Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014

Safety questions over Ferrari turbo

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari’s 2014 turbo engine may come under scrutiny after questions over a potential safety hazard have been raised.


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Ferrari F1 turbo safety debated (Racecar Engineering)

??Racecar Engineering understands that while Renault and Mercedes interpreted 5.18.5 as meaning that the turbocharger needs an additional ballistic cover (which weighs around 3kg) Ferrari has not.??

Renault confirms battery issue (ESPN)

Remi Taffin: “The fact is that obviously we are facing problems. There are many problems we can see when we’ve got new cars and also on our side new power units. But for sure we know on our side that we had one problem that we have clearly identified and we wanted to fix it.”

McLaren rear design catches the eye – and the attention – of rival teams (SkyF1)

James Allison: ??I haven’t seen it in the flesh. All I’ve seen are some blurry pictures, but I would like to know more about it because it does interest me.??

Formula 1 can’t ignore fan backlash over double points – Toto Wolff (Autosport)

Wolff: ??I think obviously the shitstorm we got afterwards was something not expected. Was it the right move or not? 99 per cent of our fans and spectators, and this is what counts, told us it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit.??

Franz Tost Q&A: Teething problems to be expected (

Tost: ??What we?ve seen are teething problems – probably more than in ??normal? years, but Formula One is always able to overcome them. To be honest, I expected troubles on day one.??

Schumacher: One month on, unanswered questions remain (BBCF1)

Dr Gary Hartstein: “It is extremely unlikely, and I’d honestly say virtually impossible, that the Michael we knew prior to this fall will ever be back.??

Slavica Ecclestone worked for Yugoslavian secret service? (InSerbia)

??Bernie Ecclestone?s ex-wife allegedly worked for Yugoslavian secret service (UDBA), and may have some information about Stjepan Djurekovic, Croatian media report.??

Ayrton Senna Honda NSX for sale (BT)

??The stunning car, which is still in exemplary condition, was bought for Senna by his manager and friend Antonio Carlos de Almeida Braga, for the three-time World Champion to use when visiting his home in Portugal.??


Comment of the day

With McLaren announcing that former Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier is to become the team’s new Racing Director, reader Chris answers those who are critical of Ron Dennis’s approach to team management.

Look what he?s built McLaren into. The best British racing team in F1 history, the second most successful racing team ever in history (after only Ferrari themselves). And to top it all off, he?s made them the finest UK sportscar manufacturer that develops parts for the Auto industry, the motorsport industry and the aerospace industry.

And he?s done it all in the glory of another mans name, so don?t give me that about ego. He could have changed the team name to Project 4 when he bought Teddy Mayers shares out in 1981.

In my opinion, if you?re not a fan of Dennis, you?re no fan of McLaren. McLaren IS Ron Dennis.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Paul Frere was born on this day in 1917. Frere was a journalist first and a racing driver second, but often impressed at the wheel, particularly in his 11th and final start when he finished second to team mate Peter Collins for Ferrari at Spa-Francorchamps in 1956.

Part of the new Spa circuit was named after him following his death five years ago, at the age of 92.

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  • 55 comments on “Safety questions over Ferrari turbo”

    1. Toto Wolff, bring us hope.

      1. Toto is certain to become a popular figure and either an hypocrite or a foolish ignorant to his peers. F1 is just showing it’s true colours and wolff is right in saying what he’s saying but if he is serious he needs to create more ruckus otherwise empty words is all i hear deaf ears for everyone and guilty pleasures for all else.

      2. The cynic in me wonders if Wolff isn’t just saying that because he knows it is what the fans want to hear. The teams are very, very good at stirring up the masses when they are unhappy. They managed to create a frenzy over the tyres last year because they were not happy with them, and I seriously doubt that the problems were as bad as the teams made out – it was just easier to whinge to the media than it was to figure the tyres out. It has already been made clear that double points will happen this year, so Wolff’s comments are too little, too late. Nevertheless, he is clearly hoping that fans will latch onto his words. If he keeps telling them what they want to hear, eventually he will be able to tell them what he wants them to believe.

