Leave it out!

Schumacher’s fans have always disliked suggestions that their favorite driver received special treatment throughout his career, and that this special treatment somehow contributed to his success. I don’t blame them – that sort of accusation would annoy me too.

So why do Ferrari and so many of his fans now expect, even demand, that he and his team should get even more special treatment upon his return – namely a test in the 2009 specification F60.

Testing would benefit the driver – giving him experience he would otherwise have to gain during Friday practice  – a form of special treatment not afforded to Jaime Alguersuari, a complete F1 novice with no experience of any type of F1 car.

Testing would benefit the team – giving them data about their current car that is not available to other teams due to the testing ban. All teams are modifying their cars continuously, without the ability to analyse the effect of the changes outside race weekends. Why should one team get the benefit of this additional data? Why should one team get this special treatment?

Massa’s accident is tragic, but points won by Schumacher will not accrue to Massa’s championship standings so don’t dress Schmacher’s wish to test (and therefore improve his speed) as altruism or assistance for a fallen friend. If Schumacher really wants to help Massa’s career he should be trying to minimise his competitiveness – because if he is faster than Massa this will undermine Massa’s efforts to return.

Finally – Ferrari could have chosen any number of drivers with recent experience of 2009 F1 cars. They did not. Either they think Schumacher is competitive anyway (in which case why request the tests?) or they don’t (in which case why select him over Bourdais, Piquet, Sato, Coulthard, Badoer, Gene, Davidson or anyone else).

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