCEPT Williams, for the latest Concord agreement.

  7. Ferrari’s comment is just for the show.
    It would have been nice to have the exception to show the FIA that this testing ban is nonsense; but it was almost obvious someone would complain and “stick to the rules”.
    Also, RBR’s answer is obvious: they have a shot at the championship, why favour other team to fight with them for the big points?

    1. Why would they need to show to FIA that their own idea of having a testing ban is nonsense?

  8. Robert McKay
    4th August 2009, 20:52

    Between this and their childish rant on the new “GP3” teams, Ferrari are coming across as a bit pathetic. I think the expression is “they need taking down a peg or two”.

  9. Thanks for the history lesson- as a relatively new fan I was aware of the 1997 incident, but none of the other stuff.

    1. You’re welcome – the full teams’ press conference from the Italian Grand Prix is definitely worth a read! I’ve just put it on the drop.io:

      http://drop.io/formula1fanatic/asset/2003-italian-grand-prix-friday-press-conference-pdf

  10. I wonder if this has something to do with Williams splitting from FOTA at the height of their row with the FIA earlier this year. Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, also president of FOTA (and not above letting off a little steam in this fashion), surely hasn’t forgotten Williams’ defection which could have fatally weakened the teams’ unity.

    Yes well I think Montezemolo is indeed letting out steam from Williams treatment of FOTA during the crisis. As I mentioned above if it wasn’t for FOTA strong stance the recent concord agreement (which is pretty good I might add) would not have been possible. This reaction from Ferrari has nothing really to do with the F60 test. That is a minor issue.

    But Simply Frank Williams and his inability to work with FOTA and the teams. I would suggest for Frank to wake up and work with the teams, I am not talking about F60 test but all other matters. Failing to do so would not be good for Williams in the long run.

  11. Robert McKay
    4th August 2009, 21:08

    What exactly is it Williams have done “against” FOTA? They’ve said no to the Schumi test, which two other FOTA teams said anyway.

    And the only other thing is not siding with FOTA because they had a contract they had to honour.

    Hardly as if they’re out to fight against them, is it?

    1. Williams came up with some lame excuse why they “needed” to sign, but of course they simply wanted to. They were the biggest proponents of the budget cap the first time it came around (2007/2008).

      WilliamsF1 are probably still pretty sore that their much wanted budget cap was again thwarted by Ferrari.

      Williams is working to bring KERS back for next year. When all other teams (so far) agreed not to use it.

      Williams threatens not to stick with the summer stop again even if the other teams decide for one again.

      They simply seem to be looking for any possibility where they can take a position contrarian from the other teams yet preferably aligned with Mosley’s.

    2. because they had a contract they had to honour.

      I suspect it had more to do with the £14.5m they got from Ecclestone in January – just as you said at the time!:

      So are Williams recieving this money on the basis that they will sign the Concorde agreement in the future?

  12. Bigbadderboom
    4th August 2009, 21:43

    Although I want to see an up to speed Schu, and I think Alguersuari should also have tested (for safety reasons), we have to remember that although Fota appear to be having a bit of a love-in at the moment, F1 is an incredibly competitive sport. Williams just exercised their right. I’m not sure the FIA would have sanctioned it anyway, it would leave the future open to abuse.

    Agree with them or not….The rules is the rules! If we need to change them or challenge them, then that is the role of Fota, but you can’t turn a blind eye mid season, or expect others to bend the rules for somebody elses benefit.
    I think schui has enough class to get up to speed through Friday and Saturday morning anyway! I really hope he mixes it up :)

  13. How can Ferrari insult Williams in this way? It’s a very inappropriate way to vent frustration, especially considering the history between the pair, and who committed the ‘sins’ in the past.

    My opinion on this episode seems to differ from that of the majority of people though.

    Most probably, the reason why Williams didn’t grant them a permission hasn’t got to do with past rivalry, but more with money. Williams pushed for this rule because they knew they couldn’t benefit from mid-season testing due to being on such a tight budget. So allowing this concession would have been a blow below the belt for them, because they can’t afford it and as a reuslt, be disadvantaged.

    1. I expect that’s part of it – there’s only 14.5 points between them in the constructors’ championship, but that’s three whole positions, which could add up to a lot of money:

      3. Ferrari 40
      4. Toyota 38.5
      5. McLaren 28
      6. Williams 25.5

      1. Good observation

  14. here is how I see it:

    Williams are racing Ferrari fair and square on track this season!
    Ferrari have two reserve drivers which they chose not to use knowingly!

    if Ferrari do test with the F60 and slick tyres they will gain a huge amount of valuable data as whole (forget Schumacher for a sec) which WILL help their pace for the remainder of the season!

