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Ferrari Ask FIA For Permission To Allow Schumacher To Test F60

Ferrari Ask FIA For Permission To Allow Schumacher To Test F60

In the build up to the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, much of the talk in the paddock and on the Internet was the debut of the sport’s youngest ever competitor. But it wasn’t so much that Jaime Alguersuari is very young, it was more to do with the fact that prior to the Friday practice session, Alguersuari had only driven a Formula One car in a straight line. Obviously, his fellow competitors were somewhat nervous about the fundamental lack of testing undertaken by the driver.

The lack of experience in a Formula One car wasn’t the fault of Jaime himself though. It was the fact that Scuderia Toro Rosso wanted the Spaniard in the car, and the fact that in-season testing has been banned for this year. Many current drivers voiced their concern over this, and Felipe Massa called the FIA to task, suggesting that they should allow rookies to test a car should they be called upon to substitute another driver. Likewise, McLaren’s experienced test driver and former racer Pedro De La Rosa believes that it would be very demanding even for himself to suddenly step up to the plate and race should the need arise.

And so we now come to the present day, where one of the sport’s most experienced drivers has been called upon to substitute the recovering Felipe Massa. Michael Schumacher has nigh-on sixteen years experience of racing a wide variety of Formula One cars, but the recent rule changes have made the 2009 cars very different to the last he raced in 2006, and the last he tested in 2008.

Ferrari have written to the FIA and their fellow competitors and asked for permission to allow Schumacher to test for one day in a F60. While this makes sense and is by-and-large completely understandable, it does put both the FIA and the other teams in a bit of a bind.

If the FIA agree, they have set a precedent. On top of that, Michael Schumacher is no Jaime Alguersuari. Schumacher is experienced, and wil undoubtedly give feedback on the car straight away. This takes it from a simple familiarisation exercise to a proper test. On top of that, will Ferrari’s rivals want this? The other drivers will not have the same fear of Schumacher driving as they did Alguersuari (who by the way, actually drove quite well in his debut). There is no fear of Schumacher throwing his car into another due to inexperience. In fact, the other 19 drivers are probably more fearful of the seven-time champion doing just that on purpose!

It will be interesting to see how the other nine squad’s respond to this. I would imagine the FIA might say something along the lines of it being acceptable as long as there is unanimous agreement among the other teams, but getting that agreement may prove harder than they think.

Do you think Schumacher should be given a day’s testing in a 2009 F60, or do you think he should just get on with it, much like how Jaime Alguersuari did?

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Oliver White

29 comments

  • Curious one this, I`ll be amazed if the other teams agree, perhaps if He`s limited to say 30 miles then they might. If it wasn`t for the fact that Valencia is an unforgiving street circuit then no He shouldn`t but the last thing we wanna see if Micheal stood over the car, minus all it`s wheels thinking it`s a tricky beast without the traction control. And if the FIA are getting soft in there old age perhaps we will see Alonso thrown into the mix.

  • I don’t think the FIA can stop Michael driving for F1 Clienti because it’s not signed the Sporting Regulations, but I see no good reason why Michael should be allowed a privilege that Jaime Alguarsuari was denied. The regulations are badly-written, but it’s too late in the season for an equitable rewrite to be possible.

  • I see no good reason why Michael should be allowed a privilege that Jaime Alguarsuari was denied.

    I totally agree. I’m not sure Alguersuari was denied a test because I’m not sure if it was asked. But even if it wasn’t asked, it was probably because STR felt it wasn’t worth asking. And of course, if it was asked and denied, then Schumacher needs to just get on with it, as Jaime did last weekend.

  • I’m not sure Alguersuari was denied a test because I’m not sure if it was asked

    You know what they say ” The squeky wheel gets the oil”

  • I have another question pertaining to Schumacher ‘testing’. He has been on the simulator apparently, or planning to at least. A good idea. But what happens when the factory shuts down for two weeks and according to the rules, only basic administration staff are allowed to be present? Is the simulator going to be suddenly relocated to Schumacher Towers*, Geneva, Switzerland?

    *Schumacher’s house, by the way. And I don’t think it is actually called Schumacher Towers.

    Although having said that…

  • Who says He Hasn`t had Deep Thought wired to He`s basement simulater since 07.

    Hehehe 😀

    I’ve actually just remembered, when Schumacher was driving he had an apartment within the Maranello compound, I think. If he still has it, he could be allowed to use the facilities as he could be considered a resident as well as an employee, and it could be part of the lease agreement that he can use what is available to him privately (ie. gym, canteen, simulator, swimming pool…).