        1. and I seriously doubt that the problems were as bad as the teams made out

          Yeah, teams made out the problems in Silverstone. i saw Briatore piercing the tyres of the 4 cars.

          1. It was one of the curbs at silverstone. Didnt see at any of the races b4 tyres just blowing up drivers getting to greedy and taking to much curb was just as much of a problem as well!

            1. If the tires can’t handle a curb, that’s a problem. If the tires need swapping, and need casters and cambers and pressures outside the maker’s recommendations just to get any kind of small improvement in performance out of them, that’s a problem. If F1 and Pirelli don’t get by now that the teams are going to do everything they possibly can to succeed, that’s a problem. The tires were limiting the drivers into delta time running, and were limiting the racers from actually racing in the pinnacle of racing, and were causing a lottery effect, well before the Whiting-approved Pirelli tire test with Merc, which was about a month before RBR pulled the safety card.

        2. Can’t go along with that opinion. I doubt there is much real benefit to Wolff to pandering to the public outcry over double points. Just as I continue to doubt that RBR whining to the public through the media about the tires that were so obviously problematic, caused them to be changed.

          I don’t think it is that big a surprise that the overwhelming negative reaction to double points surprised those inside F1. I don’t think it makes them necessarily out of touch with the audience. They might have thought the split would be 50/50 ie. that there would be backlash, but couldn’t know until it was announced what the actual amount of backlash would be. If I were F1 I would not have brought in this rule this year while there are already so many new variables going on. If anything I would have floated it as a trial balloon….put it out there this year as something they are thinking about, and gauge reaction.

          I don’t think Wolff’s comments are too little too late…if nothing can be done to change their minds this year, there’s still the hope that the concept disappears next year.

          They are obviously scrambling to gain back audience but for me, until they address the real issue of their addiction to downforce, which on the bright side has been curtailed a bit for now, they run the risk of processions and therefore in their minds the need for gimmicks to create the story.

          I think that in general F1 has decided to stop trusting the audience to follow F1 based on driver vs. driver close racing providing the show, and instead feel the need to find bandages to rig the show like we can’t see through the smoke and mirrors. Yet I am encouraged that the fans have spoken, that F1 insiders continue to speak against double points, and that ultimately they are feeling the viewer downturn and are at least trying to react, even if they haven’t got it quite right yet…or have they? We haven’t seen them race in anger in this new format, and it might be an improved product out there as we speak. We’ll know soon enough after we see a handful of races.

          The double points rule might change nothing, or it might rob Williams of their first WDC since 97…then let’s see if Wolff was just pandering or if in fact he truly understands why the fans don’t want their WDC to merely be a lottery winner.

      3. Notice that Wolff isn’t saying what he’s saying because he intrinsically recognizes that double points are bad. He’s saying it because of the backlash, which in this case is good enough I guess, but nowhere near “bringing us hope”. He didn’t expect this kind of reaction, which says a lot about his understanding of the racing spirit.

        The language he uses isn’t very strong either: “perhaps it should be removed”, “maybe we need to find out” and “there are some arguments to keep it”… it doesn’t exactly strike me as a steadfast position.

    2. Wolff: “I think obviously the ****** we got afterwards was something not expected. Was it the right move or not? 99 per cent of our fans and spectators, and this is what counts, told us it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit.”

      Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, hooooooooooooold on here ! has a team member actually realized there’s a fanbase? and that they are what it counts? and that the double points was a wrong move?

      Hold my hand… I’m about to faint.

      1. What I don’t understand from that quote:

        I think obviously the ****** we got afterwards was something not expected

        How?! Thank you for realising that the fans are against and maybe you should listen, but how did you honestly not expect a backlash? Were you surprised how meekly we accepted DRS, so assumed we’d be the same again?

