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. Bernard said on 4th August 2009, 13:56

    Friday/Saturaday practice should be ample running for him to get used to the car and the track.

  2. Oliver said on 4th August 2009, 14:51

    Ferrari claim they accepted to allow Heimi conduct a test b4 his debut race.
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77551

  3. Part of the issue, and why Williams is sticking his neck out here, is that Ferrari are leveraging a basic advantage when it comes to testing: their private test tracks.

    A major aim of the testing ban was to level the field vis a vis Ferrari, who used to carry out a variety of private tests apart from the test days held at Paul Ricard, Estoril, etc. This interest is amplified in this case: even if there were a temporary general exception to the test ban Williams can’t call its people back from the beach, fly his cars and equpment to Portugal and test for two days—not on his budget. All Ferrari has to do is unlock the garage and push the car onto the track.

    Now it seems Ferrari want to apply their advantage via a dubious claim of force majeur. This is not an unforeseeable and unavoidable circumstance, says Frank, because they have too very good test drivers on the bench, whose purposes includes letting the team replace a driver on short/no notice, without disrupting the rules.

    This is fair. Every team has the same choice when it comes to replacing a driver–use the reserve/test driver, or bring in someone knew who doesn’t know the car and may not be prepared without significant testing. Ferrari have made their choice and should not have it both ways.

  4. Austin said on 4th August 2009, 15:18

    The fact that Ferrari have asked for this test is embarrassing. What does that make Schumacher look to the motor racing world? He’s 7 times champion, had 249 F1 starts and 91 wins. He will be the most qualified driver on the grid and then some. Yes, he’s 40 years old and old enough to be their father, cliche’s aside he’s still a very fit person, more than I am anyway. He still was racing recently, the two wheeled kind not long ago until his accident. Did that have a bearing on why they asked for that test? If he can’t get used to the F60 during first practice then I would be very surprised. What would Schuey find difficult in the F60 than his last car the 248 F1? He might find it strange at first but I don’t think he couldn’t handle it. There’s 2000 rpm less, slick tires and less aero grip. The only thing he might have some trouble with is the KERS.

    There’s a point that everybody’s forgetting. Did Ferrari get Schuey back in the car to desperately challenge for 2nd position in the constructor’s championship. They are only 58.5 points behind Red Bull. They could catch them up if Vettel and Webber are not on their game. The real pressure is on for Red Bull as Schuey has the potential to take points of them and help Button win the championship. All Button needs to do now is score solid points and not neccessarily win all the races left to be champion. Although he’s still got to keep an eye out for the resurgent Hamilton and Alonso. Plus don’t forget Raikkonen will want to beat Schuey as it won’t look good for him if he does. Maybe the real reason Mateschitz objects to the test is because Red Bull’s best year in F1 is under threat, driver’s and constuctors championship.

    Ferrari have had a go at Frank Williams saying the team had demonstrated a lack of spirit of fair play and also and I quote “a team that hasn’t won anything for years.”
    I believe Ferrari should be careful in choosing what they make public although they did’t name him, they are showing a lack of respect and contempt for the rule’s. This is putting the sport into disrepute in my opinion. I’m interested in what everyone thinks about this “Indiscretion” they are calling. Link

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th August 2009, 21:43

      I don’t think it’s relevant to Schumacher reputation – in fact, I think it’s entirely typical of his approach. He has always maximised every opportunity to do the very best he can, often pushing the rules beyond the limits thought acceptable by many. On at least one occasion he tested on the Friday of the Monaco Grand Prix at Ferrari’s test track (Friday being the traditional ‘day off’ at Monaco with practice unconventionally held on the Thursday).

    • pSynrg said on 5th August 2009, 13:34

      And by that logic, why don’t they instead just give Mario Andretti a shout. He was 1978 WDC after all so he shouldn’t have a problem?

  5. Dave F. said on 4th August 2009, 15:19

    I think MS shouldn’t be allowed to test as that is the rules for testing, as agreed by all the FOTA teams!

    Weren’t the teams (Brawn with JB) even prevented from running a current car at Goodwood because ti would be classified as testing?

    However, I’m surprised they did give themselves the caveat to allow new/reserve driver testing, say for one or tow days. That would seem sensible from a safety point of view.

    Would there be a way of safely turning off some of the recording telemetry so that no data is recorded?

    • Dave F. said on 4th August 2009, 18:09

      That should, of course, read didn’t give themselves…

      I’m surprised there are some here who think he should be allowed to test purely on the basis that he’s a “legend”. Dead weird.