    So, WHY SHOULD FRANK LET THEM TEST???

    its rather beack and white and i have every bit of sympathy for Sir Frank!

    Ps, for those who are bashing Williams for leaving FOTA and signing the Concord: well, Williams ONLY exists as an F1 team! they have NO other purpose (no billionaire backing or car manufacturer) so they simply could NOT risk not signing the agreement!

    1. Perhaps they missed a more constructive solution here – they could have collectively agreed to let everyone test for one day.

      1. That’s far too sensible a solution though; there’s no drama or discord involved! ;)

  15. I’m a fan of Red Bull and I am actually a bit dissapointed that they said no to letting Schumi test the car. It is not like he is going to threaten them on the track. He will only do as good as Massa but i don’t think he will out perform anything Massa did this season.
    He should have been allowed to test the car. As for Williams, they are just being grudgefull.

    1. It is not like he is going to threaten them on the track.

      I wouldn’t be so sure – Raikkonen was ahead of the Red Bulls last time out.

      1. Kimi would never admit but I think he was pushing extra hard for Massa. Plus, Vettel and Webber had a bad day on race day.
        It won’t happen again.

    2. i’d say red bull’s stance would simply be due to the parallels with the Algusuari situation rather than fear of competition. but of course i could be very wrong

    3. Ferrari could take points off Red Bull and deny them a championship or two. No small matter there.

      1. But then Red bull themselves stated that they need other teams to improve and finish ahead of Brawn too.

  16. “a lack of spirit of fair play” – a rather blinkered view when you consider their ‘fair play veto’ and their ‘fair play extra $$$’.
    Fair play is when ALL teams follow the same rules and conditions.

  17. Take any other sport, it has rules and people follow them. What is it with F1 that at the drop of a hat, rules must be tinkered with on the fly?

    Imagine a game of soccer where the rules change every year, but get bent when Man U bring on a sub. All teams get together to vote on whether to allow goals or to enforce the offside rule because the ‘sub’ is a past great. Nobody could follow it.

    Formula 1 is becoming a joke.

  18. The retrospective is priceless. The tires issue at Imola, was, in my view, the most egregious example of a team litigating their way to a championship. There was a clear case that Williams and Montoya were about to overhaul Ferrari in performance and this redesign scuppered the championships for Williams. It completely messed up the front-end aero as well as the set up theory of the Michelin runners.

    And it took a lot of gall back then to talk about the tires. At that time Ferrari were receiving bespoke tires from Bridgestone, while the other Bridgstone runners got whatever came off the truck. And Michelin was generally not as competitive.

    1. That tyre issue back in imola was caused by the FIA. Ferrari asked for a clarification, and the FIA confirmed the rule inturn telling the Michelin tyre used on the williams to be redisgned. As for Ferrari and Bridgestone the other teams were jordon and minardi. Ferrari were the only ones testing and designing. Sour grapes from williams. The other thing to note here is Ferrari were not only successful because of the tyres. They had the best driver in the world and the best car. Ruben was never close to schumi. On the od weekend he was even or quicker like austria which was unexcusable. Otherwise schumi was the best driver on the grid by a mile.

  19. I would now be glad to see the back of Ferrari and the tifosi marketing dollar. Their unnatural leverage over F1 is no longer any good for the sport or the spectacle. Montezemolo is is like an Italian soccer player … a pussy on the deck claiming a foul. Bring on hard budget caps and Ferrari’s demise.

  20. Oh shut up Ferrari. Thank you for reminding me why I hate you.

    You ask for everyone’s approval, fair play. It’s then perfectly within their rights to disagree with you. When they disagree with you, suck it up, and just hope that your seven times World Champion at driving an F1 car will somehow be able to drive an F1 car in three weeks (no… really?!)

    If you cared so much as to whether anyone would block you from testing, then why didn’t you just not bother asking, and go ahead and do it anyway? You are ‘above the sport’, remember?

    Pfft…

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      4th August 2009, 23:28

      Ha Ha ha ha!!!
      well done.

    2. Oh shut up Ferrari. Thank you for reminding me why I hate you.

      LOL

  21. Ferrari have made themselves stupid just when they were gaining some wider respect again.

    Stupid Ferrari.

