Rory Byrne, Ferrari

Byrne returns to guide Ferrari back to winning ways

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Rory Byrne, FerrariIn the round-up: Rory Byrne, who contributed to Ferrari’s dominance in the early 2000s, has resumed working with the team.


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Veteran designer Byrne back at Ferrari (ESPN)

"Rory is working with Simone, he's giving to Simone as a mentor because of his experience and he's working on some detail of the car."

Hamilton says Mercedes’ focus is reliability (Crash)

"They (Mercedes) always manage it by percentage, but I think we were in the 80s (percent) last year and this year we want to be in the 90s."

‘Formula One is not a game’ - Alonso’s manager (F1i)

"The crash was very hard. We don’t have images but it was very hard and he has to recover because it was a serious impact and Formula One is not a game."

Lotus E23 Hybrid - unique air intake configuration (F1)

"One of the stand-out features on Lotus's new E23 Hybrid is the airbox design, which is quite revolutionary."

F1 form guide (MotorSport Magazine)

"There’s a suggested pattern from all of the multiple laps of running that Ferrari and Lotus have made genuinely big progress – and that they might actually be somewhere close to Red Bull pace."

Renault Sport F1 Barcelona test review (Renault)

"From a technical standpoint we’re ready for Melbourne ; everything has been checked. But we’re still not producing the level of performance that we’d like to."


Comment of the day

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Why did Fernando Alonso’s crash attract so many outlandish explanations?

Remember when Maldonado crashed in China. F1 cars are extremely demanding and nervous. Even at very, very slow speeds, and reasonably slow speeds for F1 is still very fast in the real world.

I don’t get, why people have to invent fantastical explanations without evidence, for comparatively mundane events, which have tons of more probable, boring explanations.

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  • 57 comments on “Byrne returns to guide Ferrari back to winning ways”

    1. I can’t remember which was the last year I did NOT hear about Byrne being involved with a car. As far as I remember, he was involved with both 2012 and 2014 Ferraris and I thought he was on there constantly as a consultant or something similar since 2011. Only car he probably didn’t have anything to do with was 2015 Ferrari, because they wanted to remove everyone before starting with recruitment process again.

      1. I think the big deal is that before, in the Nicholas Tombazis years, he was not substantially involved (with only a minor mentoring role) and was still living in Thailand. Now, with Nicholas Tombazis being fired by Ferrari, they have apparently realised that Simone Resta would benefit from a greater involvement from Rory Byne, and this year he has apparently come back from Thailand to Maranello, having a more hands-on role and spending more time on the job mentoring Simona Resta.

        If you can access Sky Sports, it’s mentioned in this interview around the 3 minute mark (they have just emerged from a press conference with Maurizio Arrivabene).

      2. Let’s learn what this means with the future Newey cars. I’m sure that RBR could follow a similar course, Ferraris were good after Byrne and then the rules changed and Ferrari was on the back foot.

      1. Wow, great find

      2. Nice find!

        Re the COTD – it’s Occam’s Razor

    2. Reagrding Lotus being up there with Red Bull – yep, tyre compund-corrected, they are up there based on their best lap of the test… right about 1.8s behind the Merc.

      And Grosjean’s race sim was about the same pace as Ricciardo’s or Kvyat’s was. Grosjean aborted it, but he did do two or three fine stints.

      Problem is, that awfully big gap to the Merc – I just simply can’t believe it’s that big. From here on in, we’re talking about hunches, but I just can’t believe it.

      So if it’s indeed not, then Red Bull is further up the road then Lotus.

      …As for Ferrari though, I can absolutely believe they’ve bridged the gap to Red Bull. They have a better car design and are said to have developed their engine better. This one is less of a hunch.

      1. Following on that chain of thought, I do think Lotus improved (just by installing the Mercedes engine, mostly), so I expect them to be top of the non-factory entrants bar Williams. Kind of a Lotus-STR-Sauber.

        And we also know about Williams and Ferrari being put on the same page by some Williams guy (I can’t remember the source), so that would make another tight bunch consisting of Red Bull-Ferrari-Williams.

        Mercedes is probably still at the front by some margin which could be anywhere from 0.5s to 1.5s…

        …So we have McLaren and Force India who we absolutely can’t judge as of yet.

        1. …And, of course, Manor at the back, if they can make it. (Rooting for them to do so. I disagree with those saying ‘blah, they are too slow, no need to be here’, if they can do it, do it, if that’s the maximum then that’s sad, but still…)

      2. ferrari have better car design? On what grounds are you basing that claim?

        1. @f1fan123 Well, let’s begin with the front of the car and move towards the rear.

