F1 Winter Break
Ferrari gets feisty with Williams!
Ferrari gets feisty with Williams!
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Aug 2009   |  5:05 pm GMT  |  73 comments

On the Ferrari official website today, under the headline “Indiscretion” we have this choice little item,

“Guess who opposed the test with the F60? 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.

“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.”

This is clearly a reference to Williams, who last won a race at the end of 2004. They opposed letting Michael Schumacher test the current car, the F60, ahead of his comeback at Valencia on August 23rd.

Williams said in a statement, “While we welcome Michael Schumacher back to Formula One, the fact is any form of in-season circuit testing is strictly prohibited, a regulation clearly laid out by the FIA and adhered to by all of the teams.”

This isn’t the first time that Ferrari has got a bit feisty on its website. You will recall them slating the proposed new F1 teams during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Who can forget this little gem?

“Can a World Championship with teams like them – with due respect – can (sic) have the same value as today’s Formula 1, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?” (look in the May archive on this site for full details).

Williams will be furious at the suggestion from Ferrari that they have “once again” showed that they lack a “spirit of fair play”. If there was a Grand Prix this weekend you could expect a broadside from Patrick Head about Ferrari’s track record in that department (he has very strong views), but perhaps luckily for him there are another two weeks in which to cool off and forget about it.

Ferrari and Williams were at each other’s throats at the start of this season over the double diffuser (Williams had one, Ferrari didn’t) and more recently were on opposite sides over the budget cap (Williams on FIA’s side, Ferrari against).

So it seems that this is a little bit of ‘afters’, as they say in the rugby world.

Domenicali and Parr agree to disagree

Domenicali and Parr agree to disagree

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

How ironic. Wasn't it Ferrari who were so concerned about the "letter and spirit" of the rules regarding diffusers that they wanted Brawn, Williams and Toyota to redesign their cars?!


So Ferrari's secret veto of FIA rules that didn't appeal to them was "in the spirit of fair play"??????

So, we have a "Do as we say, not as we do!" philosophy at Ferrari apparently.

That'll be a "No suprises there!" from me, then.


I can't help but laugh at Ferrari's comments about Williams not winning anything for many years. It seems they forget that they were themselves lost in the wilderness for many years - failing to win the drivers championship up until 1999 because of two very successful British teams beating them every year. Who was one of those teams? Oh yeah.... Williams.

I'm a huge Schumi fan and supported Ferrari fervently during his tenure with them, but since the threesome of Schumacher, Todt and Brawn left it seems the babies have taken over and are throwing their toys out of the pram at every opportunity!


Good God! Ferrari of all people , criticising another team for for 'a lack of spirit of fair play' !!!


(I apologise for any typo's, I can't see my screen properly for all the coffee I sprayed when I read the above 😀 )


Just reaffirms my already very low opinion of Ferrari. The irony in their statement is astonishing, making quips about "fair play". The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind here!

The rules are clear, no in season testing. No other team has been given any special treatment in this regard. Why should Ferrari?

Is the ban on testing sensible? No. But that's not the argument here.


Gezzz, let me see here. Let's change the rules till Ferrari wins.

Yes, as Mosley has stated, F-1 is in for a rough ride.


That is a classic.

Interesting to see that Torro Rosso asked for a test for Jamie though - we were lead to believe they didn't.

Looks like that got turned down by the teams too, so Ferrari can hardly complain that the other teams are being inconsistent. Plus, it's not very professional airing their thoughts like that in public is it?

The rules are - no testing throughout the season, and out of the 3 new drivers coming in - Schumacher, Grosjeon and Alguersuari, the 7 time World Champion is in theory the one with the least disadvantage.


I actually agree with Ferrari on this one. Sometimes just some basic common sense is required and quite obviously it makes sense for safety reasons alone to allow a driver to have at least a day in an F1 car to familiarise themselves. McLaren even agreed to that idea.

What surprises me is Williams inability to have this common sense.