    1. I know! Im a Ferrai fan, and Im so ashamed of this outburst.

      1. yeah it was kind of a bit childish, I think Montemezelo is getting a bit old and .. hang on that reminds me of someone…. Mosley. But after What Mosley has said and done in world of F1 anything anyone says from now on doesn’t seem so shameful…

  22. Well, if no team can’t test in-season then NO TEAM (Ferrari included) can’t test in-season. Besides, with their past clashes I would be suprised Williams is willing to give Schumacher anything willingly.

    As of FOTA vs. Williams – Williams explained why they must sign with FIA but nevertheless signed the FOTA letter at Monaco GP. And for their reward they got thrown out of the association by mr. De Montezemolo. If Williams went with FOTA Bernie would sue the wheelchair under sir Frank for not honouring the signed agreement. Other manufacturers didn’t have as much to lose as Williams did.
    And I’m glad Williams didn’t dignify this latest outburst with reply, they shouldn’t go down to their level…

  23. Ferrari have made themselves stupid just when they were gaining some wider respect again.

    Stupid Ferrari.

    1. Stupid me too putting in the same comment twice! : )

      sorry

  24. Well, I think Ferrari are trying hard to be the good boy in the paddock ever since Todt left and Domenicali took over. They are more open, more friendly, trying to work with everyone. Its the same wid McLaren. They are trying to forget the past bitterness between all of them. But good old Frank obviously hasnt forgotten the past.

    But honestly, what did Ferrari expect?!… It was far fetched that a test will be allowed!

    1. Honestly I always percieved it as the opposite.

      I remember Monaco 2008, when Raikkonen took out of the race Timo Glock, racing 4th.

      Asked “Are you sorry for taking such a good result away from Timo” everybody, from Colajanni to Baldisseri, answered (never looking into the camera nor the reporter in the eyes): “No we don’t. It’s our race that it’s over, that’s all that matters”.

      And it has been the same in every 2008 race while fighting for championship.

      Lewis Hamilton was never publically referred as “Lewis”. He was always referred to as “The Kid”, in a mean, disrespectful way and tone.

      Did Hamilton win? I remember Baldisseri puffing at the camera saying “The kid has been lucky”.

      Did the team ruined Kimi’s or Felipe’s race due to some crass mistake? Here’s Colajanni humming on camera trying to put together some excuse.

      Bullish, arrogant and disrespectful.

      That’s how it seems to me, and I don’t call this “trying hard to be the good boy”.

      And I don’t get the “You won nothing, you have to support us” thing too.

      They asked an exception to the rules, they had their answers. Williams, Red Bull & STR had all the rights to say no.

      These kind of “with us or against us” arguments lead to nowhere.

      1. Also, I’d like to point out that Ferrari gets $80 million more for only being “Ferrari”.

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/12/20/ecclestones-response-to-montezemolo-is-an-attempt-to-break-fotas-unity/

        I don’t think that ANY team would conceed anything to the maranello squad so easily, since that “thing” has gone public.

      2. I remember Monaco 2008, when Raikkonen took out of the race Timo Glock, racing 4th.

        I don’t remember Timo Glock running 4th?

        1. Sorry, my bad. It was Adrian Sutil.

  25. I honestly can’t decide if this is poor sportsmanship or fair enough as Ferrari DO have reserve drivers with experience of the car and Torro Rosso supposedly had their request denied.

  26. They go on to say…
    ‘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.’
    I thought they said previously that they had no knowledge of the Alguersuari request. And this seems very hypocritical about the precise regulations from a team that fought McLaren so hard over spygate. And were they also a team that complained about the Doudle diffuser initialy in Australia?
    I can understand them being dissapointed and a bit annoyed, but to write it on their website is so pathetic I’ve lost a little more of the already little respect i’ve had. Regardless of whether Williams did right or wrong, this is stupid.

    1. Florida Mike
      5th August 2009, 1:41

      I thought it was Norbert who said that STR had not made an official request for an Alguasauri test. Either way, it’s a great point; did Ferrari approve a request that wasn’t made? Or maybe the request was made to the engine supplier!

  27. Basically, in my view, williams are on par with the ferrari at present and developing at a similar rate. If testing was allowed again, williams would struggle as the other teams with larger budgets find valuable time that williams cannot afford. SO they oppose testing cos they would fall backwards and the others would jump ahead.

