Schumacher won’t get F60 test (Poll)

Schumacher drove the F2007 but won't get a go in an F60

Schumacher drove the F2007 but won't get a go in an F60

Michael Schumacher will not get to sample a 2009-spec Ferrari F60 after three teams blocked the move.

The opposition came from Williams and Red Bull/Toro Rosso. The latter objected because they claim to have made a similar request for Jaime Alguersuari which had been turned down. Williams, meanwhile, said Ferrari should have used one of their nominated reserve drivers.

Should Schumacher be allowed to test a 2009-spec F1 car?

  • Yes (34%)
  • No (66%)

Total Voters: 2,481

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Mercedes’ Norbert Haug, who was in favour of granting Schumacher a test, seemed to think Red Bull had not made such a request for Alguersuari:

Giving Jaime a test would have been justifiable, but having said that I don’t think there was an official request.

He added:

You will find some guys that will try to block it. But what goes around comes around. They will need some help at another stage. It’s not giving people presents, it’s being fair when it’s justifiable.

Williams would presumably respond that this is what reserve drivers are for and their nominated third driver, Nico H???lkenberg, drove the FW31 over the winter.

It’s not hard to see why Ferrari plumped for Schumacher when the opportunity arose, nor why they chanced their arm on getting him a test in the current car.

He has, of course, already logged 67 laps at Mugello in an F2007 using GP2 slicks. There were rumours the FIA were unhappy about this but there has been nothing forthcoming from the governing body.

You don’t need me to rattle off Schumacher’s daunting career stats to prove how gigantically experienced he is. If the F60 is as competitive at Valencia as it was at the Hungaroring then even if he hasn’t tested it yet he’s a candidate for the win.

And you have to wonder if that’s part of the reason why some of the other teams don’t want him testing.

Do you think he should be allowed a day’s driving in the F60?

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116 comments on Schumacher won’t get F60 test (Poll)

  1. Xibi said on 4th August 2009, 8:56

    It’s a rule that must have never been there in the first place.

    Having said that, I don’t agree giving Ferrari a concession. By doing so, they will gain, potentially, a huge unfair advantage. Is it possible that Gene and Badoer can’t drive a Formula One car well? If so, why are they their test drivers? Just one day can mean a lot to evaluate parts on a car in Formula 1, so if this concession is allowed, it must be allowed to any team. Which brings us to the conclusion that by doing so, the whole rule will be nullified.

  2. 000o0 said on 4th August 2009, 8:56

    TR chose to sack seb B (i cant spell his name) – and chose replace him with a driver with no experience. They deserve no testing day.

    But ferrari didnt choose to replace massa, they were forced to…. Yes – they could have replaced schumi with either test driver, but even then they would be quite rusty… straight line testing only recently. Given the accident was beyond control – I believe that ferrari at least deserve a chance to limit the damage by allowing their nominated driver some time to get used to the 2009 spec f1 car.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 4th August 2009, 9:15

      But isn’t that the point that Williams were trying to make?
      Ferrari *have* two nominated reserve or back-up drivers already. So use one of them. That’s what they are for.
      If they want to use a completely different driver – Schumacher – because Ferrari think he will be better, they should not be given the further advantage of a day’s testing.
      Supposing they tested and Shumi turned out to be rubbish. Would you let them draft in Montoya or Villeneuve next and give them another day’s testing as well?
      I think the testing ban is daft, but while the rule is in place, it must apply to all the teams equally.

      • 000o0 said on 4th August 2009, 9:58

        Yup – I agree ferrari have tried to pull a fast and shifty one by electing Schumi instead of poor Gene or Badoer.

        I guess the point i was trying to make was that the STR situ and thie Ferrari situ were different, and therfore should not be judged on the same grounds.

        I understand that rules are rules (as much as they can be in F1) but i think Ferrari have/had enough of a case to at least ask for special consideration.

        either way – bring on valencia!! Cannot wait to see Mclaren duke it out with Ferrari again!