Williams need to be sensible really. Drivers who've not driven the new breed of F1 cars should be allowed a day to get used to the cars. That stands for Alguersuari, Schumacher and Grosjean. It should be noted that virtually every team on the Grid were happy to allow Alguersuari to test, Ferrari included I'm guessing it was Frank's lot who blocked that too and hence both Red Bull teams blocked the Ferrari test (which is fine). Perhaps this will come back and bite Williams and 'Frankly' it'd serve them right.

Perhaps we need a Rookie driver to have an accident before folks will be sensible about these things and give them a days testing to get to grips with these cars. Letting drivers go in blind into the premier motorsport championship the world has to offer seems rather ridiculous.

I fear most of these comments are put up with a huge amount of bias, people can't see past their little Lewis Caps and look at the real big picture.


I see Ross Brawn's view on this is very similar to mine.


So your saying a team should ignore the rule book if a particular set of circumstance doesn't suit them? That really would be the end of F1.

I agree its questionable whether drivers should be put in this situation. However this event was very foreseeable (a new driver coming in mid season) as it has happened quite often in F1 history. Therefore provisions should have been made when the rules were made. As Ferrari had their part in the new Concorde agreement they are just as much to blame for this situation than anyone else.

Maybe it would have been less inflammatory when they submitted their request if they had requested a generic rule change so that it would allow Grosjeon and Alguersuari to benefit also.


The Ferrari already looks to be a better car than the Williams lately. By letting Schumacher test, it will only give him an advantage which may lead to him taking more points of Williams. More points towards the end of the season equates to more money. Williams isn't exactly flowing in cash so I don't see why they should agree to give their competitors any sort of advantage.


the point is its not fair for ferrari to be allowed to send a 7 times wc in a car they are developing when torro rosso were not allowed to send there complete amateur out as i suspect renault will get the same response. imagine the development ferrari could get from having schumi in a car for a whole day and whats to say they dont try new parts that they otherwise have to use in first free practice? the only way it would be fair is to give every team 1 full days testing, but that is not the rules


LOL! 😀 Little Red Riding Hood complaining about the lack of fair play... "Mooommmyyyy! The bad uncle doesn't want to allow us to test our latest developments! Mooommmyyyy!"

HA! HAHAHAHA! 😀 This comment from Ferrari must be the award-winning joke of the year!!!

Forgive me my sarcasm...

Fair play in Formula-1? LOL! 😀 Thanks, Reds, you made my day!


It was Willams just a couple of months ago saying Ferrari won there championships with illegal cars. Teams have been getting toghther better than ever lately Mclaren and Ferrari get along now. I do not understand Red Bull blocking the test after Ferrari said it was alright for them to do it. The teams need to stop holding grudges. The way testing is now it would have been good and fair to let a driver experienced or not to have a one off test, now its never going to happen.


Yet again proof Ferrari is run by childish little girls, not men.

What kind of a reply is that, seriously? Did they think this would make people support them?

There is now news coming in (Daily Mail) that Torro Rosso had appealed for an opportunity for Alguersuari to test the car and it was denied by FOTA. Dieter's own words.

So if a rookie is denied to test, why not a 7 time world champion?

And I will not comment on the 'fair play' jab by Ferrari except mention they do not seem to have mirrors around.

I'm excited Schumacher is back, all the best to him, but Ferrari is just acting like silly patronizing little kids all season so I hope they don't achieve anything anymore this season and Williams beats them.


Pot, meet kettle.


Sometimes Ferrari make it hard to be a fan.. Kimi is my favortie driver but once he is gone I am not sure Ferrari is the team for me....


Strange that Ferrari pick on Williams but no mention of Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso who also veto the idea of Schumacher testing in the car.

Maybe they should of gone with their test driver's, as surlely that's what they are there for.


Is it fair play to have done a back room deal with the FIA to get more money than everyone else when Ferrari win a championship?...It would be nice if they could act more like a respectable automobile company than a precocious teenager


Ferrari are a bunch of **** *******ing ****s aren't they? Who do they think they are fooling? Perhaps they have forgotten that there are these things called "rules" and that they have to adhere to them. STR did not get the chance for their new driver, I haven't heard of Renault asking for time for their replacement for Piquet.

In the past they would run to their mates at FiA and get them to help them out (we all know the stories). I guess now they just resort to frankly childish posts on their website.

Anyone for a charge of bringing the sport into disrepute? ;o)


I've got to echo the comments made by Jamie Moles. Ferrari were themselves a laughing stock for many years while Williams were hoovering up all the trophies.

Stefano Domenicali seems like a nice, magnanimous guy as the team manager and I'd be shocked to hear that the statements came from him.


a) The complaints of Ferrari are absolutely ridiculous. They're much more versed in cheating than Williams. Endless examples, I won't expand on them now.

b) Aren't the Italians supposed to be very concerned with always showing style and grace? This is cheap mudslinging. Makes me think ... while restructuring their team over the last two or three years Ferrari has tried to increase the percentage of Italians working the team in key positions - seems their PR person is of questionable upbringing ...

c) Ferrari say they've agreed to let Algersuari test before the Hungarian GP, but Norbert Haug said to his knowledge there wasn't a request to let Algersuari test before his first GP. So maybe Red Bull just sounded out the teams and didn't file a specific request to the FIA and the other teams because they knew someone was going to be uncompromising.

d) I completely understand Williams' position. They are direct competitors of Ferrari in this year's Constructor's Championship. And in both cases it was the respective team's fault or responsibility: Toro Rosso could have kept Bourdais or gone for someone with more F1 experience like Davidson or Liuzzi or Sato. Ferrari could use their reserve driver, after all that's why there is such a thing as a *reserve driver*. It's Ferrari's fault not having one that they actually would want to use as a reserve. Many other teams have reserve drivers that could do a very nice job of a GP weekend, thank-you, but Ferrari chose to opt for someone with no F1 race experience over the last 31 months. Who happens to be the most successful F1 driver ever. And they are looking for pity? Get a grip, Luca. Really.


Correction: "... Italians working the team in key positions ..."


"... Italians working for the team in key positions ..."


I seem to remember Ferrari not too keen to install a chicane at USA 2005 for the 'spirit of the sport'.


totally, that to me is enough said, ferrari are arrogant and greedy, i dont get why people follow them


The FIA refused a compromise proposal from Michelin to allow a chicane to be installed, maintaining that such rule changes would be grossly unfair to the Bridgestone-shod teams, who had come prepared with properly working tyres, and that a last-minute change to the track layout would be dangerous in case of crashes. The Michelin teams, unable to come to a compromise with the FIA, decided not to participate.

The stuff you Ferrari hatters come up with.


No mention of their FOTA buddies RBR and STR who also said no.

What a petty team Ferrari have become, it's quite sad.


I disagree with Ferrari as usual- if they wanted someone with experience of the F60 they should have chose Gene or Badoer- and if they aren't good enough they shouldn't have chosen them as reserve drivers in the first place.

But I love how they are actually expressing controversial opinions on their website, rather than the usual boring PR rubbish. It also reminds me of the days when Ferrari and Williams were championship rivals. Refreshing though Brawn v Red Bull may be, it hardly carries the tension that past championship battles did.


If only Ferrari showed the same consistency on track as their press office with this garbage!

The red mist again! Pathetic.

Great to see Williams use the veto....absolutely right to do so.


I would fully pee my pants if Nakajima took out Schuey at the next race.


Well he took Alonso out last year, remember, and if Alonso is going to be banned this year then Schumi will be the man in his crosshair.


That must be a real pleasure! 😀


Good to see the old rivalry is still simmering! Can't wait to see them fight it out on the track. I totally agree with Williams stance, they can't afford to lose any ground to Ferrari in development terms as they are at similar levels on the track.


So much for team unity. Seems like Williams are intent on being a pain in the backside for another FOTA team. And they seem to have taught Red Bull something about that too... Hopefully this ridiculous testing ban will be overturned sometime.


Two separate issues surely?


Ferrari's concern should be directed at the rules for which they have signed up. If the teams had agreed at the same time as the testing ban that any driver missing a race for medical reasons would lead to the substitute being allowed one days test, this would have been sensible. So Ferrari only has itself to blame.

