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Offline AshSimmonds

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Williams stop Michael Schumacher from testing this year's Ferrari

Ferrari move requires unanimous support of F1 teams
'Any form of in-season circuit testing is strictly prohibited'

Williams have said they will not approve a request from Ferrari that Michael Schumacher be permitted one day's testing at the wheel of the 2009 Ferrari F60 prior to returning to the starting grid for the European grand prix at Valencia on 23 August.

Ferrari have been testing with Schumacher at the Mugello circuit using a 2007 car fitted with GP2 tyres, but felt they had to ask all the other teams if they would agree to a special dispensation allowing the seven-time world champion, who is deputising for the injured Felipe Massa, to circumvent the testing restrictions.

"While we welcome Michael Schumacher back to Formula One, the fact is that any form of in-season circuit testing is strictly prohibited, a regulation clearly laid down by the FIA and adhered to by all of the teams," Frank Williams was quoted as saying by www.autosport.com.

"It was for this reason that [Jaime] Alguersuari, who drove a Formula One car for the very first time in Hungary [eight days ago], did not have the opportunity to familiarise himself with the Toro Rosso before he made his race debut. Williams sees no distinction between Alguersuari's situation and Schumacher's and feels that any deviation from the rule would create a precedent for the future."

Williams added: "In a similar situation, Williams would unhesitatingly use its current test driver. For the sake of consistency and fairness, therefore, we oppose Ferrari's proposal to test ahead of the European grand prix."

It will require the unanimous agreement of all the competing teams, as well as the sport's governing body, if Schumacher is to be regarded as an exceptional case. It now seems that the German will have to wait until free practice on the Friday at Valencia before sampling this year's Ferrari for the first time.

Offline PA

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Good one Frank for standing up against Ferrari.

Offline scud

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