          They’ve finally introduced something that resembles more to a modern front wing than a piece from the 2000s with those mini-Venturi channels formed by the curved and heavily split outer part of the front wing main flaps.

          They are likely to introduce a short nose of some kind (either wide as Williams’ or narrow as Mercedes’ or Lotus’) which is the route to follow.

          They’ve visibly redesigned suspension arrangements by placing the inner mounting points lower for more mechanical grip and copied Mercedes’ Y lower wishbones and Red Bull’s blown front axles.

          Further back, they’ve also redesigned their PU, placing the MGU-H in a more conventional place instead of between the compressor and the turbo to increase the latter’s performance (which was visibly lacking last year during the races due to grounded fears of overheating).

          Despite the above, they’ve still managed to refine the arrangements of the other things inside to make for a reasonably slim coke bottle, very much similar to Red Bull in concept.

          They’ve placed the monkey set on the single central rear wing support pillar and introduced quite unique horizontal splits on the low side of their rear wing endplates.

          Finally, they’ve capped it off with Red Bull-style mini vortex channels in the middle channel of the diffuser underside.


          To clarify, I didn’t mean they’ve got ‘a better design’ than Red Bull per se, but a better design than the F14 T overall. A lot better as I can hardly put together a longer list of seemingly well-devised changes compared to last year’s car for any other team on the grid…

      3. @atticus-2 That fits in with Renault falling back. They might have only halved the gap to the 2014 Mercedes – say 30hp, while Mercedes gained another 50-60hp. They are aiming to use the tokens to make that up through the year…. but if true it does leave Red Bull vulnerable to Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus… and McLaren can develop reliability to their heart’s content.

    3. Taking pictures and publishing pictures are too very different things Mr. Thompson.

      1. As is the word ‘too’ and the number ‘two’. ;-)

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th February 2015, 2:24

        And limiting tweets to 140 characters is yet another skill.

        If he has so much to tell us then he should write his biography.

        1. You can’t really expect a photographer to limit his tweets to 140 characters. In fact, Twitter has a policy to allow verified photogs 1000 words, if they don’t post a picture. All he has to do is apply to the program.

          1. Or, start a blog…

      3. which photographer takes pictures not to be published????

        1. Ones who are documenting something but don’t yet know the severity of the situation and have a moral code?

      4. Having compassion and conscience is what separates photographers from the paparazzi.

        1. While I think @bullmello‘s comment is apt, I cannot help but think that perhaps F1Thommo was suggesting that even though we’re not in the 70’s anymore where a driver is seriously maimed or worse on a regular basis, during the course of a race weekend, there are still people out there that only follow the sport and flock to these sorts of incidents to capture a glimpse of something truly horrific.

          I personally would like think that F1 fans wouldn’t denegrate themselves to that level, but I guess that photographer who climbed up on the wall trying to take pictures of Alonso may have just shown me otherwise.

      5. I resisted taking pictures then took a few ???

        Uhm , ok

        1. Yes I thought this as well. So he takes a few photos, then when another photographer comes along and starts taking photos of exactly the same thing it’s suddenly disrespectful??

          His Tweets come across as “Do as I say, not as I do”.

          1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            24th February 2015, 8:00

            No. Thompson’s point is that where he only took pictures when the blankets were out and Alonso could not be seen, his colleague climbed a fence to take pictures over the blankets, and tried to get a glimpse of Alonso.
            I know, that latter point isn’t literally in the tweets, but that what they imply to me.

          2. Hist tweets come across to me as someone who doesn’t get the point of Twitter

            1. @jerseyf1 Isn’t the point of twitter to convey a message, and didn’t he try to convey it? Or do you think twitter should be restricted to pictures of food with some overused superlatives to describe the dish?

      6. Exactly. Physically tackling somebody however sounds cut and dry.

    4. Remember when Maldonado crashed in China. F1 cars are extremely demanding and nervous. Even at very, very slow speeds, and reasonably slow speeds for F1 is still very fast in the real world.
      I don’t get, why people have to invent fantastical explanations without evidence, for comparatively mundane events, which have tons of more probable, boring explanations.

      Perhaps because these kinds of mistakes are very common from Maldonado, so no one really thinks much of it. I can’t even remember the last time Alonso lost control of the car and crashed by himself prior to yesterday. Hence why people have a lot more “outlandish” explanations to why Alonso might have crashed, as opposed to when someone like Maldonado does it.

      Also great to see that Fernando appears to be well (or at least better) in that picture of Abad’s tweet above.

