Ferrari has issued a stinging rebuke to the opposition to plans for Michael Schumacher to test one of its current Formula One cars ahead of his return to competition in Valencia later this month.
The Scuderia had requested a waiver from the gentleman's agreement restricting the amount of in-season testing in order help the German get up to speed ahead of his return and, more importantly, get a handle on the latest breed of F1 car following the winter's sweeping regulation changes. Schumacher has been able to test his fitness with a run at Mugello, albeit in a 2007-spec car fitted with GP2-style slicks, but had hoped to be able to spend a day getting to grips with the latest aerodynamic set-ups after the rulebook mandated new front and rear wings for 2009.
The request, however, was blocked by three teams - enough to prevent it from taking place - although Ferrari appears only to have chosen to attack one of the objectors, slating Williams' recent record in the sport.
"Guess who opposed the test with the F60?" it asked in a statement on its official website headed 'Indiscretion', "A team that hasn't won anything for years and yet didn't pass over the opportunity to demonstrate once more a lack of spirit of fair play."
Appearing to avoid direct criticism of Red Bull - which runs two teams in he top flight and, unlike Williams, remains a member of teams' organisation FOTA - the Scuderia also rubbished claims that it had opposed a similar request from Scuderia Toro Rosso to allow rookie Jaime Alguersuari track time ahead of his recent Budapest race debut.
"Just for the record, the Scuderia Ferrari had given its approval to let Alguersuari test, but it seems even in this instance someone decided to stick to the precise wording of the regulations," the statement continued.
Both Williams and Red Bull had pointed out that allowing seven-time world champion Schumacher to test would have set a dangerous precedent that could have had future implications for the strength of the new-found unity between F1's ten teams. The recent FIA-FOTA row was given added spice when the governing body revealed that Ferrari had had a veto on proposed rule changes over the years, but the teams organisation - which had suspended Williams and Force India for signing up to the 2010 F1 championship - avoided the in-fighting that many expected the claims to provoke and saw through their plans to cut costs without enforcing the threat of a breakaway series.