by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 152
While the unseasonably wet Mugello weather certainly had a role to play, the return of in-season testing was not the great success many had hoped it would be. The first day’s running at the circuit near Florence saw teams spend much of the day in the garages and motorhomes, waiting for the tack to dry out so that running could continue. At one point in the afternoon the session was red-flagged thanks to dark skies and heavy rains that meant the medical helicopter would not be able to take off safely. Days two and three dawned bright and clear, but the lost running time affected planned test programmes up and down the pit lane. As far as incidents go, of particular note were Thursday morning’s pit-lane fire for Sauber, caused by a burned plastic cover over the engine of the C3, and Fernando Alonso’s run into the barriers at Turn 12. The Mugello tests were an opportunity for Ferrari to try out a number of upgrades, including a new – more traditional – exhaust configuration, although planned upgrades to the diffuser and front wing are not expected until Barcelona. But the Scuderia’s test plans were hampered first by the weather, and then on the time lost rebuilding Alonso’s car on Thursday morning, HRT elected to skip the in-season test altogether, while McLaren raised eyebrows by electing not to send either Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button. Kimi Raikkonen was originally scheduled to do a day’s running for Lotus, but the team decided to let the Finn sit this one out after so much time was lost on Tuesday. While the majority of drivers enthused about Mugello, Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov was less than complimentary about the Italian circuit, which he said was too dangerous for Formula One. “I don't think we should have come here,” the Russian driver said. “It is not safe and wide enough. If you lose it, the walls are so close and you will smash into the tyres. It is not for Formula 1 and, if you lost the steering or the tyre pressure dropped or whatever, then it will be a big crash.” Petrov wasn’t the only critic in Mugello this week – two team principals questioned the financial benefit of in-season testing. "Any test time you have is useful, but whether it is the right thing for F1 to be testing in-season is probably a bigger topic. “When you look at the cost of running here, we will have done three times the mileage of a grand prix weekend,” Red Bull’s Christian Horner told Autosport. “In many respects would it have been better to have another grand prix weekend than to go testing? ... Mugello is a great venue, a lovely track and the drivers enjoy it, but I think in the scale of things is it right to be testing in-season? ... If you look at the focus on cost saving, this test hasn't achieved that for any team. Moving forward we should look at whether or not in-season testing is the right thing to be doing.” “We would have liked to avoid this one,” said Lotus team principal Eric Boullier. “When you are struggling it is different and I'm sure Ferrari is happy to have this test. In general we are not in favour of this. We would prefer to have had all the testing in February, like last year, but it depends on your position. "I'm sure some teams will vote in favour because they need track time to develop their car faster, but the teams with good cars don't need it.” MUGELLO TEST BENEFITS/COSTS QUERIED 3 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS