Easier to monitor ERS use with new software
FIA race director Charlie Whiting is confident that new software will make it easier for the sports governing body to monitor Ferrari’s use of ERS.
The FIA has been looking at Ferrari’s unique twin battery arrangement for the last month, and in Monaco Whiting confirmed he was now satisfied with it. It was reported that extra sensors were fitted to the Ferraris in Monaco, that has been denied by the FIA. Who have pursued a more complicated process to check how the system was operating.
The new software, which will be used from the Canadian GP onwards, will streamline that process and allow the FIA to continue to keep a close watch. Whiting explained, “Via a complex routine we were able to be satisfied that the Ferrari was OK.”
“But we don’t want to have to go through that all the time in order to make sure, so we would rather additional measurements are made. What we will have for Canada will be a better system which will help us get things done much, much quicker, because it’s taken us a couple of races to get to the bottom of it.”
He added that they are trying to put that they were trying to monitor two different elements, which make up the Ferrari power unit. Also that the PU was sealed and he wasn’t sure that any additional sensors could be fitted without breaking the seals.
He admitted that it had been a complex problem for the FIA to address. “We really have been trying to get to the point where we are entirely satisfied that the power being delivered to the MGU-K is correct.
“It was difficult to explain exactly what we were seeing, that’s what we kept going through with Ferrari because it’s a very complex and totally different system to anybody else’s.
Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff has express frustration that technical director James Allison and engine boss Lorenzo Sassi helped to prompt an investigation into Ferrari’s ERS.
Mercedes thrown under a bus by Whiting – Wolff
Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff has expressed frustration that technical director James Allison and engine boss Lorenzo Sassi helped to prompt and investigation into Ferrari’s ERS.
Both Allison and Sassi are former members of Ferrari’s technical department. Wolff says that the FIA should not name the specific people who have raised the complaint and should only suggest which team has made enquiries about the legality of a rival’s car.
Reports emerged confirming Allison and Sassi had enquired about Ferrari’s ERS after race director Charlie Whiting spoke to journalists in Monaco.
Wolff subsequently met with Whiting, who pointed out that he had only acknowledged the names put to him by the media. Asked by Autosport if Mercedes had been “thrown under a bus” by the FIA, Wolff said: “Yes. One of my roles is to protect my people, and if certain individuals are named in a wrong context, that is disturbing.”
Adding “The most important thing is to understand how the process goes and various teams question the FIA every single day. I think it’s just important to not put somebody out there and say, ‘This person has questioned a legality topic’.”
Wolff says putting the names out there isn’t the right thing to do. However, Whiting argued that he didn’t put the names out to the media, and simply confirmed the names already out there.
Saying “I had a chat with Toto, I didn’t think it was any secret. When we had a little chat with the [media] guys [on Saturday] it was they who came up with the Ferrari man’s name [Sassi].”
He stressed that it was not unusual for teams to come to the FIA with questions about rivals. “It was just one of those normal conversations you have with somebody,” added Whiting.
“We think Ferrari may be doing this and this because of that,’ and we went and checked”
Wood leaves Williams after less than a month
After less than a month with Williams, the team’s chief designer Ed Wood has resigned and the teams head of aerodynamics Dirk De Beer has also left the British team.
De Beer joined Williams from Ferrari to give the team a new aerodynamic direction, however this year has seen the team take a further step back. In a statement, the team said “Williams can confirm that Dirk De Beer has stepped down from his role as head of aerodynamics, effective immediately.”
“The team would like to thank Dirk for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best for the future.
“Chief engineer, Doug McKiernan, who joined Williams earlier this year will now assume full responsibility over the aerodynamic and design direction of the car, with Dave Wheater stepping up to take on the role as head of aerodynamics.”
Williams changed direction for this season to try and deliver better performances across the majority of circuits.
Monaco proved worst behind Williams – Sirotkin
Sergey Sirotkin says that the Monaco Grand Prix has proved that Williams has passed the worst part of the season. The Russian made it through to the second part of qualifying and started twelfth.