        1. they assumed that vettel-booing and constant moaning over his dominance for four years, and specifically at the end of last season was an indication that any change which could shake things up at the end of the season will be greeted favorably. poor decision making. although, honestly, i think that this whole double-points thing is more to do with Abu Dhabi money.

          1. @zimkazimka tha t seems like the best way to explain that, otherwise indeed @matt90, how did they not anticipate people disliking this then by not thinking about it.

          2. Yeah, when I emailed the teams about removing double points I mentioned it had that impression.

      2. LOL, I share your thoughts there!

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        30th January 2014, 8:01

        @fer-no65 – Never have the words “my sentiments exactly” been more applicable.

    3. Those electronics safety lights are interesting.

      I had never seen them (on top of chassis) before, or had never heard reference to them by commentators.
      They went totally unnoticed until the Mercedes unveil, even though they have been there for some time (albeit in another location on the cars).

      1. I think they were near the sticker “danger, KERS” in the cars.

    4. Was it a Renault van?

      That Schumacher article I thought was sensitively handled, well balanced and makes it clear it contains only speculation. A welcome improvement in the quality of writing on the BBC site.

    5. Forgive me if I’ve just missed them somehow but, where are the camera pods on the nose of the Red Bull? I saw someone else mention the lack of them a couple days ago but have seen nothing since.

      1. @f1ferrarifan1 I noticed that yesterday. I think they said they’re still ‘putting the car together’ and the car doesn’t need to be 100% legal, per se, by testing. I gather they’re still trying to place them for optimal aerodynamic influence… maybe this nose they’re using now is not going to be used in Melbourne either. Hard to speculate.

      2. They dont need to have the cameras on the car yet. I presume they will put the swivel camera in tip of the nose.

    6. In regard to the cotd, Ron Dennis back on top of McLaren is a great news for everyone in mclaren and a bad news for everyone else, truth is the work starts from the top. Ron Dennis will try everything to in order to win again and they are going to. In other news it seems so reckless not to have the 3kg of shield the spies are more than right to complain.

    7. It’s incredibly saddening to read of the likelihood that Michael Schumacher will not recover fully. I’ve been keeping up to date with Gary Hartstein’s excellent blog which has detailed a lot of information that’s in the BBC article. The odds are now heavily stacked against Schumacher’s recovery and I fear for his quality of life as well as I feel huge sympathy for his family going through such uncertainty. It’s a terrible state of affairs for a man who has done so much, and for me personally given so much joy. All the best Schumi.

      1. +100

      2. So what’s really happend with Martin Whitmarsh? Is he kicked out of the organisation?

        (…) Man, Formula 1 is a pool full of egoistical sharks.

    8. It still boggles me that F1 has a channel devoted to it and still cannot at the very least show the monitor recordings from the track on the channel. I don’t understand. I don’t live in the UK, and knew it wasn’t being televised but decided to take a look at a live stream of Sky Sports F1. I think I saw the bit where Ted Kravitz breaks down the new rules maybe three times within a half hour. What an incredible waste of money for those of you that pay for it. If there is no race action on, it’s features that are re-run over and over that you have seen already.
      Who cares if you don’t have someone talking about the testing just throw it on the channel. In my opinion they need to take a page from other professional sport networks (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB) where every event of that leagues season is captured no matter what it is. Now I must admit those channels also analyze events so much that it can become annoying, but I stand by my point.

      1. As I understand it, it’s FOM’s doing, not Sky’s.

        Sky need their permission to film, and I’d assume their feed as (I believe) FOM control broadcasts. Obviously neither were available.

        1. Yes indeed Neil, but even so, what @sward28 says still rings true: rather than look at gimmicky things because viewers stop watching races that aren’t likely to give any surprises and little interesting overtaking, nor matter for the championship much, maybe they should do two things.

          For one, they need to look at the quality of coverage they provide and who have access to it.

          But mostly, they need to think about what would improve watching
          an f1 weekend for the current, remaining fans. And that is good racing with some competition, not just in terms of ‘overtaking’ statistics to sell the bosses, but also in terms of allowing real racing on track, and DRS certainly isn’t doing that very well.

