Troubles for A1GP?

UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded from 'false' to 'fact' today. Can't say we didn't tell you so, despite A1GP's denials – see press release.

08/15/08 The cause of the crash that led to the Magny Cours testing being cut short was a suspension failure in which test driver Patrick Friesacher sustained three crushed vertebrae. Series organizers decided to cut short that four-day test and will redesign the component before the first group test, which was planned for August 18-20 at Silverstone. Meanwhile poor Friesacher is in for a long rehab.

08/11/08 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Ann Bradshaw, a A1GP spokesperson told, "We have not cancelled the Silverstone test. We have decided to use it for our own test cars so we can gather more data for the teams ahead of their joint test.

"We know exactly the cause of the accident in Magny Cours. It was a wishbone failure and this has now been rectified. In fact at the track the team believed this to be the problem, and the tests carried out back in the UK soon confirmed this. Some precautionary changes were made to the part – which by the way had done over 5,000 kilometers of testing to that point.

The new A1GP car being put through its paces

"We have kept Ferrari up to date with our plans and they have never told us they have an image problem with this. They are realistic about just what it takes to build so many identical new cars. All the teams do not have their new cars yet but we always knew some would have theirs before others – that is the nature of the business. I would also like clarification on your comment they denied any participation in the A1GP project. They have always been involved from the start and at the recent event in Italy Mario Almondo was present and his comments were included in the official vnr that went out after this event.

"We would have liked to make the Silverstone test with all the cars, but as this is not possible the sensible and fair to everyone solution was to make sure we gave everyone the same chance and the same amount of data. This way all the teams will have identical data going into the first race and so we keep to our level playing field values. If all teams have the same data it is also makes it easier for the engineers to judge the performance of their individual cars in relation to the competition. Also it should be pointed out Donington is not our only test as we have two days in Mugello – this means this is the most pre-season testing we have ever done.

"From a rookie point of view having relatively few miles should not be too much of a disadvantage – as it’s a new car it’s the same new experience for everyone whether they are new to A1GP or not. Also the rookies now have an extra ten minutes track time at each race."

08/09/08 Although the new 'Ferrari' A1GP car is much better than the previous car, can any of the teams afford to buy all new equipment for the 2008/2009 season that starts in one month? Perhaps not.

The first tests of the season at Silverstone were mysteriously cancelled. The series' organization says they preferred to use more caution while trying to figure out what caused the testing crash at Magny-Cours, that was kept very hush-hush. The problem is a serious setback for all the entrants, especially for rookies, who will only get one test, at Donington on Sept 9/10 unless another test is scheduled. The setback also represents an image problem for Ferrari, though the Italian factory ironically denied any participation in the A1GP project.

All very strange and it throws some doubt in the upcoming schedule:

Mugello, Italy
21 September 2008

Zandvoort, Netherlands
05 October 2008

Jakarta, Indonesia
09 November 2008

A1GP Sepang, Malaysia
23 November 2008

14 December 2008

Taupo, New Zealand
25 January 2009

Gauteng, South Africa
22 February 2009

Mexico City, Mexico
15 March 2009

29 March 2009

Algarve, Portugal
12 April 2009

Great Britain
03 May 2009

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