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Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Saturday, 26 June 2010 21:22 UK

McLaren want Ferrari testing loophole closed

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh
Whitmarsh's McLaren team will conduct a day of straight-line testing next week

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh wants the rules on testing clarified after claiming Ferrari broke them.

Whitmarsh feels the Italian team contravened strict rules governing how much in-season testing can be done.

Fernando Alonso drove the current car at their Fiorano test track on 18 June for "promotional purposes".

"I didn't think they needed clarification, but for some they clearly do," said Whitmarsh, who felt the drive helped develop Ferrari's car.

The amount of costly testing teams can do was slashed as the global economic crisis hit Formula 1, with only four days of straight-line testing allowed during the season.

But teams are allowed to use their cars on tracks for promotional reasons, provided special tyres are used.

Ferrari's website claims Alonso "only completed a few kilometres." But the team added "you have to make the most of any opportunity in this era of the testing ban".

I think now, as we can see signs of the economy improving, we can go back to testing

Martin Whitmarsh

"Formula 1 is a very competitive business and people are going to try to take advantage of any perceived ambiguity," Whitmarsh said.

"It isn't ambiguous in my English interpretation of it, but others obviously thought it was," he added.

Both Ferrari's cars at Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia will be using the new blown diffuser for the first time, which channels exhaust gases to make the cars go faster.

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - European GP qualifying (UK users only)

Whitmarsh's thoughts were echoed by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who described Ferrari's promotional drive as "arguably within the letter of the laws, but not within the spirit".

He admitted that Ferrari were not the first team this season to bend the rules on testing.

"The temptation is there. We've had some arguable decisions, such as with Mercedes, and then you hear rumours of Renault doing something, Ferrari doing something.

"Once one does it then everybody feels, 'Well, if that's how you are going to interpret something, then I'll push it to the limit."'

And Whitmarsh believes it may well be time for limited in-season testing to be brought back to Formula 1.

"We had to take significant measures given the crisis involving the economy and Formula 1.

"I think now, as we can see signs of the economy improving, we can go back to testing. Formula 1 is about running cars, I think drivers enjoy testing and teams enjoy testing and developing cars," he said.



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see also
Vettel takes pole for European GP
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Ferrari need to improve - Alonso
26 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
F1 tech changes to improve racing
23 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren 'concerned' over Ferrari
23 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Ex-McLaren man Fry joins Ferrari
22 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
What makes Red Bull so fast?
29 May 10 |  Formula 1


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