  28. People keep saying that Ferrari have two reserves in Marc Gene and Luca Badoer who are familiar with the car. Are they really though?

    I don’t think either of them actually tested the F60. They did some shakedowns and straight line tests, but that’s hardly a real test.

    The Dutch site F1Today.nl was following the tests really closely this winter and they sum up the test kilometers as follows:
    http://www.f1today.nl/nieuws/2009/03/26/bmw-sauber-test-meeste-kilometers-in-de-winter/

    1. Well then they should have tested them more. They knew the rules. Other teams tested their reserve drivers pre-season.

      1. I’m simply stating the fact.

        1. And pointing out Ferrari’s incompetence. Thanks!

          1. It’s incompetence not to assume that one of your drivers will be injured during the season?

            It’s incompetence to let the main drivers use what little testing they get?

          2. You have to weigh up the possibilities, yes.

  29. I’ve never trusted Ferrari leading FOTA – it seems to be their way of continuing to get what they want under the guise that all the teams are in agreement. Whitmarsh has stated that he doesn’t think KERS should disappear, Theissen has shown that he is more than a little despairing of F1, I’m sure there are others who feel more than a little discomfort with Montezemolo “leading” FOTA. Good on Williams for standing up to Ferrari, disappointed with Haug’s response. Disappointed with F1. I was initially enthusiastic about Schumacher racing even tho’ I can’t stand him, ‘cos I wanted to see Lewis race him but now, I just can’t help but wait with dread as to what forms of cheating will occur. boo hoo!

    1. If Schumi wins over Hamilton, brits will say Schumi/Ferrari cheated. – can’t you guys accept losing. grow old!

  30. Williams is like an irritating flea on the prancing horse’s rear. How can one team be so disagreable and annoying?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      4th August 2009, 23:36

      Which one are you talking about being “disagreeable and annoying”, Ferrari or Williams?
      Ferrari have been wrong-footed by the rules and are starting to sound ridiculous with this petulant outburst. They are normally very good at emphasising the PR angle in their communications, but this one is straight temper tantrum. Wonder if it came from Luca?

      1. lol if you think that is ridiculous, maybe you should cast your memory back to what the British Mosley has been saying and doing and acting like total 2 year old child this past year and a half.

        The Ferrari haters will always take any small thing and twist it and blow it up by a factor of 10^99, and at the same time they will dig out every single historical thing that happen at once. Whatever comments Ferrari have made to Williams is perfectly legit. If you want to play history games of what happen in the past, then lets go all the way back to when F1 first started, and lets then analyze Ferrari properly.

        I myself support Webber and Vettel so dont think im some kind of a crazy Ferrari fan.

        Bottom line is Ferrari will continue to be in F1, race and im sure win again. Haters will keep being miserable and will probably die from depression. Even years after this time Ferrari will continue to race. Haters will continue thinking forever that Ferrari win because of cheating, riiiight, that is why they are the most famous car production company in the world?.. because they cheat yea? f#$%^ loads of nonsense bull.

        Rules are rules, if any f team including Ferrari cross the rules blatantly, they will pay I guarantee you that. All the bad doing Ferrari did – or Schu did in the past, they paid severely.

        So what is there to talk about and criticize? bloody someone says a few small words and everyone hates Ferrari again. Again I am reminding all of you to remember what Mosley has done and said.

        1. And we hate Mosley equally as much.

          But Ferrari had no right to bitch and moan in such an immature, school-boyish manner at Williams wishing to uphold the rules of the sport that have been put in place.

          Well, ok, they had a right, but they’ve made themselves look mighty stupid in exercising it.

        2. HounslowBusGarage
          7th August 2009, 21:00

          Maksutov, while I may agreee with some of what you say, I object most strongly to your use of the word ‘British’ in front of Mosely. This is not a nationalistic row and no-one here is makeing nationalist points.
          Your perjorative use of the word ‘British’ demeans and debases you.

  31. Here’s a video clip the handbagging in question. Flav in the pink frock:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMqSmiC_xHg

    1. too funny

  32. i’ll be supporting rosberg for the win in valencia. wouldn’t that be a delicious turn of events?

    1. Oh yes, yes it would.

      1. yes, until you wake up :)

  33. To begin with, why is it only aimed at Williams when Red Bull also opposed Schumacher testing the F60?

    From what I understood from another website, this response was posted before Red Bull came out with their disapproval.

