Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014

Ferrari seek solutions to turbo power shortage

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari are looking to make up their turbo power shotfall.


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Ferrari in talks with new turbo supplier (F1 Technical)

“Italian magazine Autosprint has reported that the team has begun talks to change turbo suppliers after finding out that the turbo of the current power unit, supplied by Honeywell, is one of the main problems for the car’s lack of performance.”

F1 changes grab headlines, but behind the scenes motor sport has a plan for growth (James Allen on F1)

“The changes to the F1 rules, in particular the introduction of standing starts in 2015 and the singular lack of any meaningful action on cost-cutting, have dwarfed what happened at the conference.”

If Hamilton is really serious about winning Formula One title, ditch Fuller and ask Anthony to come back (Daily Mail)

“Lewis may well win this year’s championship but even to think that he might not, tells you how much Anthony is missed.”


Comment of the day

A disappointed fan of the-team-formerly-known-as-Lotus on their potential demise:

Who ever does buy the team we currently know as Caterham, they can’t do much of worse job than Fernandes. It’s been a recovery run the whole way from him.

I had high hopes for that team for some reason. I have a ‘Lotus Racing’ cap from the first year that I bought at a race – that’ll never be worth anything.

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On this day in F1

American racer Harry Schell was born on this day in 1921. He ran his own Maserati in the 1954 season and was picked up by the team at the end of the season. He began the following year for them, then did two races for Ferrari before ending the year at the wheel of a Vanwall.

In 1956 he picked up his first points in a Vanwall but the following year was back in a Maserati and took his first podium finish in the Pescara Grand Prix.

For 1958 he was at the wheel of a BRM and at Zandvoort he finished second to Stirling Moss for what would be his best ever grand prix finish.

After a second season with BRM he returned to entering his own cars. But while practising for the non-championship International Trophy race at Silverstone he crashed on the wet track and was killed.

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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  • 46 comments on “Ferrari seek solutions to turbo power shortage”

    1. Interesting from Ferrari, surely if the supplier was the main issue this would have been found out a while back? I’m not sure this is to spread the blame or a last chance saloon for the season.

      1. Ferrari just want to lower the price of ext years turbo.

      2. I think it possible that they took advice from Honeywell about the size and spec of the turbo they used in this year’s PU and it looks like the product supplied maybe doesn’t meet the technical information supplied by Honeywell that lead to the decision to use this particular spec. If the supplier can provide accurate performance information about their products then go to someone who can. Also possibly Honeywell provide the MGU-H and that is not working how it should either as the turbo and the H must be a combined unit I’m sure. But if you are Ferrari and your having an almost epic fail of a season (given they are just like Mercedes in that the produce chassis and PU) then you look into every aspect that could be improved.

      3. I am really surprised that Ferrari would choose an off-the-shelf turbo-charger for a F1 application as the article tends to suggest, if however Honeywell built the turbo to specs. supplied by Ferrari then it is a pretty cheap shot. It seems only Mercedes looked closely at the challenge of building an engine that maximised the opportunities available in a very tight and complete (boringly so) specification, they deserve their year of glory. Next year ?

        1. I think is not so much off the shelf but possibly not performing as per expectation and/or how it compares to the bespoke requirements that were laid down at the start of the process.

        2. The speculation suggests that the issues are more to do with the interface between the turbocharger and the energy recovery systems – the Honeywell turbocharger is reportedly quite a sophisticated unit, but was not originally designed to operate in tandem with an energy recovery unit such as the one used by Ferrari.

          The trick that Mercedes are possibly able to get away with is having a larger turbocharger unit where they can recover a larger amount of thermal energy from whilst preventing severe turbo lag – Ferrari and Renault, by contrast, seem to be struggling in that area, which means that their cars seem to be struggling to recover quite as much thermal energy (which is reflected in the slightly greater fuel efficiency of the Mercedes engine to boot).

          1. Sounds logical, in normal turbo instalations there is always the trade-off between power and lag, the attached motor/gen, if it can maintain the compressor rpm during lift-off, solves that problem.

      4. @giggsy1 Peter Windsor in the pre-season test said that he heard anonymously that Ferrari had a problem with the turbo, in his words Peter believed the turbo was too big.

    2. Seems like another desperate attempt at avoiding blame for Ferrari. Sad, really, that (arguably) the greatest team in F1 has decided to do this.

      Nevertheless, if they can sort it out and it does make a difference, good for them!

      1. This is either a (bad) elaborate charade to shift blame from Ferrari to a third party supplier who barely gets any exposure out of the deal, a way to justify another italian part in the car or a genuine attempt to improve the engine. Given that we’re talking about the engine, of all parts, I think they are trying to improve.

      2. It seems that things will only change at Ferrari when they themselves start taking some responsibility for their results. Blaming suppliers, and blaming rules is not going achieve anything, except make it look they are chucking a tantrum.

        1. Because, as we all know, third-party suppliers are completely infallible and never screw anything up.

    3. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      29th June 2014, 1:02

      Why don’t they keep Honeywell and fire Luca?
      I guess something is wrong about his management style.

