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Ferrari under fire for Fiorano 'test'

Rarely one to shy away from controversy, it seems Ferrari's 'media day' at Fiorano last week during which double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso drove the F10 around the Scuderia's test track for the first time has put a few noses out of joint amongst rival teams...
Ferrari is believed to have ruffled more than a few feathers inside the F1 paddock with its annual Fiorano media day last week, during which double world champion Fernando Alonso drove the newly-updated F10 around the Scuderia's Italian test track for the first time.

Although all in-season testing has been banned since the beginning of last year in favour of cost-cutting, promotional or demonstration events are exempt from the rule.

According to The Daily Telegraph, there are concerns amongst rival teams that Alonso's run at Fiorano exploited that very loophole in the regulations in order to gain extra knowledge of the new, Red Bull-style low exhaust system that the Prancing Horse is due to officially introduce in this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia – and by extension, therefore, gain an unfair competitive advantage just as it is endeavouring to get back on terms with title adversaries McLaren-Mercedes and Red Bull Racing.

'Fernando did a few laps of the track at the wheel of the F10 for promotional purposes, filming not only for partners of the Reds but also for some novel features which will soon enliven the new section on the Ferrari website, dedicated to F1,' read an official statement on the matter from Maranello.

'Even though he only completed very few kilometres – further limited by the demands of the film script – it was nevertheless Fernando's debut at the Fiorano circuit at the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car...you have to make the most of any opportunity in this era of the testing ban!'

Whether Ferrari's publicity stunt was indeed against the spirit of the rules, was simply taking full advantage of a grey area or was merely just that – a publicity stunt – it seems competitors are now rapidly trying to find ways to play catch-up, perhaps by introducing new 'media days' of their own...

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Oli - Unregistered

June 23, 2010 8:43 PM

Crash, please let's not harp on about things being in 'the spirit of the rules' etc. This is the piranha club. There's no spirit and nor should there be. There should simply be clear rules and a question of whether they were broken or not. It looks to me like Ferrari have used a grey area in the rules and haven't broken them, if so, good for them and boo to the FIA for yet another poorly worded ruling. The Monaco incident was caused by just that. If the rules are clear and Ferrari broke them then throw the book at them. But if they haven't broken the rules, congrats to them on finding a loophole the other teams didn't. Oli

MichaelE - Unregistered

June 23, 2010 7:27 PM

Does this really surprise anyone? ferrari are alway trying to bend the rules because their standing in F1! They should be treated just like everyone else! No more special treatment! How about giving them a hundred million dollar fine for illegal testing (lol)! :p

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