    I wonder who writes these things though. Also I wonder if and why that person is still working there. First the GP3 and now this. I guess it must feel nice for someone to vent their frustration, but this kind of arrogant and immature articles on their website hurts Ferrari’s corporate image.

  34. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    5th August 2009, 1:14

    Since Schumachers retirement, I’ve thought he’s looked like a real sad ‘hanger-on’ around the pit lane. He’s just never been able to let go. It’s no surprise to me he’s wangled a drive.

    1. So you’re saying he deliberately sabotaged Rubens’ car so that Felipe would have a potentially fatal injury so he could get a drive?

      Interesting theory. Complete b******s though.

      1. I think you’re kinda putting words in his mouth there.

        And by ‘kinda’, I mean ‘completely’.

      2. LOL!!
        What a theory! :)

  35. It’s an Italian team – what else can you expect?

  36. Has anybody pointed out that it is a bit disingenuous for Ferrari to state that they did not object to the Alguersuari test………..Torro Rosso use Ferrari customer engines!! Materschitz joining the Williams objection must be a case of “the customer is always right”. LOL :-)

  37. boooo hoooo! schumi’s fitness may not be up to par and will probably be hard to improve much in 2-3 weeks, but he is a HIGHLY capable driver. sure, test the 2007 car and get used to the speed again. hop into the F60 for practice in 2 weeks and get on with it!

  38. “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.”

    Italians at their best.

    I think Ferrari is the opposite of “fair play”.

    I’m Italian, and I’ve been a huge ferrari fan, but it’s a shame how they’ve become more and more arrogant from race to race since the departure of Schumacher.

    Never admitting mistakes (pick one of the unsafe releases of 2008), always blaming and criticizing.

    Once again, Italians at their best.

    And that’s childish, too. A child complaining when he realizes he can’t do everything he pleases.

    That makes me sad. What a fall of image.

  39. hahahaha, how funny. Stirring up the pot

  40. Best article title ever

  41. I think Ferrari are upset because Williams had left FOTA .

    1. Williams was kicked out and when they asked to be let back in they were told to stay out.

  42. Prisoner Monkeys
    5th August 2009, 3:35

    I can understand Red Bull/Toro Rosso’s stance: our driver didn’t get a test, so yours shouldn’t get one, either.

    I can’t understand Williams’, though. Sticking to the letter of the law is a pretty easy excuse; I suspect they may have done it in an effort to limit Schumacher’s experience with the F60 and thus make him (potentially) less-competitive in Valencia.

  43. Toby Bushby
    5th August 2009, 4:21

    KEITH!!!! I can’t believe you didn’t mention Adelaide 1994!!!! Schumacher took out Hill for the WDC, and won!

    This is not about Ferrari or FOTA, Constructor’s Championships or budget caps. This is straight-out revenge against Michael Schumacher himself for the theft of one Championship, and the attempted theft of another. A dish served cold, thoroughly deserved, and (I’m sure) most pleasing to set at the table.

  44. This season is hilarious.

  45. This season has turned into a joke.

  46. As a Ferrari Fan, I must say these comments from Ferrari are not really necessary.

    A driver of MSC’s calibre is not going to be severely hampered by a day’s test. I suspect that Ferrari are just get back to Williams for breaking away from FOTA. Even then, these comments are unnecessary. But they do spice up this mid-season break-up :)

    BTW, Keith

    The FIA confiscated Schumacher’s points for the season – a penalty widely regarded as far too lenient

    Then what according to you would have been a fair penalty? Losing 90+ world championship and immense ridicule from the press isn’t a fair enough penalty? What do you want, a life ban perhaps?

    1. I agree. I’m not english and I had to search ‘lenient’ in the dictionary, but once I knew what it meant I smiled. Not to mention that I fail to see Schumacher’s fault at the incident. Would it have been two other racers (like DC “I don’t use mirrors”) and would get probably no penalty.

    2. Mind you this was the second time that Schumacher deliberately crashed into an opponent in the final championship deciding race in F1.

      A race ban would have been in order yes. taking someones points after the season is already finished is utterly useless.

      1. the british just keep repeating that it was deliberately because the first crash test dummy was an englishman. and since the race in 94 schumacher is somehow the damian of formula 1.

        and just the british reduce MSC’s career to the incidents because they believe in some holy sportsmanship and somehow refuse to see any flaws in hamiltons long and shining career. absurd.

      2. the problem here is “deliberately”. Yes, I blame him for the Hill incident, that was his blatant fault, but I fail to see the difference between a racing incident and “deliberately crashing” in the accident with Villeneuve.

