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The Ferrari team were the last of the 11 teams to actually test their 2002 specification car on the track. We have not seen Ferrari this late in testing their new car in the past.
So why is Ferrari so late this time, well they could have planned all along to start the season in the old car and introduce the new car in time for San Marino or they are in trouble.

Rumours surfaced late last year indicating that Ferrari may opt for the F2001 for the first 3 races of the 2002 season. Ross Brawn confirmed those rumours in November when he said "There are some development items on the new car, and because of the testing restrictions we won't know what position we're in until we can start testing in the new year. It's unusual this time in that you can start the new season with the old car. Because of rule changes, that has not been the case for some time. So we have it as an insurance policy. But it has been a bit exaggerated in the press."
A number of other senior members of the Ferrari team echoed Brawn's statement during the lead up to the launch of the F2002.
When the new Ferrari was launched on the 6th of February, the team announced that the car had a completely new gearbox but it has been on test since September and has met both their reliability and performance requirements. Despite this statement, the car didn't make it onto the track right away, in fact it was tested for the first time 4 days later indicating that the car was not ready at the time of the launch. However, Michael Schumacher quickly dispelled any doubts about the new car breaking the Fiorano record twice in 3 days and more importantly sounding confident that the new car will be used in Melbourne when he said "It is 99 percent certain I will race at Melbourne with the F2002. In particular I am surprised how reliable it is. There have been no problems up to now and we are confident about the future."
Exactly 4 days later, Jean Todt announced that the old car will be taken to Melbourne sighting insufficient time to test the new car. Michael Schumacher was quick to support the team's decision and said "I think it is a reasonable decision. The team can be very relaxed because last year's car is very good and very strong. It has been competitive in testing so there is no reason to take any silly and unnecessary risks. The most important thing in the first race is to finish, because points from the beginning of the season can be decisive when it comes to the end."

Reading the sequence of events and the comments made by Ferrari, one would find conflicting statements which seems to indicate trouble at the Ferrari camp. But are they really in trouble ? Are they having difficulty enhancing their performance and reliability so they can keep their advantage at the top ? or have they planned to use the old car all along for the first 3 races of the season to give the new car enough testing time ? Do you think the old car will be able to compete with McLaren and Williams ?  - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

Are Ferrari in trouble ... no. Regards Cooky - Australia

If Ferrari is in trouble then the rest are in very deep trouble. Not only do they have Michael who we all know have won many races in lesser cars, but also the F2001 was a damn good car, fast enough and reliable. No other contender even looked like a serious challenger last season. I've heard rumours that mention the new F2002 being a very very quick car, but the reason for not racing it is very simple, IT'S NOT LEGAL YET (gearbox & aerodynamics)!! Any thoughts on that? - Stefan G - New Zealand

I don't think that the Scuderia are in trouble just coz they are starting their 2002 campaign in the F2001. I thinks its more a case of better safe than sorry, in that by using the F2001 which has proved to be reliable and definitely on the pace will not only help them finish in the points in Australia, but it will give them more time to finalise the car I believe will be all conquering this year. Also the F2001 that will be on the grid in Melbourne is a modified version of last yrs car, So I think it would be a sure bet that a Ferrari will be duking it out 4 pole in Melbourne, but whether it will be Rubens or Michael taking the laurels remains to be seen, but my personal opinion is Ferrari will put up a strong showing in Melbourne, make no mistake about that!!1 - Godwin T - UK

I am not so sure that they are not in trouble. It has been said before that the first race is a very important race and if history is anything to go by, for the last couple of years the guy that won Australia (the first race of the season) also won the championship. McLaren has been testing their 110 degree V10 (it is actually a 90 degree - Ed.) since middle of last year and reports indicate that that is an awesome engine. Apparently Renault has also been working on an extremely powerful engine with a couple of revolutionary aspects to it. I am not sure what has been happening in the Williams BMW camp but I would imagine that they would also have done some major development once it became clear last year that they would not feature highly on any championship. Ferrari did not have that luxury. So, with an expected onslaught from majorly developed cars from McLaren and Renault and perhaps BMW (who was getting better and better towards the end of last year) I would have expected Ferrari to start with their best available. And if F2001 is their best I am really beginning to wonder. Certainly Schumi will be a lifebuoy to Ferrari. He has won before in lesser cars. Renault does not have the drivers to really challenge Ferrari, so that is their disadvantage. Coulthard can make life difficult for Michael but Kimi does not have the experience. Ralph is a bit of a loose cannon and, I think, slightly unfocused to threaten Michael for a whole season. JPM is a real threat although a bit of a car breaker. If his car can hold he'll probably beat the F2001. So I think with a lesser car but a superior driver Ferrari can match what the opposition is throwing at them. Whether they can beat them is another kettle of fish altogether. And THAT is not what Ferrari wanted. They would probably have had at least an equal car with F2002. But the fact that they are using F2001 must surely make them feel uneasy. If everything was hunky dory they would have used F2002. They may not appear to be in trouble to us lesser beings, but they are not feeling comfortable within themselves!! Let's hope they are right and I am wrong! - Johan M - South Africa

