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I have an idea. Why don't Bridgestone pay for Minardi to test alongside TOIT. Surely, the amount is minimal compared to the embarrasment they and TOIT are facing. A more competitive Minardi has surely got to help development.Bridgestone have stepped into the ongoing dispute between Ferrari and their rival teams over testing limitations by claiming that their current form is suffering because they cannot test enough.
Although Ferrari are the only team not limited to the current 30-day ceiling agreed between the nine other teams, the outfit's tyre supplier Bridgestone are adamant that they are still at a disadvantage compared to Michelin.
Bridgestone's head of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima claims that the number of teams that Michelin can call upon to test, even with each outfit limited to a 30-day limit, has handed the French tyre manufacturer a huge advantage in terms of data.
When asked why there appears to have been a dramatic turnaround in form between Michelin and Bridgestone this year compared to last season, Hamashima told Gazzetta dello Sport: "The explanation is simple: we don't test enough.
"They say Ferrari test more than anyone but last winter, when we had only one car at our disposal, there were teams lining up three of them. And besides, our rivals can count on several top teams, so they can improve much faster.
"This is particularly decisive this year, with these new regulations. This is why we pushed for an agreement which limited testing in terms of kilometres rather than days."
Ferrari did propose a testing limitation to the other teams that involved setting a maximum amount of kilometers that each tyre manufacturer could test for.
Rival teams rejected that because the distance would have had to be shared out by the Michelin teams, whereas Ferrari would have been able to conduct most of that work alone for Bridgestone.
Despite the problems that Ferrari are suffering, however, Hamashima believes that the only area where the team are weak is in their single lap pace which has hindered Schumacher's chances of decent grid positions.
"The only problem here was the lack of performance in qualifying," said Hamashima. "After that the pace was good for Michael until the retirement."