JANUARY 18, 2010
Domenicali calls for more testing
Ferrari F1 boss Stefano Domenicali says that he believes that the Formula 1 teams must reconsider the amount of testing that is currently allowed. Testing was reduced to just 15 days this winter in order to reduce costs but Ferrari clearly believes that more time is necessary.
"We need to consider the money we are saving compared to the additional money that we are spending at races as a result," said Domenicali. "If you take money away from one place, you spend it in another. We need to think about safety, young drivers and allowing drivers to test if there is the need for a replacement in the middle of the season, as happened last year."
There is some support for this argument but the sporting authorities know that the less testing there is, the less reliable the cars will be and thus there is more potential for breakdowns, which have become very rare in F1 in recent years due to the attention to detail that teams have managed to achieve. Teams have invested heavily in recent years in simulation equipment such as windtunnels, test rigs, simulators and computational fluid dynamics to get around the reduction in testing allowed and it is probably true to say that they have spent more as a result. The reality of the situation is that they would have spent money on the simulation equipment even without the test ban, so it is fair to say that money has been saved.
The 2010 Ferrari will make its first appearance at Maranello on Thursday January 28 and will then be transported to Valencia where the first of the winter tests begin on February 1. Felipe Massa will be the first to try the car and will then hand it over to Alonso for the second and third days of the test. The two men were at the Wrooom skiing event in Madonna di Campiglio last week and said all the right things about working together. When it came to racing, however, the two were clearly very competitive. They took part in a race on ice in Fiats. Massa won after Alonso challenged for the victory at the final corner and knocked them both off. Massa knocked test driver Giancarlo Fisichella into a spin when he rejoined and crossed the line first.
Domenicali was also present at the event and said that Ferrari is very keen to get a race in America, would like to see KERS reintroduced into F1 in 2011, and that the team is now being funded without any money at all from its parent company. He says that the team will not stand in the way of Fisichella is he can find a race seat in F1 this year and admits that it is going to be a big challenge for Ferrari to reduce the number of staff at the agreed levels by the end of 2011. The team currently employs around 850 people and will need to reduce this considerably, although it has dispensations because it builds both chassis and engines.