      1. Wouldn’t want Ferrari to win now, would we ;)

      2. @omarr-pepper
        When Luca was named Ferrari president after the death of Enzo, Ferrari was losing compared to their rivals in the car industry, with the exception of the F40 and its predecessor the 288 GTO the other models were crap. The F1 team was trashed by the competition, apart from being slow the Ferrari F1 cars were unreliable. Now it is true that the F1 team is losing again but the brand is as strong as ever (the world most powerful brand) and the resources are there to challenge for world championship, let’s not forget how many WDC/WCC the team has won under his leadership, his CV inside Ferrari at least is astonishing.

        1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
          29th June 2014, 13:14

          @tifoso1989 but what is lackiing so? Time changes fast, maybe they are going through a “McLaren time” as well. I can say Ron is also a super team leader, and Martin was not necessarily an unprepared guy. But McLaren has lost their way lately. And Ferrari, even being still competitive, (because they never fall horribly in the WCC) needs some extra spark to be THE team.
          I’m really waiting for your point of view, cause you know more about them than me.

          1. @omarr-pepper
            The difference between McLaren and Ferrari is that McLaren a team that relies too much on sponsors, they used to be Mercedes works team but as of 2013 for the first time since many years they began to pay for their engines (around 8 million euro), they also lost to Ferrari in the WCC in 2012 (more than 20 million), and finally they lost their title sponsor Vodafone.
            Ferrari on the other hand can rely on the bonus prize for their commitment in F1 (last year they gained more money than RBR the WCC winners) and on the backing of the mother company FIAT apart from the annual profit from their road car business.
            Since 2008 Ferrari has been struggling with 2 aspects, management and technical leadership, Jean Todt and Ross Brawn were the reference points in Maranello and they have gone. The replacement (Domenicali, Costa and then Fry) were not doing great to be honest and Luca was busy in politics and his commitment in F1 decreased. The 2009 rule change was a big blow for Ferrari, to be honest i don’t know what Domenicali was doing he should have vetoed that rule because it was against Ferrari’s interests.
            Ferrari’s philosophy of building a F1 car was radically changed they were relying too much on testing because they actually own 2 test track (Fiorano and Mugello) and a great 2 tracks like Monza and Imola are also close to them. They ended up with an old F1 structure with an old wind tunnel (build in 1996 by Renzo Piano) while other teams like Mclaren (the first F1 simulator project in which Newey was involved) and RBR were miles away in those fields.
            Ferrari got their wind tunnel problems sorted, their new F1 team HQ ready, their simulator up to date only this year, and because of this serious situation FIAT CEO the brilliant Sergio Marchionne decided with Luca to name Mattiacci as a team principle who is a very respected manager and a close friend to the Agnelli’s family (FIAT group & Juventus historic owners).
            The main job of MM is replace all the traditional working methodology in Ferrari and to ensure the team is up to date in every area with the latest technology.
            James Allison is now leading the project 666 of the 2015 car and correcting the F14T which was a complete fail in every area.
            Amedeo Felisa (Ferrari CEO, a former polytechnic engineer) and Jean Jacques His have joined the engine department recently to work on the next year’s PU.
            I’m not saying that Ferrari will win straight away in 2015, the team is moving to the right direction, the problem is that Ferrari cannot progress this year because they have missed with PU and they have to stuck with it until next year.

            1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
              29th June 2014, 17:47

              @tifoso1989 fair and great analisis. COTD man.

            2. From what I understand, Ferrari can only veto certain technical regulations (unless the changes are to improve safety) provided that they can prove that there would be a definite economic loss for them, and even then that is under certain limitations.

              It would have been very difficult for them to prove that there would be any definite economic loss – particularly when Ferrari provided input into the Technical Working Group that help create the new regulations in the first place. If anything, Ferrari were interested in reducing the dependence on aerodynamic performance for 2009, so regulations stripping away many of the winglets that had appeared on the cars at the time were supported by Ferrari.

    4. There’s a quote in the James Allen article that I’m sure everyone will love:
      “[Alejandro] Agag said Formula E had spent much time in researching methods of making the championship appealing to younger generations and said that the controversial ‘fanboost’ system, by which social media users vote for drivers to receive a brief power boost during races, had partly been inspired the Super Mario Kart video game.”
      I don’t think these guys have the right idea when it comes to making motorsport appealing to the masses…

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        29th June 2014, 1:28

        right. Everybody knows Super Mario Kart is fun because it isn’t real. But if they keep that line, the next Forrmula E champion will be the guy who collected the most banana skins to defend his position.

        1. JAs article is a bit of a heavy read but it is worth it when you get to the last sentence. Unfortunately I doubt any of the delegates had the balls to make that point.

          Careful Omarr, don’t give Bernie ideas or some poor sod will have to workout how to design a banana skin launcher for F1 cars.

        2. Imagine if they fitted Ferrari with turtle shell launchers…. But regardless, even if they invented the star to make u impervious to all damage, I still think RBR would manage to break down with no power.