        • HounslowBusGarage said on 4th August 2009, 10:58

          I take your point completely; the STR and the Ferrari situations are completely different. And that’s why Williams concentrated on the fact that Ferrari should be using one of their nominated test/reserve drivers.
          I can’t imagine how Badoer and Gene feel at the moment. Ferrari themselves look pretty stupid, retaining two drivers and then not having the confidence to use either of them . . .

          • Wesley said on 4th August 2009, 16:15

            Phone conversation:

            FIA:”Hello Ferrari…how ya doin’…gooood…look we are getting a lot of pressure around here of how to improve the show but we are having a hard time focusing because of all the rule changes and fighting off allegations of being dictators and nazis and stuff you know sooooo…it is time to start earning your extra insentive money,could you give everyone a distraction and take us out of the spotlight for awhile?”

            Ferrari:”Well lets see….we could get Schumacher to come out of retirement and stir the circus up a bit.”….”yeah that should do it,you pay our test drivers salary for doing nothing this season and we will talk to Schumi.”

    • Alastair said on 4th August 2009, 12:51

      I wonder if the application would have been blocked if the FIA had lifted the test ban for ALL the teams?

  3. PJA said on 4th August 2009, 9:08

    As the rules stand now he shouldn’t be allowed to test especially if Toro Rosso were turned down when they wanted Alguersuari to test, who was a complete F1 rookie.

    This will probably prompt a review of the ban on testing. If the ban on in season testing stays I think that teams should defiantly give their reserve driver a test in the current car during the pre-season testing, obviously it wouldn’t have made any difference for Alquersuari or Schumacher as they weren’t the reserve drivers before the start of the season.

    Another option would be to allow a one off test for a replacement driver but the team would not be allowed to bring use any new parts.

    Or they could partially lift the ban on testing and have one testing session for all the teams during the season but only allow them to use reserve drivers.

    As the ban on testing is all about reducing costs how about doing what they do in MotoGP, after some race weekends they stay on at the track and do testing on the Monday, as this would surely cut down on transport costs at least.

    • Adrian said on 4th August 2009, 10:09

      Firstly, I agree that as the rules stand Schumi shouldn’t be allowed a day in the F60. However I also agree that the rules should be ammended.

      In my view any driver who has not driven in an F1 event that season should be allowed a mileage limited test day to aclimatise to the car in the event that they are brought in to the race team mid-season.

      I also agree that FOTA and the FiA should look at expanding the testing carried out at race circuits. I like your idea of them staying on at the circuit and testing on the Monday. They could include admission with the cost of a race day ticket and a lot of the costs would be reduced as the teams would already have everything they needed there. Perhaps they could allow 4 of these days a year and restrict the running to the teams’ reserve/test drivers.

  4. John H said on 4th August 2009, 9:25

    It’s been said it would have been sportsmanlike to let him test… But I see it as rather unsporting to even ask to be honest.

    The rules are clearly (!) set out at the start of the season, so get a test driver to do some laps over the winter like the other teams to be prepared.

    Ferrari should have been prepared for an injured driver like most of the other teams. I disagree with the OOOoO!

  5. LewisC said on 4th August 2009, 9:53

    The whole point of the testing ban is to stop teams developing new parts etc during the season, not to put them at a disadvantage if they have to switch drivers. The only difference between Toro Rosso’s situation and Ferrari’s is that TR’s change was voluntary.

    I think they both should have had a test – just one day, and in a car inspected by scrutineers and confirmed to be identical to the one used in the previous race. I know it’s unlikely, but imagine the furore if Schumacher has an accident because the 2009 car – which is visibly twitchy – gets away from him!

  6. Dave Wykes said on 4th August 2009, 10:00

    If Ferraris want to give hima test then a Mugello Open Day is an option….maclaren testing in Mosco was OK.

    I agree with previous replies…”testing ban is stupid” and dangerous…as Fillipe.


  7. ajokay said on 4th August 2009, 10:18

    The guy doesn’t need to test. It’s not like he’s going top be rusty when he rocks up at Valencia on the Friday morning, he’s going to get in that Ferrari and be on the pace within 2 flying laps, stroll through to Q3 on Saturday, and be easily fighting for points and a podium on the Sunday.