          If they just look at the facts and circumstances, they can explain a lot without having to go into weird panic mode. The Sky deal meant UK market had less people able to see full races; The tyres in the 2nd half of last few years didn’t help, as did the fact that last year only RBR did much development at the end of summer, with others largely switching to these new regulations, which explains some of what happened near the end (and maybe RBR will suffer a bit for it now, balancing it out a bit).

      2. @sward28 – Bear in mind that the teams probably aren’t keen on some of that stuff benig recorded, particularly when they think they’re onto something. McLaren have clearly come up with a clever solution for generating rear downforce in place of the beam wing. The last thing they would want is some enterprising soul with a TiVo being able to record images of it testing and watch it over and over again, using it as a visual reference for their own design. Of course, they would do it themselves if given half a chance, but we are talking about a sport were teams are willing to invest tens of millions of dollars in the pursuit of a tenth of a second per lap. Compromising that for the sake of a bit more footage on television during an event that does not count for any championship points is simply not worth it.

        1. I think teams are already experts at figuring out what the competition is doing such that airing testing would not change anything for them. And I also think that if they were convinced that there would be a big enough audience such that they should cover the testing, they would. That fact that they don’t tells me that most people aren’t interested in seeing a few cars go by occasionally without being able to put any meaning to the lap time they just did.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys Point taken, but then why did Sky run the last Barcelona test on their channel last year if teams are so paranoid someone is going to copy something? I get we are in a new era and there is new tech/aero that can be potentially copied or stolen, but personally in my opinion if I am paying for the channel, I would rather watch the Jerez test with one car pounding around the track then features I have seen over and over again.

          Who cares if there is a limited audience, the channel is devoted to F1, it’s not like they are going to show anything else on the channel. I don’t know what the answer is. Perhaps you’re right and Sky has their hands tied with FOM, it’s just frustrating.

    9. re: The COTD – Well, I am a Bruce McLaren fan, not really a Ron Dennis fan. McLaren was one of the classic privateers building and racing his own F1 cars back when I started watching F1. That is why I am still a fan of McLaren today. What Ron Dennis has accomplished running McLaren has been admirable in many ways from a business standpoint. Probably McLaren as a F1 team and a business is still going today because of Ron Dennis. I have not always approved of his style or the way he has done things, but I do acknowledge that few people could be as successful doing his job. It looks to me that he is now doing the only thing he could do, to retake control and run McLaren the way he sees fit. Everybody has the chance to learn and grow in life and he might do better this time around. Forming a good management structure that answers to him and without him having to be involved in all the day to day decisions might be the ticket to success for a renewed McLaren team. I wish McLaren success and want to see them challenging for podium finishes and wins again. Like Ron Dennis or not, if McLaren does well under his guidance, I will be happy to give him credit.

    10. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Bugger still 42 days to go

    11. Love the water truck tweet! :-)

      Forza H2O!

    12. Wolff: “I think obviously the ********* we got afterwards was something not expected. Was it the right move or not? 99 per cent of our fans and spectators, and this is what counts, told us it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit.”

      Strange, surely he attended the Strategy Group meeting last week in which none of the teams brought up the idea of cancelling it…

    13. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      30th January 2014, 3:47

      5.18.5 Measures must be taken to ensure that in the event of failure of the turbine wheel any resulting significant debris is contained within the car.

      No where does the regulation say that there MUST be a safety sheild. Just that turbine wheel can’t exit the vehicle. Good on Ferrari in this case.

      1. @braketurnaccelerate If a turbo fails and the the shaft or turbine blades get far too much play, you may create a serious problem which, when the turbo is spinning at 125,000 rpm, can send a ball bearing through quite a lot of stuff, such as aluminum, carbon fiber, skin, bone, etc. They may have an integrated solution; I’m not sure… Plus whomever was speaking on it seemed like it was only speculation.