Ferrari may be having development problems with their new car ,but I don't think they are in trouble. As Michael demonstrated at the Japanese GP Last season they are so far ahead of the rest of the grid that starting with their "old" car will simply mean that they need to work a little harder to win. Sure, everybody has improved their cars over last year, but everybody was starting way behind Ferrari. If they don't have the F2002 working well by Brazil, then they are going to be in trouble - Jeff S - USA

Considering the fact that Ross Brawn was mentioning the use of the F2001 for the first few races of 2002 as far back as October, you have to say that Ferrari were expecting to start this year with the old car. I do not think that they are struggling to beat the likes of McLaren and Williams, rather that they are finding it tough to produce a car that is appreciably quicker than the F2001. In the F2002, they have probably achieved this goal though the revolutionary design of its components may have forced the team to choose a more cautious approach. Whatever the reason, you can bet that the F2001 has evolved enough over the last two months to remain competitive for the first 3 races at the very least. Proof? Well, do you really think that Woking and Grove are jumping for joy that they won't see the F2002 until Imola? Thought not! More importantly though, I think that the 3 month testing ban has not really been a good idea. Sure, the costs are reduced, but that is more than made up for by the feverish rate of testing that the teams will do throughout the year to make up for lost time. Why else would teams like Ferrari need two test drivers now instead of one? Also, a high-profile sport like Formula 1 needs as much coverage as possible so that sponsors will feel like they are getting their money's worth. Having a 3 month freeze where there are virtually zero newsworthy events to report doesn't sound very smart. - Faisal S - Malaysia

A couple of points to consider: A new gearbox which seems to have "Uncle Ron" doing the McLaren whine before the season starts..."yes, but is it legal? mumble mumble".. I would think so or they wouldn't have built it! 
Availability of new spares so far from home base. Two different cars means twice as many spares and so far we have only heard of one new chassis being ready and tested. I think they are just taking the cautious approach so that should something happen (like last year in Australia) they have an adequate supply of parts. (and to really rub it in of course...) - Peter N - USA

Why took you so long? I was waiting for this since Ferrari launch. Last year McLaren was in the hole, Williams was next, Prost was bankrupt but NOBODY seems to care .
Why Ferrari? Well ... Let's see the facts. First they disclose a major break through in power train set up. Benetton (UPS Renault) is in an worst situation for 2 seasons but who cares-is not Ferrari, and they had an innovative engine, McLaren had poor reliability last year-Ilmore was blamed for the NEW ENGINE, Williams blame JPM for poor brake and/or power train reliability. But Who Cares?!?!?! 
Seems like guys from Ferrari learned from the others mistakes. Do Not Start A New Championship With A New ,Untested Enough Product. First and last races some times count more than people believe. 
In trouble. Yes and No. Why Yes, they do not want to risk a handicap in the beginning, and I believe they need more to test the engine transmission unit. 
Why No?. It is simple nobody is introducing a new car in 2002 (don't count Jaguar) just "Evolutions". Even Ferrari has conserved the old chassis BUT The powertrain is totally and radically new. So they believe they can to score points with old car and I suspect using the most evoluted 2001 engine-used in qualifying. Which let so agree wasn't too bad competing with. I will be honest The Scary BMW Power. Otherwise I don't think something will be changed. If I'm wrong the time will prove until then, My best regards Marian - Romanian living in the USA

No, no, no, the Ferrari will never have a problem. like Jean Todt said, they having a new kind of gear box and need more time on testing. but I can be sure it will be definitely powerful - Shukri - Malaysia

I think that Ferrari is trying to be very cautious in the first few races. They know that they will be facing tough competition from the likes of Williams and McLaren, and poor reliability at the start may allow Montoya/Coulthard to really capitalize and take the championship away from Schumacher and Ferrari. The decision to use F2001 is a very wise one indeed! - Pooja - Bhandari

I hope so! But I think they are only foxing! - Schulz - Australia

Ferrari in trouble ? come on Ferrari haven't got any problem in the last 3 years so why should they have now huh ? that's a tricky thing they are doing , just for testing the car really god before racing with it ! - Petrut - Romania

I think Michael's comment that "he's 99% sure they will race the 2002 car the first race" is what he really thought. Michael isn't one to make comments like that about a car that isn't ready. I really believe that the 2002 car is 99% ready to race...and that Todt is making a very smart move in using last years very reliable car at the start of this season. 
Lets face it...when the teams bring out there new cars at the beginning of a season .. when are they going to have the most trouble with them ..You guessed it .. the first 2 or 3 races. Everyone knows that if the other teams had made "whole-sale" changes to their car from last year .. there's going to be trouble first part of the season .. and if they didn't make big changes to their 2002 cars .. the 2001 Ferrari should handle them the first few races this year. Regardless...ITS TIME TO RACE!! - Jimmy - USA

Ferrari will never be in trouble. They are using the old car because they don't want to risk themself - Nicky - Malaysia

Ferrari will have no problems its only the media with the problems as usual. Regards, Steve F - Australia

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