  • Perhaps this will set a president that a new pilot( however experienced ) gets 20 minutes to make sure they can get out of the pit lane safely.

  • Sorry Ollie, took me a few times reading it to spot what you meant, how the hell did that fill itself in!, Glad to see someones on the ball.:-)

  • Sorry Ollie, took me a few times reading it to spot what you meant, how the hell did that fill itself in!, Glad to see someones on the ball.:-)

    No apology needed – I have no idea how it happened either. All sorted now though.

    Perhaps this will set a president that a new pilot( however experienced ) gets 20 minutes to make sure they can get out of the pit lane safely.

    That has to be at least mildly embarrassing for someone like Schumacher. 🙂

  • Wow freaky, your last blog had millions of http and $£”£$, off to do a deep clean of me comp, sorry if your system is pear shaped.

  • Wow freaky, your last blog had millions of http and $£”£$, off to do a deep clean of me comp, sorry if your system is pear shaped.

    It was code for a link, which I’ve now cleaned up. I missed one character (<) and it showed the code rather than just the link. And with that mistake, I think it is time for bed myself. Thanks for the conversations this evening Gusto, Dank and all others. Good to know the site still attracts some great fans of the sport. Who apparently have little better to do than chat F1 on a Friday night. More power to us, I say! Cheers! 🙂 Oh also, I have a couple of weeks off work soon, and I will be resurrecting the redesign. As I left it a few months back, it had quicktags, which are buttons to make comment formatting a breeze, and I was playing around with AJAX, which means you won't have to manually refresh the page to see new comments; they'll just appear. But, I am not disclosing when my holiday is, or when I will have this redesign complete. Just that I haven't forgotten about it. 🙂

  • Thanks for the heads up, when it past midnight to the 1st Aug computer went nuts, spent 10 hours scanning but what ever it was didn`t allow me to hunt for it, have just completed a new install and binned 26Gb of stuff, lots of it F1 🙁

  • I’m not sure Alguersuari was denied a test because I’m not sure if it was asked. But even if it wasn’t asked, it was probably because STR felt it wasn’t worth asking {Ollie White – 17 comments ago}

    The reason STR wouldn’t have asked is for the same reason as it doesn’t ask to be allowed two engines or to be given a lap of head start – because it is patently against the regulations. If Ferrari don’t want to play within the rules, it shouldn’t be playing.

  • I have another question pertaining to Schumacher ‘testing’. He has been on the simulator apparently, or planning to at least. A good idea. But what happens when the factory shuts down for two weeks {Oliver White – 14 comments ago}

    Either that or it gets moved to F1 Clienti’s HQ/the Ferrari road car division/[insert convenient location here].

  • The regulations do need changing, would the other teams have seriously objected to Jaime getting a day’s worth of testing to acclimatise?

    Whether schuey needs it is entirely debateable, but I expect that Ferrari have taken the “the worst they can do is say no…” approach. How long would it take their lawyers to write a letter? Surely worth a punt even if there’s only a 5% chance of it working.

  • Actually… come to think of it, weren’t we all suspiciously eyeing a “young driver testing” exception to the testing ban at the start of the season? Wasn’t that loophole have covered Jaime? *hunts*

  • Turn`s out it`s Williams that blocked the acclimatisation(does this word exist,if not it will Imbigem the english lexicon), surprise surprise……the lawyers are still on He`s case…allegedly…..

  • If Ferrari don’t want to play within the rules, it shouldn’t be playing.

    Good line, Alianora. 🙂

    Whether schuey needs it is entirely debateable, but I expect that Ferrari have taken the “the worst they can do is say no…” approach.

    I suppose this makes sense, but then, Ferrari signed up for the in-season testing ban, so they should stick by. Oh, but wait. When it actually could affect them, yeah, I see their point now. 😉

    Turn`s out it`s Williams that blocked the acclimatisation

    I will write a post tomorrow about this and the Red Bull squads as well. Needless to say, I find it interesting that Haug would say yes (and therefore I presume McLaren as well), but some others are saying no. And it isn’t a FOTA thing either, because Mateschitz’s squads are still in.

    does this word [acclimatisation] exist

    Yep. Like when you go on holiday to somewhere really hot, you spend the first day acclimatising yourself to the weather. 🙂

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