Ferrari's 2009 car is "extremely difficult to drive" and explains why its occupants have struggled to keep up since Felipe Massa crashed in late July.An intriguing assertion to make.
On one level, he's probably right -- the car is probably hard to drive. The 2009 rules in general, and Ferrari's implementation in specific, make the cars somewhat unlike anything else that the drivers have driven before. Ferrari's specific implementation is obviously different enough from the Force India that Fisichella comes from to make a transition difficult.
This isn't helped by Ferrari having given up on 2009, while much of the rest of the grid is still making some progress. Ferrari is falling behind.
Of course the bottom line is that all this is aggravated by the total lack of available testing this year.
There definitely needs to be some accommodation for testing, if only so that reserve drivers get the experience they need to drive the cars safely under race conditions.
I don't like tests where the teams run at a track before an event. Perhaps we should have some ability for them to run for a couple of days after an event, at pre-determined times at the year?
This would be an increase in costs, since the race team would not be able to participate -- and the race-specific cars obviously can't participate, due to the restrictions on engine and gearboxes used. So we would be back to the "test team" days of... well... last year?
But it is clearly needed.