      2. @ciaran Well, it’s not like F1 knows how to appeal to the masses anymore either. I’ll tell you what though, a fanboost system will definitely make me more likely to tune in and interact with Formula E, than any DRS, MGU-H/K or turbo will from F1. So they might actually be on to something.

        1. @timi You’d genuinely prefer a series with fanboost than one with technologies like MGU-H/K and turbochargers? Well to each their own I suppose…

          1. @ciaran I didn’t say I’d prefer a series like that, but the fan interaction combined with an interesting performance boost absolutely turds on DRS and MGUs. That’s what I’m saying.

      3. That reminds me of Deathrace. No there’s a idea

    5. “If Hamilton is really serious about winning Formula One title, ditch Fuller and ask Anthony to come back (Daily Mail)”

      What the hell does that have to do with Lewis wining the championship??? Does Fuller or Anthony drive the car??? Seriously!!!! Headlines like those just confirm that F1 is all about publicity! I see no logic in it! At the end of the day, Lewis is the one who drives and fights for victory not the MANAGER!! This just ticked me off so bad!

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        29th June 2014, 6:42

        But a manager can play a certain role in keeping a driver focused on the important things.

        1. Anthony? The guy who messed up with DiResta? Good idea

          1. Yeah what I don’t get is that LH and his Dad had reasons for their parting of that kind of driver/manager relationship, but I’m pretty sure his Dad I’d still his Dad. If LH wanted advice from him he’d get it. And if they’re not talking, then AH is certainly not a candidate to replace Fuller if replacing him is something needed.

      2. Do some homework, you will be shocked. Tiger woods old caddy never hit the ball but made tiger unbeatable… remember when Federer was incredible too? SupercCoaches do not get the credit they deserve… do youb think rosberg would go unpunished for monaco or canada if anthony was there? Ask Alonso…..

        1. I’d liken a caddy to an engineer rather than a manager so I don’t think the Tiger Woods example is entirely relevant. Also during some of Roger Federer’s best years he actually didn’t have a coach at all. This is just another case of creating a non-story about Hamilton because of the attention it attracts. You could argue that changing manager was the best career decision Hamilton has made because perhaps he wouldn’t have moved to merc if Anthony was still his manager. Essentially it’s all ifs and buts and no solid journalism, but its written by the Daily Mail so that’s no surprise. To put Hamilton’s failure to win a WDC on his management, who got him the best car on the grid, is just plain ridiculous.

          1. @zahir
            “To put Hamilton’s failure to win a WDC on his management, who got him the best car on the grid, is just plain ridiculous.”

            My point exactly!! Sure a coach can work wonders but I fail to see how a Manager can have an effect on how a driver works…

            “But a manager can play a certain role in keeping a driver focused on the important things.”

            Such as?? I mean, I doubt a driver has other things on his mind on a race weekend! Outsid the track, they ARE humans!!! They are entitled to a life. Management should just stick to that… get the driver the best deals, best car, etc…

    6. 2 dnf’s in races Rosberg finished, but yet the difference in the standings is less than 43 points. Even if you discount Canada as possibly his own fault, the reason he’s behind is clear, and nothing to do with his dad. And I’m not a fan.

    7. They need some jet-fuel in those engines, that’s all!


      1. Let’s be realistic ! What has di Montezemolo to do with this ?!? Nothing. He’s just the principal. Actually, maybe he’s “at fault” in case he’s the one who chose and/or signed Honeywell as the turbo supplier. Anyway, if they have 3rd parties involved with supplying parts for their cars, it’s obvious they have to look at the those parts too… when the car is not performing well, no ?!? Enough races already passed in order to make a pretty good opinion about what’s working well enough and what’s not working well. So, I’m not really believing them, but not blaming them for throwing the blame on the suppliers. We should wait some more time and see what happens.

        1. I don’t see this as a blame game…just a reality that has now been realized now that they have had time to assess where they are lacking. I’m sure Honeywell builds a good turbo, but it happens that Merc has nailed not just their turbo but everything this year. If Merc wasn’t running away with the Championships Ferrari and Renault would be competitive. But Merc have set a high benchmark. And I doubt a better turbo would solve ALL of Ferrari’s woes, although more power sure wouldn’t hurt. Bemoaning something the teams signed off on, namely the development restrictions, doesn’t wash for me.

      2. Did I miss the official Ferrari statement saying ‘yeah, it’s probably the Honeywell turbo, like that source told Autosprint’, or are you extrapolating here?

    9. That would make 2 teams that were wrong about their turbo power – which speaks for Mercedes brilliancy. With the restrictions and the long development time, I expected that the power gap would be within 2-3% – and never that something as essential as the turbo becomes a differentiating factor.

    10. Has anyone heard from Martin Whitmarsh recently?

      1. Who?

      2. McLaren’s lawyers, probably.

      3. No – then again, it is possible that the terms of his employment with McLaren contained a non disclosure agreement that forbids him from speaking to the press.

    11. I think they will improve.

    Comments are closed.