Ferrari find testing situation “ridiculous”


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali believes that the current testing situation is “ridiculous”.

Teams are limited to the three pre-season tests held in Spain each year, with in-season testing banned, but Domenicali is in favor of returning to a more liberal testing schedule.

“The testing situation is ridiculous,” Domenicali told F1 Racing magazine.

“At the end of the day, it is ridiculous – I use this word again – that we are not able to use this track. We were too far in one direction on testing a couple of years ago and we are now too far on the other hand.”

Domenicali revealed that Ferrari are talking to the other teams in an attempt to draw up a more effective testing schedule.

“With the other teams, we’ll try to convince them that we need to find another balance – and I am positive we can find a solution.”

For 2014, the teams are set to give the green light for a fourth pre-season test due to the new engine regulations. However, the lack of in-season testing restricts teams to the practice sessions at each grand prix for car development. Although this does reduce costs, it also restricts progress as teams look to make great strides across the course of the season.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.