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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Letter To Luca Di Montezemolo

Reproduced below is last Sunday's letter to the chairman of FIAT, Luca di Montezemolo.The letter was signed by eight teams. I mean seriously, how can anyone stand up for Ferrari. I mean, if teams seem unanimous against them, surely it must mean they are doing something wrong. To say that the others are merely sour grapes is unacceptable. There have been teams that have similarly dominated in the past but that has never raised the level of dissatisfaction in the ranks as Ferrari do now. Anyway, you can read the letters for yourself:

Luca di Montezemolo
cc. Jean Todt

20th March 2005


Dear Luca,

For the past two years the Formula One Teams have been extremely active in finding ways to control cost and there is no doubt that a reduction of the track test programmes has been one of the few effective controlling mechanisms available to the teams.

This year, while 8 competitors, including some of the largest world manufacturers, have been very supportive and constructive, coming to an agreement aimed at a further decrease of testing time during the F1 season, the Ferrari team has not only declined to operate within the spirit of this agreement but has operated against it, with a COST INCREASE, by implementing a testing programme that is extended to the race weekend, breaking agreements which had been previously supported by Ferrari as well.

We believe that this attitude is highly disrespectful to the sport and we strongly request that Ferrari reconsiders its position in regards to testing constraints and aligns itself with the arrangements agreed between the other Teams.

Best Regards,


Below is an earlier letter sent to Ferrari. Originally it was meant to be signed by nine teams including Sauber. However, on Friday, Sauber released a statement distancing themselves from the letter below.

Eight teams wish to record their disappointment regarding Ferrari’s testing activities.

The Teams competing in Formula One have all previously agreed that one effective means of controlling costs in the sport is to restrict the amount of track testing performed by each Team. In recent years all teams have agreed to limit their testing under the Suzuka arrangements which has undoubtedly led to substantial cost savings.

In preparation for 2005 season all Teams entered into discussions to review the testing restrictions, with many hoping to achieve further substantial reductions. Inevitably for any agreement to be made, concessions must be granted by many with the smaller Teams supporting an agreement which exceeded their testing programme whilst some larger Teams agreed to a greater restriction than they would otherwise have exercised.

Ferrari refused to sign any Testing Agreement for 2005 unless it was given an increased allocation compared to its direct competitors. It is unsurprising that the other Teams declined to grant Ferrari such a competitive advantage.

It is with much regret, therefore, that the eight undersigned Teams, have learnt that Ferrari has tested and intends to conduct further testing, not only outside the parameters of the 2005 Testing Agreement, but also in excess of the previously established principles of the Suzuka Agreement convention. Ferrari’s actions not only potentially destabilize Formula One, increase cost but also provide Ferrari with an unequal advantage over all the other Teams.

Inevitably such actions on the part of Ferrari can only increase cost withion Formula One and undermines the principle of a level playing field in the sport. The eight undersigned Teams are requesting that Ferrari now reconsider its position and acts in a responsible manner to support this valuable cost-saving initiative in Formula One.

Signed by:

Nick Fry, BAR
Colin Kolles, Jordan
Ron Dennis, McLaren
Paul Stoddart, Minardi
Flavio Briatore, Renault
Christian Honner, Red Bull
Tsutomu Tomita, Toyota
Frank Williams, Williams

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