Michael Schumacher’s hopes of testing this season’s Ferrari F1 car have taken a blow after rival teams Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Williams said it would oppose any such attempt.
It was widely believed that the eight members of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) – all the current teams minus Williams and Force India – would support Schumacher’s hopes of testing this year’s car ahead of his return to competition later this month.
Ferrari has asked all the teams, as well as the FIA, for special dispensation for Schumacher to test and familiarise himself with the current car. Last week, he drove a 2007-spec car at Mugello to prepare himself for replacing the injured Felipe Massa at the European Grand Prix on 23 August.
Williams said it is opposing Ferrari's request because it clearly contravenes the regulations, which state testing is not allowed during the season.
"While we welcome Michael Schumacher back to Formula 1, the fact is that 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," said team boss Frank Williams.