    It’s correct that he shouldn’t be allowed to test this year’s car, but it’s also correct that he is Michael Schumacher, and therefore, doesn’t really need to.

  8. It’s clear this site doesn’t lack its share of Schumi bashers.

    Pretty stupid of FW: Ferrari should just test the F60 and stick two fingers to Red Bull and Williams.

  9. S Hughes said on 4th August 2009, 10:19

    Of course he shouldn’t be allowed to test. His coming back is a gimmick and you shouldn’t be able to bend the rules for one team/driver.

    The way this is being reported, you’d think that the majority of people think Schumacher should test, but from this poll, it is clear that most fans are fair and agree that he shouldn’t be allowed to test.

    Good result.

  10. I said No, not so much because it is against the rules but more because it would have given Ferrari lots of data from the probably the best F1 driver. This would have been totally unfair.

    I do think that Ferrari are pulling a fast one in using him. I personally think the rules should be altered so that the replacement must be the nominated test/standby driver, and if for some reason he is not available then a rookie must be recruited.

    I will not be surprised if on the Saturday of the race w/end if the Ferrari’s have gained another 0.2s or more on their opposition.

    And on the subject of rules, the total testing ban is un-wise. Probably someone proposed it, the accountants all shouted YES, nobody else had a chance to think through the consequences and it was passed.

  11. i think the argument of the red bull teams is correct. a 19 year old, “never drove a f1 car before”, absolutley zero experienced youngster managed to perform well. then why would a 40 year old, 7 times world champion with 16 seasons and 250 f1 races experience, driven many many different cars under different regulations and conditions. familiarizing with a new car would take him 2-3 rounds? :)

    so this is my thought about the rules, that refers to everyone, and from this aspect i don’t like the way, that ferrari tries to break the rules at the very first time.

    on the other hand, these rules are meant to decrease the costs, among others, and this way the teams don’t have to rent a race track (of course ferrari doesn’t have to anyway), don’t have to pack 6 trucks, drive hundreds of thousends of kilometers and back. but if the teams are at the location, they have done this anyway, so it could be a compromise, that schumacher has 2 hours of extra test time on thursday at valencia. dirty track, suboptimal conditions, but he gets what he want, and no extra costs. and this would apply to every newcomer during the season, grosjean, i guess, and retroactively for alguersuari as well, because he didn’t have such a chance either.

  12. Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 10:39

    Would STR even have the money to organise a one day test for Jaime?

    Why would they even bother? They put him in the car specifically to practise for a few races so he will be ready next season. Why blow a boatload of money to get him up to speed sooner?

    Coupled with Norbert Haug (and I would assume Ferrari) never hearing of such a request, I really don’t believe STR (Red Bull) when they say “they asked”. Not the teams at least and that’s where they should have asked first.

    • Charlie said on 4th August 2009, 12:41

      Given that I can’t afford to buy a Ferrari, does that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to drive one? Not great logic on that point.

      As far as I know Haug isn’t the F1 rulemaker, that goes to the highly regarded (*ahem*) FiA. Ferrari were being polite in asking the teams, they didn’t have to. Did STR ask FiA? Know one knows either way at this stage so why shouldn’t you take them at their word?

      • Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 15:59

        Well it’s a bit daft to complain that you are not “allowed” to buy a Ferrari if you simply don’t have the money to begin with.

        Think before you post!

  13. Mussolini's Pet Cat said on 4th August 2009, 10:39

    it’s a win win for Schumacher personally. If he fails to get to grips with the car, then he can blame the lack of testing. If he excels (which I think he will), then the German will look even more the hero.

  14. Matt said on 4th August 2009, 10:45

    Isn’t the issue here if he gets a weekend of driving for his own sake it will subsequently becomes “ferrari testing” and the car will reveal more and can be developed more.

    Yes it would be nice to let him test – but the obvious conclusion is theres no way to let him drive without it giving ferrari as a team an advantage.

  15. It is probably a case of, if STR asked, who did they ask.

    Didn’t one of the teams ask Charlie Whiting about double diffusers, and told they were not allowed. So they didn’t go down that route. Only to find out several teams did go down that route and then for them to subsequently be declared legal.

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