Rory Byrne, Ferrari

Byrne returns to Ferrari to work on 2014 car

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Rory Byrne, FerrariIn the round-up: Rory Byrne, who masterminded the cars which brought Ferrari a string of championship successes in the early 2000s, has returned to the team to work on their car for the new 2014 rules.


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Byrne lending a hand with Ferrari’s 2014 car (Reuters)

“Ferrari are tapping the talents of Rory Byrne, the South African designer whose cars took Michael Schumacher to seven Formula One drivers’ titles with Benetton and Ferrari, to help with development of their 2014 car.”

Out of the Box (Marussia)

“Just like the weather, there were good days and there were dark days during that period. Chief among the latter was the announcement that, by mutual consent, the team and its race driver Timo Glock would go their separate ways after three seasons together. Timo is a world-class driver who has contributed an enormous depth of experience to our team; we would miss him for sure. Unfortunately, though, the ongoing challenges facing the industry meant that we had to take steps to secure our long-term future.”

Meditations on the F1 Season to Come ? and on 20 Seasons Run (IHT Rendezvous)

“They all look fairly similar ? although some, thank goodness, have smoothed out that ugly nose problem of last season. There is good reason for the familiarity; the technical regulations haven?t changed much since last season. The big changes will all occur next year, especially with the change in the engine specifications.”

Comment of the day

Following yesterday’s look at the best starts to a season by a driver, @Racer offers some that didn’t get off to a good start but ended well:

James Hunt for McLaren, Brazil 1976: Took pole only to crash out due to a sticking throttle. Won the drivers’ championship that year.

Nelson Piquet for Brabham, Canada 1978: Crashed in practice, qualified 14th and finished 11th. An uncompetitive full season in 1979 followed, but then many competitive seasons including two drivers’ championships.

Ayrton Senna for McLaren, Brazil 1988: Black-flagged for changing to the spare car too late. However he had shown promise by taking pole and climbing from last to second within 20 laps. Won the championship that season.

Michael Schumacher for Ferrari, Australia 1996: He retired with a car failure having been outqualified by Irvine! Somehow he dragged the dog of a Ferrari to three wins and third in the drivers’ championship. This was followed by several years of narrowly missing out, but once his got started there was no stopping him…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Willis and Tom.Y!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The first world championship race in Brazil was held 40 years ago today. Victory went to home hero and reigning champion Emerson Fittipaldi:

We also wish a happy birthday to 1964 world champion John Surtees, who is 79 today!

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 42 comments on “Byrne returns to Ferrari to work on 2014 car”

    1. Byrne working on the 2014 car can only be a good thing, but as yet we are not sure what his role is? Its no surprise that he was quoted as saying the F138 is like child’s play compared to the 2014 car. As much as I am sad to see the screaming engines go, its also quite exciting to see F1 back to the way it should be next year (although somewhat restricted with rules compared to the old days), with engineering for the whole car being developed. Going to be fantastic to see what the teams come up with, but on the down side we could see the small budget teams a long way off the pace!

    2. If Newey is God, then Byrne is a Titan. Forza Ferrari! :-)

      1. Get this bug fixed! It´s annoying as heck!! I´m @catracho504


        According to the Oxford Dictionary:

        Definition of Titan

        1 Greek Mythology any of the older gods who preceded the Olympians and were the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth).

        Very well said kingshark!! 2014 looks very promising!! *rubs hands with evil grin*

        1. Major news Keith! I’m just sorry I read it a day late.

    3. Drop Valencia!
      11th February 2013, 1:09

      Byrne + Alonso = Vettel < WDC

      1. Where’s Newey?

        1. thatscienceguy
          11th February 2013, 2:29

          Webber + Vettel

          1. Yes, car designer is above driver in a team. Nothing new there.

          2. To be more acurate, it’s:

            Vettel + Webber


    4. so Ferrari is really serious

      1. Serious or desparate?

        1. Perhaps both of them

    5. Rory Byrne to Ferrari? That’s strange… I though all lead designers went to Mercedes? ;)

      1. I laughed! :)

    6. Byrne being brought back shows how serious Ferrari are taking the development of their 2014 car, and I guess how much of a massive shift it’s going to be come next year. Meanwhile an understudy team is heading the design and development of their F138. I hope that’s the right call.

      1. I wouldn’t call it an ‘understudy team’. From what I’ve heard, Ferrari has two teams, but they do not differ that much in experience and skill, with the exception of Bryne now joining the 2014 team.

        1. My apologies, it appears you’re right. I had read elsewhere that Nikolas Tombazis had left the F138 development team entirely to focus on 2014 but as I understand he’s overseeing both the F138 and 2014 projects. Having such a senior member not be involved with the current car led me to believe that they had thrown the F138 development to their B-Team.

