Sir Frank has one priority

August 5, 2009

The Williams F1 Team, China 2007

The Williams F1 Team, China 2007

Ferrari’s request for Michael Schumacher to spend a day testing in the Ferrari F60 required the unanimous support of all the teams. Three teams have come out in public and said no. Dietrich Mateschitz owner of Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso has said that his teams are not in support as they themselves were turned down when they made a similar request for Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari, who had never driven an F1 car before the Hungarian Grand Prix. It could reasonably be argued that the case for Alguersuari to test was greater than for Schumacher on safety grounds alone. The other team was Williams. Ferrari have reacted angrily on their website by specifically attacking Williams and stating that Ferrari had been supportive of the Alguersuari test, whereas others had not – ‘go figure’ as the Americans say.

It came as no surprise to me to hear of Sir Frank’s position. It was for the same reason that he split from the FOTA teams to be the first current constructor to join the FIA 2010 world championship. Frank runs a racing team, he’s not interested in anything else, and he will do anything in his power to further the interests of this team and improve their competitiveness on the track. Williams have also always focused on the Constructors’ Championship, rather than the Drivers, for two reasons, first it is the constructors points which dictates the amount of prize and media revenues they receive from Formula One Group, and second if a driver wins the World Championship they tend to want a salary increase, something Frank resists at all costs. Currently Williams are lying in 6th place in the constructors points. Brawn and Red Bull Racing are well ahead of everyone else with over 200 points between them, but the battle for third place is going to be interesting. Ferrari currently have 40 points, Toyota 38.5, McLaren 28 and Williams 25.5. Any one of them has a chance of getting third place. If you were Sir Frank would you let Michael test?

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