Williams and Ferrari are fairly evenly matched on pace so it is logical that Williams would not want to hand an advantage to a direct rival.

Surprised again about what Ferrari allows on its website. It is the sort of comment for a press conference!


williams is trash. the situations aren't analogous at all.

1. Toro Rosso chose to change their driver. Ferrari were forced to by an accident that was neither their drivers fault nor the manufacturers fault.

2. Because the Toro Rosso driver swap was optional they had full control over when it was done and how. they could have waited till seasons end, they could have timed it with a test period, they could have timed it with a track that Alguersuari was familiar with. -- Ferrari had no control over the timing, which through further bad luck coincided with a 3 week shutdown and a track that Schumacher is unfamiliar with.


Williams stuck to the rules, big deal, so bad form on Ferrari for comments. However where does everyone seem to get the idea that Badoer and Gene have experienceo with the F60.

At all tests since launch, Mugello, Bahrain and Barcelona, Massa and Raikkonen have shared ALL the testing....

Mass - 540 laps

Raikkenon - 658 laps


Well, it was their choice


The rules should have been written more flexibly then. They are what they are though at the moment and it says no in season testing. The FIA has a duty to enforce them even if no team objected.


Yeah but Ferrari weren't forced to pick the guy who hadn't raced for three years. They could have picked the guys whose job it is to, y'know, test the car.


Your first point is rubbish. Ferrari could have gone with Gene or Badoer who are fresh on this year's car. They were not FORCED to chose a driver who has not driven this year's car.


I think you're missing one small point - Ferrari have two test drivers, fully up to speed with the car, that they could have chosen to use. They didn't.

If they felt neither of these two drivers were good enough to stand in if ever needed they've also had plenty of time to recruit a driver who was. They didn't.

Yes the circumstances behind this driver change are regrettable, but Ferrari have chosen to overlook both their back-up drivers because they want the best chance of winning points and improving their standing in the championship. Well guess what, so do Williams. Points mean prizes and they'd be stupid to give away any advantage to the competition.


there two test drivers would have been fine, they did not need to use schumacher. that was their pr stunt not williams


Mmmm...I've only seen him interviewed a couple of times but I don't like Williams CEO Adam Parr. He stood out against the other FOTA teams and now they are going against the general consensus yet again.

Williams are becoming too political and corporate.


I think you'll find that the FIA would have taken Williams to court (with a very strong case) hence Williams standing "against" the other FOTA teams (actually, the other FOTA teams removed them when they heard the news) - but that's by the by. Force India were in this boat too with possible court orders from the FIA.

The crux of this is, Ferrari ignored their test drivers (Badoer & Gene) and asked for a day for Schumi to test - you can understand from their point of view why they asked that particular question.

However Torro Rosso's new driver in Hungary didn't get a test day (despite Ferrari saying they had no problem with it) because the rules state "no testing in season" AND the other teams didn't agree to it - simple as that.

So if it stands for one team (Torro Rosso) it should stand for all!

Add to this that Williams and Ferrari are very close in the constructors championship, thus Williams are not going to give their close rivals a hand up (especially when in the last few months they've found out that Ferrari have had a veto (with the FIA) which no-one else knew about!). How else would you expect them to react?

I'd be livid and concerned that other unknown "deals" were in place.


Its not actually a statement made by Ferrari. I emailed them in disgust and the response was

Dear Ms G******,

that was not a press release but as you have also noticed an "Indiscretion" text: we just wanted to give voice to the hundreds of emails we received on this subject by all the supporters all over the world.

Best regards,

Luca Colajanni

Direzione Comunicazione – Responsabile Ufficio Stampa Sportiva


Why is it that a team who for many years most respected as a smooth and efficient outfit, (even if you were not an all out fan), should in the last couple of years indeed since the loss of Schumacher, Brawn and Todt be frequently displaying signs of poor sportsmanship and a real disrespect for their teams hard earnt history as well as a disrespect of their enormous and international public following in the way they have behaved each time there is something of note to be commented on. Certainly their attitude needs some serious adjusting and fast if they wish to retain even some of that respect we all used to have. Equally the FIA (more commonly now known as Ferrari International Assistance)need to make their clear Ferrari bias a little less obvious, Michael should not get the test, why have rules if they only apply when it suits Ferrari.