      2. Who cares? MERCEDES WILL DOMINATE! (at least that’s what they say every 5 seconds)…

    7. Byrne has been working with Ferrari as a consultant all these years yes?

      But anyway, is this really going to make a difference? Although he has been working with Ferrari, how involved has Rory really been with the development of the cars over the last 6 years? If I had to guess, I would say fleeting at best? I really dont know.

      The fact is, the guy is 70 years old and has been out of the game for a while now, can he really make a difference? The cars have changed significantly since he last designed a car…but since he is a genius, I sincerely hope that wont matter. If Ferrari are going back to Byrne, it shows they probably dont have much confidence in Tombazis. If I was Tombasiz, I wouldn’t really have welcomed this news in great spirits…it basically tells me Im not good enough at my job.

      1. He hasnt been involved for the past 6 years. He was a consultant for their road car division.

      2. Sorry; but it would be stupid of Ferrari to not use his expertise when a new change of rules are going to be implemented. It doesn’t mean that Tombazis is not good enough, it just means he has got a chance to work with the best available to Ferrari.

      3. @jaymenon10 I think all Tombisaz needs to do in that situation is look at how many championships Ferrari have won since 2007.

      4. He managed to keep up with developments from the 80s until 2006 as well, so I think a guy like Byrne wouldn’t need much time to get the hang of things again. I highly doubt he has lost his understanding or philosophy on car design and it’s not like he’s replacing Tombasiz. If Ferrari wants to win any championships in 2013, they’ll need to split focus between this year’s and next year’s cars, and I think Tombasiz would welcome the additional resources.

      5. His age is irrelevant as is the time he has been out of the sport, the skill required is in using core fundamentals such as aero, mechanics and design to overcome challenges.

        If I Tombasiz, I would welcome the help from a person like Byrne!

    8. Let’s see what Ferrari team iis missing for they success – Byrne talent or unlimited testing.

    9. A bit of an interesting thing (even coming from German top tabloid Bild) is the news that Hülkenberg has to cut the backside of the soles of his racing shoes so his toes don’t bang into the top of the chassis too much.
      Hülkenberg (in German):

      „Meine Zehen stoßen in dem engen Cockpit immer oben an, wenn ich auf die Pedale gehe. Unser Trick ist, dass wir die Gummi-Sohle hinten an den Fersen abschneiden. Damit gewinnen wir ein bisschen Platz!“

      I though Hülkenberg was signed pretty early, so its a bit surprising to see he doesn’t fit in. Will be a curious story to follow the blisters on his feet all year then :-)

      1. I know what he’s talking about. That’s the only reason I’m not in F1. Enormous feet.

        1. I have very small feet and you would expect would be a perfect F1 driver. I almost made it into F1, but was dropped at the last minute by some huge footed pay-driver with backing from Hush Puppies.

          1. That made me lol in a library!

    10. Cheers for CotD Keith!

    11. Byrne has contributed his F1 expertise to develop the carbon chassis for the Enzo successor. Since he already had a 100 Gb internet & supercomputer connection from his paradise retreat in Thailand somebody must have thought why not continue with a high value consulting job?
      Well done, Monty, for once! Well done!

    12. I don’t think Byrne is the big news, much more important is the impending change in Pope, I believe that Ferrari have been a much weaker team during Pope Benedict’s reign – perhaps the change at the top in Rome could spell good news for the team from Maranello.

      I assume that Ratzinger will return to Germany now. Perhaps Mercedes will pick him up as praying for a miracle may be their only hope of producing a car which Lewis can challenge for titles with.

    13. Awesome news!! That is why I love this site!
      Finally Newey will meet his match! I am so glad to be able to see this F1 era… Titans fighting for the championship and two genius gonna fight for the best car in 2014! What more can one ask for!

      Finally Ferrari shows it´s hunger for titles!!

    14. Has this been mentioned in any of the round-ups?
      The Finnish media is reporting that Kimi Räikkönen and his wife Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen are no longer living together, and Kimi’s “PR manager” Riku Kuvaja has confirmed this.

      1. old news. Daily Mail had you beat on that by a few days at least, lol…

        1. I know it’s old, but I hadn’t seen it mentioned here.

      2. Old news – at least 2 days if not longer

    15. Colin Chapman was super-against Emmo wearing that sponsor hat at the end of the GP. Was it a Goodyear cap?

    16. Didn’t like the 2014 turbo sound at all from Lotus. Was like a very low hum similar with the 80s and feels like the Nissan GTR. Hope cars will be much faster and chew up the corners for the deficit. Will miss the screaming V8 and many will too.

    17. why didnt ross braun employ this guy for mercedes is beyond me? schumacher, braun and bryne would have been awesome again

    Comments are closed.