        Take the race and the cars out of context, and the opinions will be 50-50. And change the colours of the outfits, and it’ll be Villeneuve’s fault.

        Deliberately is something very hard to judge because only one person knows if it’s been deliberate or not, and this makes it judging depending on your colours.

        Take in example Spa 98 incident with David Coulthard. For me that was deliberate, and he didn’t get a race ban nor points deducted. And yes, maybe it was not as spectacular as 1997 because it wasn’t the last race, but 10 points are 10 points, no matter if it’s race #1 or last race, and without that accident MS would probably have won the championship.

        IIRC Capirossi in 1998 250cc championship was a few points in front of Harada. He said that in the case Harada was in front of him at the final lap, he’d ram him in order to win the championship. And he did. And he won the championship. That’s deliberate for me!

      3. The era in which Michael Schumacher raced, ‘deliberately crashing’ was not considered abnormal. He had plenty of precedents set by his idols.
        1. Senna – Prost in 89
        2. Senna – Prost in 90
        3. He himself in 94

        The 1997 Jerez incident was the first ‘deliberate crash’ that got punished. Clearly, the governing body wanted to set an example by punishing the driver-in-question to the hardest possible extent.

        And it worked!!! We have had no championship deciding collisions since then. If the drivers (MSC included) did not think that the penalty was severe enough, they would have kept on crashing into each other.

        1. It must be remembered that out of those four examples Jerez 1997 was the first time the ‘deliberate crash’ tactic didn’t work, Villeneuve was able to finish the Grand Prix and get enough points to overtake Schumacher in the Championship.

          It is a lot easier to disqualify the runner up in the Championship than the World Champion himself. If Schumacher had been successful in taking Villeneuve out in the final race he would have topped the points table and I would have been surprised if the FIA had decided to do anything about.

          1. It must also be said that Villeneuve almost didn’t finish the race as the deliberate hit from Schumacher damaged his suspension – by the end of the race he got lapped by both McLarens because of the problems with the car. And Schumacher himself told he thinks he is lucky he didn’t get a harsher punishment but ”only” a removal of points from the allready lost season.

  47. Capital punishment! Lol

  48. i still don’t know why Ferrari get their panties in a twist every time someone doesn’t like their suggestions.

    it seems childish to me, or is it an Italian thing? any Italians can confirm?

  49. I think williams fears Schumacher can end with their excellent results… on Friday testing.

  50. Of course, if Schumacher gets blown away by Raikkonen in Valancia then he can always fall back on the handy excuse that he wasn’t allowed a test in the F60…

    1. haha so he should

  51. I am a Williams fan so my views on this are probably biased.

    The comments by Ferrari were uncalled for and seem like a spoilt child having a tantrum after not getting their way, just like when they criticized the potential new F1 teams. I agreed with the essence of their comments about the new teams, that they don’t have the pedigree of the current teams and wouldn’t be as big a draw, but they could have defiantly put it better.

    Williams wanted everyone to follow the rules regarding testing, and the poll on this website shows they are not alone.

    And for Ferrari to accuse Williams of a lack of fair play is a bit rich considering their history such as having a technical veto and getting more money just for being Ferrari.

    Did Ferrari really expect to be allowed to have Schumacher test the F60, F1 is not nicknamed the Piranha Club for nothing. It would have given them a competitive advantage and at the moment they are racing with the likes of Williams and Red Bull, I’m just surprised more teams didn’t object. Alguersuari a total F1 rookie didn’t perform to badly with no testing so I am sure Schumacher the most successful driver in F1 history will be fine.

    As I understand it Williams broke with FOTA and signed up to F1 first because they felt that legally they had no other option, that they already had a contract with the FIA. Here is a quote from Sam Michael on the issue after the British Grand Prix

    That’s not really happened to Williams because the option wasn’t there for us. There wasn’t really a choice to make, we were contracted and that was it. It’s not like we sat there and said, ‘ooh shall we go with this group or that group’. It was absolutely clear, not just by regulation, but contractual law that we had to do what we did.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/76486

    1. Yet the other teams with similar contracts DID decide to stand up against FIA.

      Complete non-argument. Just as lame as the “racing is all we do” argument. Like for instance the Red Bull team can simply go back to making drinks. Of course, everyone knows Horner mixes a great cocktail so why not.

