Wednesday March 7th, 2001
Jaguar boss Bobby Rahal fears that the gulf in Formula One between rich and poor is being widened by the number of cars teams can afford to use in testing.
"We've seen already this year McLaren and Williams have had three cars running -- one working on engine, one on chassis and one on tyres," he was quoted as saying in British weekly Motoring News on Wednesday.
"So we'll have to echo that commitment but it's a huge expense. Where do you stop?
"It's purely based on how much money you have, so that means you have a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots."
The months before last weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix highlighted the gulf between the big teams and struggling ones such as Minardi.
McLaren, Williams, Jordan, Jaguar and Arrows all have test drivers who competed in Formula One last season, some of them on big-money contracts.
While Ferrari notched up more than 4,000 test kilometres in Spain and Italy before the season started, Minardi shook down their car for the first time just one week before the first practice session in Melbourne.
They still managed to get one car to the finish, unlike Williams, and beat both the Renault-owned Benettons.