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          30th January 2014, 6:23

          I am quite aware of the implications of a failed impeller or bearing. That said, it is quite rare (nearing impossible) for a bearing to fail in such a manner that it would rocket a ball bearing out while spinning 125,000rpm. When a ball bearing fails, the balls can generally only move parallel to the axis of rotation. The bearing outer race prevents the balls from being ejected at a 90° angle from the axis. This means that there is very little force behind the ball(s) when a bearing fails. Certainly not enough for a ball to penetrate the center housing. Generally the balls fall out rather then being ejected. What IS probable, is a failure of the impeller (compressor wheel). Whether that’s from metal fatigue, foreign materials entering, or a failed bearing (causing the impeller to strike the housing).

          It’s quite common for turbos to be built similar to Ferrari’s turbo, in that the housing is designed to contain any failures of the impeller(s) or more commonly called “bursts”. Likely, Mercedes and Renault opted for lightweight materials to make their package as light as possible and cheaper to manufacture. Whereas Ferrari likely opted for either a heavier housing or a stronger, more exotic material, or most likely a little bit of both.

          I would recommend you take a gander at this article produced by Garrett. Understand that is written in a bit of an advertising manner, but it is still quite useful.

          1. Are the turbos aligned with the car – front/back or left/right or up/down? I was thinking about gyroscopic action.

            1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
              30th January 2014, 8:17

              @timothykatz – They’re aligned front to back. I’m not 100% clear what you mean by gyroscopic action, but it’s insignificant.

            2. @braketurnaccelerate Ta for that. I was thinking about the mass of the rotating part of the turbo, spinning at significant revs, whether it would set up a resistance to having the axis turned – just like a child’s gyroscope, and whether it would be a problem.

      2. I think its quite significant that Racecar Engineering themselves when posting the story on Twitter added the comment that in their view there should be no requirement for such an ballistic shield @braketurnaccelerate, @beejis60

        Interesting topic though, because on the other hand I understood from the article that the memos sent by the FIA were quite clearly pointing the manufacturers towards installing such a shield, hence why Mercedes and Renault now ask questions. Off course it might just be about a push to raise weight altogether. Makes you wonder what led the FIA to come up with this stress on containing these parts at a relatively late time in the development.

    14. Sexiness order:
      1 McLaren
      2 Red Bull
      3 Willaims
      4 Sauber
      5 Lotus?
      6 Force India
      7 Caterham
      8 Mercedes
      9 Toro Rosso
      10 Ferrari

      1. Hes sorting the cars with the most pleasing looks to him not its appendages. Silly idea @beejis60

      2. If McLaren painted that nose @chaddy it’d be so much better also!

    15. Couldn’t agree more with the COTD, very well said.

    16. The van that was pulling the Marussia trailer to Jerez broke down? That’s slapstick right there. :)

      One of the best pieces of news is that both Button and #BOTTAS seem to enjoy driving the car again. I just hope this doesn’t change when they’re doing race simulations.

      1. Guttierez also mentioned its more fun to drive when you can barely control all the power at your hands out of the corners, lets hope we see some driving on the edge this year!

    17. For Ferrari instead there has been a request for clarification from the part of the Mercedes, since the turbocharger lacks the external protection in theory required to protect against splinters in case of breakage. The team at Maranello , however, has stated that their turbocharger is manufactured by an outside supplier with certain specifications, the FIA considered sufficient.

    18. From what I understand the FIA has already cleared the Ferrari Trubo and has deemed it legal, picked this up on the autosport forums yesterday.

    19. Here’s hoping for 10 cars on track tomorrow now that the Marussia is also here (even if the van bringing it to Jerez broke down on the way)

      When did Marussia start making vans?

    20. Oh, someone had a creative idea that we didn’t think of? Let’s complain and make it outlawed!
      Get the **** out with your innovation and creative thinking, this is F1!

    21. I was wondering how long it would take teams to question the legality of others’ cars (even if they don’t say “we think this is illegal”).

      I suppose we can now look forward to Christian Horner trying to browbeat the FIA into forcing McLaren to reveal their secrets.

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