He was on course to pick up points in Monaco if he wasn’t awarded a penalty after being awarded a stop and go penalty as the team worked on the car after the three-minute board. They were fixing a wheel assembly problem on his car.
That penalty wrecked his race, however, Siroktin says the qualifying performance showed that a nightmare previous race in Spain “was a weekend to forget” and the team was “back in our normal routine”.
He told Motorsport.com “It is a very positive trend. Barcelona was the one-off and I really wanted to prove that. I didn’t want that to upset our mentality and our motivation for all the work here and back at the factory.”
“Now we can confirm that Barcelona was a one-off. We are there, we are fighting, which is good not just in terms of the result but also mentally for all of us.” Sirotkin says that it was important to show a tangible performance step from Spain.
Though he failed to get through to Q3, Sirotkin believed that Williams had enough pace to get into the final part. Although he faired better than Lance Stoll who was knocked out in Q1.
The Canadian said “It was a pretty terrible day. After that, I was busy letting cars through with blue flags as I was a lap down.”
“Then we had temperature problems all race, and I was told to give gaps and let cars by, so there was not much of an opportunity and we just weren’t racing.”
Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said Stroll’s first puncture was “due to the brakes becoming too hot, which overheated the rim and caused the failure”.
Lowe added: “We failed to control that on the second set of tyres and he suffered another puncture.”
Red Bull places priority on engine
Red Bull says the team’s priority is deciding what engine to use next season, rather than Daniel Ricciardo’s new contract. The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season and is currently debating his future in Formula One.
Red Bull is also considering whether to switch from Renault to Honda next season. Ricciardo took his second win of the season in Monaco, and team principal Christian Horner says that could have put him in a stronger position.
Horner told Motorsport.com “You could say that [winning] made Daniel more expensive, it has put his value up, or it’s put the team in a stronger position in terms of valuable potential to him.”
“The reality is finding a solution to conclude a deal with Daniel in the next couple of months. First thing is get the engine sorted and then very much follow on from there with [the] driver.” Horner acknowledges that Ricciardo’s performance means his value continues to rise.
One of the key factors could be the decision about engines, but that isn’t as simple as being a customer or works team. Renault has frustrated Red Bull with its inability to catch Mercedes and Ferrari during F1’s era of V6 turbo-hybrids, Honda had three dismal years with McLaren.
Honda currently supplies Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso, with them already showing progress. With both manufacturers being upgrades for Montreal, is being seen as key.
Renault has made it clear that it is unhappy Red Bull has delayed a decision but Horner reiterated the chance to compare the two manufacturers’ progress was important.
He thinks the final call “should be, hopefully, fairly obvious, It will all depend on the data,” said Horner.
Miami admits to legal challenges over Grand Prix
The mayor of Miami Francis Suarez has admitted that the city will probably face legal threats over next years Miami Grand Prix but is insisting that everything will be done to avoid disruption to local residents.
The city is in negotiations with Liberty Media about a race next October and the City Commision has approved the first steps towards the race. However speaking to Motorsport.com, commissioner Joe Carollo raised the likelihood of legal threats by locals before he gave his approval.
“I was around back in the heyday of the Miami Grand Prix, and we’re going to have major activity that disrupts – either through noise or street closures – that affects the lives of these thousands of residents,” said Carollo.
“We’re going to end up being sued and I’m going to tell you that they’re probably going to win suits. I’m ready to move forward because this is only authorizing the administration to sit down, discuss and negotiate and come back to us for a final ruling.”
The mayor Suarez has acknowledged the concerns, saying that everything to address the residents concerns and he was already working with the two homeowner associations. Saying “Often residents can start off in opposition, but the fact they’re open to working with promoters and other stakeholders, for me that’s a big positive.
“From what I’ve seen from the promoters, they are very conscientious that this is a race that does impact residents and businesses, and everything I’ve seen from them indicates that they’re going to listen and work hard to make everybody happy.”