FEBRUARY 15, 1999
Snow hits Ferrari testing
FERRARI stressed at the launch of the F399 that its priority was to have a strong and reliable package at the start of the season. So far things have not gone well. A couple of laps into the first proper test of the car the rear wing fell off. That problem had to be fixed before serious testing could begin again last Monday. That day Michael Schumacher completed 57Êlaps of the Fiorano test track. The following day he did another 50 although most of the running was done in the wet. On Wednesday he did another 39 laps in the wet but then snow forced the test to be abandoned. While Schumacher worked on the F399, Luca Badoer and Eddie Irvine ran an old F300, although the pair completed only 50 laps between them. Hoping for better weather Ferrari decided to go to Barcelona where the team began testing on Saturday.
Since the launch of the F399 two weeks ago the team has completed only 600 miles of testing - which was matched by McLaren in the team's first three days of running with the new MP4/14.
It is interesting to note that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has criticized the FIA for not delaying the start of the season after the cancellation of the Argentine Grand Prix. "It makes little sense to me," Montezemolo was quoted as saying. "There will be 35 days with no races after the Australian Grand Prix, but the FIA refuses to make any change to the original calendar."