  6. I’m a big Schumacher fan, Been following him since i was 8, and i agree with whats being said here. He shouldn’t be allowed to test the F60, after all there is a testing ban. I could understand it if hes a rookie, but hes not, hes a 7 time world champion, If your going to let Michael test the F60, you might as well let Jaime test, or better still lift the testing ban completely.

  7. Leaf said on 4th August 2009, 15:56

    He doesn’t need the test. Ferrari merely asked a yes or no question. You can’t fault them for that. Answer: no, now we can move on.
    Besides, he will be a prime player at Valencia anyhow. Everyone else has only driven there once and I believe it is universally hated by all the drivers.
    Oh..and yes..the testing ban is stupid.

    • Dave F. said on 4th August 2009, 18:10

      If he didn’t need it, then why did they ask?!?

      • Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 20:10

        Now that’s a question I’d like to know the answer to as well.

      • Maksutov said on 4th August 2009, 20:17

        He would have liked to just at least become familiar with the F60.

        They asked and they got the answer and that is it. Schu would have only been able to do limited number of laps with it anyway – so it couldn’t have been much of a development stage in any way even if they tried.

        Seriously, I wouldn’t look too much into it.

  8. Obster said on 4th August 2009, 16:28

    Talk about an improvement to the show! Shu is back-with one hand tied behind his back in the form of limited testing.
    He is one of the most adaptable drivers ever, and a great “dial-twister”. It will be interesting to watch him come to terms with the car. I predict he will get more out of the adjustable front wing than anyone so far.
    Friday practice will be well worth tuning in.
    And qualifying at Spa? His in-car is just amazing to see.

  9. Maurice said on 4th August 2009, 18:09

    In life I think that it is true that what goes around comes around. Williams may well rue the day they took this decision. Seems as if STR wanted Jamie to have a test and Williams said no. Heard James Allen on Talk Sport yesterday. If STR did request a test and were blocked by Sir Frank then I think even less of the Mr Allen than I did before, having heard what he had to say. To say that his comments portrayed Ferrari and Schumacher as playing a fast one would be an understatement. Any takers for Nico to Ferrari?

  10. Now the Concorde is signed FOTA is dead and it’s back to the in-fighting and bickering.. hurrah! – F1 as bitchy and competitive as it always has and always should be..

    • Maksutov said on 4th August 2009, 20:36

      I dont think FOTA will ever be dead regardless. but yes bickering will always be present. But Frank Williams has been eating sour grapes ever since FOTA was formed and 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, and the recent Concord agreement is excellent for all teams. 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…

  11. Maksutov said on 4th August 2009, 20:11

    Here are some nice words Schumacher has given to his fans:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77552

    pretty cool of him to do.. I hope he can prepare well physically and im sure he will do ok with getting used to the car, albeit he will be in disadvantage over his rivals. Anyway at least it will be lots of fun whatever the outcome.

  12. IMO its not really fair. Ferrari knew when they chose him that he was rusty. Part of the reason I think they chose him was because they wanted to try get some free testing using his name. Dont get me wrong, I am a HUGE ferrari fan.

    They had some good drivers who were in form and never needed a warmup testing session, yet they still chose Micheal. I rate they want to try test their car as well.

  13. some folk said on 4th August 2009, 23:27

    In the end, its about going to back to the roots and having a exciting race. Its a sport turned into a political battle..

  14. Austin said on 4th August 2009, 23:44

    We’ve overlooked whether Schuey will be able to drive the car setup for Massa. There won’t be alot of time to make changes to his liking during practice before qualifying and the race. Maybe this is the reason they wanted the test. The expectations for him to win or be on the podium will be immense, but I think Schuey fans will be disppointed come the Valencia race. At the most he will score a couple of points or be taken out by one of the young guns. If he does win or does very well then he will be lauded to the highest. If he doesn’t then the detractor’s will be sharpening their knifes, but if that happens then Schuey will prove them wrong in the next race at Spa, one of his favourite circuits. Looking forward to that one.

  15. MacademiaNut said on 5th August 2009, 4:44

    Ferrari has the right to ask, the other teams have the right to say no – and I agree with the decision to block the test drive. Rules are rules – they know these situations will arise during the season, it would be really naive of anyone to think that they did not consider these situations. There have been a death in the middle of the season, drivers injured, etc. where they had to bring in the third driver.

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