So much for the new-found friendship amongst the teams.

From Williams' point of view - and I'm not suggesting they are right, just defending them - they are probably protecting their new found performance.

But there's afters and afters. Perhaps Williams and Head are remembering what occured the last time a breakaway series was threatened and then sabotaged by back door dealings by Ferrari. I know I would.

But why should the teams allow Ferrari to get additional information during a test just because they didn't think their test drivers were up to the job? Ferrari suggesting their support for allowing Alguthingy to test is hardly the same, is it.

And I have to say that I don't agree with zxz. The situations are analogous. Ferrari had experienced test drivers - two of them - to call on. They chose to go for Scheuy. They are the masters of their problem.

How exciting though. Valencia is a dreadful circuit and not one of the races that enthuse. Now, however, it is a must see. Clever old Ferrari. This is a real PR coup.


Has anybody pointed out that it is a bit disingenuous for Ferrari to state that they did not object to the Alguersuari test………..Torro Rosso use Ferrari customer engines!!

Materschitz joining the Williams objection to MS testing must be a case of “the customer is always right”. LOL 🙂


It is ironic that Ferrari of all teams are crying foul.

I would say though, the Massa situation is very unfortunate and it only makes sense to allow Schumacher one day to test the new Ferrari.

Then again, Williams were the big losers when Ferrari complained about their Michelin tyres in 2003. And that immediately turned the championship as Schu had victories in 2 of the last 3 races.


I agree sorry no test under current rules.


I admit using the website was not he best idea. Ferrari test drivers are just that, not young drivers that they are bringing up to drive for them one day. How much could Schumacher actually develop the car in one day?

zxz, and pbyrne nailed it

Richard Williams

I'm so disappointed by this posting on the Ferrari site. Thanks to Domenicali, the team has recovered its sporting direction after the terrible years of race fixing and unsporting behaviour under Jean Todt. Now they have the temerity to criticise the one team that upholds the strongest moral and sporting values in racing.

Love them (I do) or loathe them, Williams are racing nutters to the core. They live for it. They don't make swanky road cars or hi fi systems or have a chain of merchandise shops they race for a living. They may not have won much lately, but I know who I'd trust to take a great sporting decision.


I don't see what Ferrari have got complain about and I quite agree with Williams stance. I think Williams will have had the following in mind:

1. Williams are trying to haul themselves up the manufacturers table and quite rightly assume that having Schumi in the car will take valuable points away from them. Why give him an advantage?

2. It's what the rules state. Ferrari agreed to them in the first place so you just can't change to suit the circumstances.

3. Ferrari already have 2 test drivers so they didn't have to choose Schumi.

@zxz "Williams is trash"... well if you were in Williams shoes are you telling me you'd agree to this. I don't think so. If would be no different if Ferrari were in Williams shoes. They have Gene and Badoer - why not use one of them as they're the nominated test drivers.

@pbyrne You may not like Parr but he's acting with the best intentions of his employers.


Again, this is proof that the big manufacturers could never be trusted to run their own series. If Ferrari, BMW, Toyota, Mercedes and Renault were running the show, they would have effectively forced Williams, RB and TR to agree to let Schumacher test.

Shows the Mosley is right - running F1 with an iron fist is the only way to control these idiots.


Would be interesting to know who opposed Alguersuari's test?? if it were only williams...ferrari is right now!


This outburst from Ferrari is pathetically childish. As other posters have noted, Williams were winning Championships regularly during a time when Ferrari were nowhere. Their history and sporting pedigree warrants more respect than Ferrari have shown them. As for complaining about the letter/spirit of the rules when you've protested your rivals' cars earlier in the season and resorted to a rather bad-tempered hearing before the FIA Court of Appeal - this seems to be hypocrisy pure and simple.