      1. Yet the other teams with similar contracts DID decide to stand up against FIA.

        Force India didn’t stand up to the FIA, they submitted an unconditional entry and were also suspended from FOTA. The stated reason being that the team was advised that a conditional entry would invalidate their banking covenants and put them in a dodgy place financially.

        1. So you point out one additional lame team that was an exception, but fail to notice the 8 teams that DID stand up against FIA?

          What’s your point anyway?

          1. Toby Bushby
            6th August 2009, 1:18

            The point may well be that some people honour contracts and some don’t. Some play by the rules, and some don’t. Some increase engine performance on “reliability” grounds, some don’t.

            Why would anyone trust Ferrari not to abuse a day of testing? It’s what they do.

      2. The way I understood Williams break from FOTA is that their contract(s) with sponsors required them to participate in F1 races, not just go race somewhere.

        In the case of most of the other teams I doubt that have such a situation. If Toyota has a contract with Toyota, it’s almost humorous, but most likely easily changed to suit Toyota’s objectives. Get the picture?

        Turning to the assertion that other teams have similar contracts….

        Have you read them all? These are undoubtedly complex contracts. Complex to the point that similarities exist only on the macro level.

        Don’t get me wrong though. I was glad to see FOTA take down Mosley.

  52. “Haters will continue thinking forever that Ferrari win because of cheating, riiiight, that is why they are the most famous car production company in the world.”

    You’re suggesting that the sport does not have a collective memory of past Ferrari actions, and we should ignore all those allegations, true or not? Where there’s smoke there’s fire. If Ferrari had not issued this kind of statement none of us would be discussing this. They brought it on themselves.

    Ferrari sounds like a baby tossing it’s rattle from the pram, especially after their “New” leadership image makeover with FOTA.

    1. People say that “Ferrari” posted this reaction, but in fact the “official” reaction that came a bit before the insulting one on the website was much more subdued.

      I would guess that this is just some frustrated kid working at the Ferrari.com web site who posts this nonsense.

      1. Toby Bushby
        6th August 2009, 1:20

        That’s a joke, right? Crikey mate, do you dye your skin red to match your eye?

    2. yeah well I disagree with comment Ferrari made, but I think honestly people are making too much out of this…

  53. GooddayBruce
    5th August 2009, 13:18

    Thanks for digging up that old transcript from 2003 Keith. Ross Brawn telling off that journalist in the audience is one of my all time favourite bits of (off-track) F1 action.

    Brawn was right to say that paranoia was rife in F1 at that time. I remember a press interview with Head from the same time saying something along the lines of: “We were expecting it, Ferrari fight for the championship on the track and off it.”

    After recent events, of course we now know for certain that it was a stitch up between Todt’s Ferrari and Mosley’s FIA. How it is even a faint possibility that Todt could be ruling the sport next year? The thought makes me feel physically ill.

  54. Never mind their track record with Williams… What abouy their track record with all the other teams they ever raced with?

    They must always be on top and they make sure they did with backstage plots with FIA and so one. FERRARI is the more CORRUPTED F1 team EVER! An that Mr. Luca is just a tentacle of a much wider organization that only the Ferrari F1 Team… The man moves around and pushed other around, it’s not a gut to face unarmed…

  55. After 70 laps in a 2007 Ferrari, Shuey said his neck is still sore after his motorbike accident. Gene or Badoer might get their chance after all. If Schuey is not able to race in Valencia after the extra tickets they sold because of his return, there will be alot of angry fans demanding their money back. Without Alonso it was already struggling to sell tickets. I would like to see him race like anybody else but with safety on everyone’s mind, he should delay his comeback until he’s ready. Link

  56. I am a ferrari fan, but they are making a big deal out of this, If Jaime Alguesari could race an error free grand prix weekend with out ever turning a wheel in an F1 car, how can you ferrari tell me that shumacher who had 15 years of F1 driving, 91 victories , 7 world champions raced with slicks, traction control, ABS, Active suspension, V10, no driving aids, grooved tires, back to reintroduction of driving aids, refuelling etc etc, and is practicing in a two year old world championship car, can not adapt to a F1 car again. Sure Red Bull would have wanted to have jaime as adpated as possible but it was there decision to start a rookie, they could have stayed with a more secure option. So is ferraris decision to start schumacher instead of one of their test drivers.

    Also ferrari should not talk about williams like that, they should show a little respect, is not like its toro roso or force india, its the team that was winning world championships when ferrari had a 21 year old championship drought.

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