Williams were well within their rights to refuse the testing request. I applaud Norbert Haug for being so understanding and reasonable in his comments about allowing Schumacher to test (the bitterness of the Stepney affair can seem so long ago at times). But if other teams object, they cannot be criticised for it. Williams always seem to have acted with commendable independence - when I read their comments about the veto on the test it struck me as classic Frank Williams, hard but fair.


This would be the same Ferrari that flouted the agreed testing restrictions what, 5 or so years ago?

Very pleased to see the general sentiment among the responses. Simple. If Ferrari want to replace Massa with someone who has driven the car, use one of the two drivers who have driven the car.

Much as I dislike this, it's great for the sport in the long summer break, and the guys running Valencia must be laughing all the way to the bank.


3 things strike me regarding this.

1. Ferrari's arrogance shows they feel they have more weight than the other teams. How they felt everyone would be OK with this is unreal and their reaction to Williams and Red Bull saying no, proves this. Notice how they didn't have a pop at Red Bull/Torro Rosso too?

2. Why did only 2 teams (3 if you include Torro Rosso), object to this? Ferrari were the main complainers about the double diffuser, effectively accusing Brawn etc that they were cheating. Williams seem to have a longer memory!

3. McLaren: If Big Ron was still at McLaren, he would have objected. Whitmarsh needs to grow a pair.

I'm glad Williams and Red Bull told the Ferrari dictatorship to do one. They've bullied every team that's been in direct competition with them for seasons now. Their limitless pockets lend to the arrogance.


I'd love it if Schumacher loses it on turn 1 on lap 1......

Jonathan Legard


He's Back.

Michael Schumacher.

Pushing on.

From Kerpen.

Kerpen, Germany.

Round the corner.

Down the straight.

Kerpen, Germany, Europe.

On a charge.



Massa had a crash.

But he's getting better.

Pushing on.


He's on a charge!

Veto out.

Blocking testing.

Round the corners, but not on the straights.

Pushing on.

He's not won for a while.

He's on a charge though.

What's this?



Getting Fiesty.

On a charge.


Sorry, didn't know where to send this.

Was wondering why so few people appear to have given this much coverage


Is it a real threat or drop-in-the-ocean type stuff?


I think Ferrari were a bit full of themselves, and expected everyone to agree. But since that didn't happen Ferrari got mad.

I guess Ferrari think they are still the center of things.


The teams should have replied to the request from Ferarri with a compromise, something like: Certainly Mr Schmacher, we will agree to alow you a days testing, only if we can come along and test too.

That in my eyes is the only way this could be done fair and square


So Ferrari can not let their God test,

to bad so sad . Please get well Felipe

and get back into the car soon, so we dont

have to look at Moon Face again (Seven time

World Chump)


PML. Moon face!

I've always called him Picasso face as his mouth seems up by his nose.....


If Massa is able to make it back before the end of the year, I'd hope he could test before racing again.

Would it be possible for these comments to be better vetted rather than it being like other sites, such as the BBC, which mainly consists of ranting.


i hope that this shumacher hype will be over soon.


I wiah I could have been a fly on the wall when Patrick Head saw this!

I find it amazing that even disregarding Ferrari's lack of success for two decades or their interesting Political moves, they can blast Williams like this. Out of all the teams, Williams is arguably the most straight-up, straight talking, politics-free F1 team. They didn't fall out with FOTA remember, Frank moved to stabilise his team in no-nonsense fashion. Its FOTA that made a song and dance about it all.

Well done, Williams. Its in situations like this I become even more of a fan.


I used to like Ferrari, but Domenicali and whoever does their blogging have really ruined them for me.


Although I agree with no test now as to the rules, I also think the current testing rule taken to the full letter is crazy and quite stupid. What would my beloved F1 be without at least one hopelessly stupid and bewildering dumb rule at all times. Hopefully less of that now going forward.



There is an interesting interview with Bernie on the BBC Website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8183627.stm) where an Italian reporter, being as tactful and impartial as you would expect asks whether it was correct for Williams to veto Schumacher's test (note: makes no reference to the Red Bull teams). The problem is the Italian media as much as Ferrari themselves.

Top Tags
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!