      1. Last time I remember him crashing a healthy car was in Monaco practice (or was it quali) back in 2010. After that he crashed twice, but the car was pretty compromised so it wasn’t unexpected. Belgium 2010, the car was acting up since Rubens decided to ram straight into back of it at the opening lap, and then he went off when rain started falling.
        After that it was Malaysia 2013 with a broken front wing.
        Mind you, both those races were also wet at the time of the crash, so it really is Monaco 2010, the last time he crashed healthy car in dry conditions. Before that, only other dry race crash was Canada 2005.

      2. Alonso – whilst a brilliant driver – is human therefore susceptible to making the odd mistake. Unless your tin foil hat tells you something else…


      Deja Vu anyone? If he works on the 2014 car and then proceeds to work on the 2015 car, what’s the big deal?

      1. IIRC, in one of Ted’s notebooks he said that the cooperation is now closer as Nicholas Tombazis is gone and has been replaced by Simone Resta.

          1. ITYDRC – means ?, pls we are not from English, IIRC means, If I Recall Correctly, is that correct?
            Please post ITYDRC means. ( DRC – Do Remember Correctly? )

            1. I Think You Do Recall Correctly? Haha!

            2. I-think-you-do-recall-correct (?) Honestly I googled it, didn’t found it, but this page was returned in the top 5 finds :)

            3. correct: ITYDRC = I Think You Do Recall Correctly.
              Just made it up, and already #5 on Google (means lots of traffic; well done @keithcollantine)

              Beers at the Melbourne GP for those who guessed correctly. (@me4me)

          2. @coldfly I’ll be at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow on Fitzroy St after the race where I expect you to buy me that beer ;)

    6. As an F1 fan I’m glad to see Rory Byrne back in the game in a more involved way. I really would like to see Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren competing for points and with the possibility to win an occasional race or more. If so, these teams are likely to excel at different tracks and at some tracks, *maybe* even push Mercedes. I also wish the best for FI and Sauber. The way things are going Sauber could certainly challenge FI and Toro Rosso.

    7. Byrne has always been good at creating cars with great mechanical grip, drivability over curbs and traction rather than shear downforce and stability through high speed corners.

      I remember the Newey vs Byrne battle in 2000, Ferrari and McLaren had equal tires (unlike 98-99) and equally powerful engines (unlike ’01). Newey’s McLaren was better on circuits with lots of fast corners (Silverstone, Barcelona, Magny-Cours, Spa) while Byrne’s Ferrari was better around tracks with chicanes and hairpins (Monaco, Montreal, Nurburgring, Monza)

      1. @kingshark Imagine if Byrne and Newey teamed up then… a car that’s perfect on both, or a car that’s total trash as it was a compromise of both design philosophies!

        1. @fastiesty, probably the closest to an all star design team would be when Ross Brawn, Adrian Newey and Neil Oatley were all working together in the Lola Haas team in 1986 – unfortunately, whilst they produced what was probably one of the beast handling cars that season in the shape of the THL2, the engine was simply not up to the job. It’s an intriguing question of what might have been, though, if they had had a better engine to work with…

      2. @kingshark I’m not sure I completely agree with your statement. While I agree that Byrne’s 2000 Ferrari had great mechanical grip, I’m not sure that I would agree that Newey is better at developing cars with better high speed cornering, I think in 2000, it was a case that the Merc in the back of the McLaren was just better than the Ferrari, which gave it better straight line speed. In addition, Newey’s aerodynamics gave the car grip in all the important facets of a corner, namely in braking and under acceleration.

        Plus if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t 2000 the year when McLaren were running the 2 pedals to control the left hand and right hand side brakes, or am I dreaming this up?

    8. Let’s hope this time Lotus revolution works performance wise because the twin tusk nose was revolutionary as well.

      1. The Lotus nose was also hideous. The gap between the tusks did not help the aerodynamics.

        1. Yes probably like the forward exhaust blower, promising at first, but then a drawback.

    9. I’m quite surprised by @keithcollantine ‘s choice of a COTD that comments on fellow members as much as on F1.

    10. Re Mark Thompson tweets about photographing the scene, for me it’s a no brainer, take the photos, if after its clear he was really badly injured or worse, don’t publish, but as is, you missed an opportunity. The exception would be if you could physically assist, then that takes priority.

      1. @smudgersmith1 Physical assistance isn’t necessarily the right thing to do either. In many media studies classes in America, they teach students of a US photographer who was brought in to witness the execution of US soldiers at the hands of the vietnamese. In these media studies classes, they teach the students that had the photographer not taken the photos, then the attrociates of the vietcon army would not have come to light to the greater population in the US. Even worse, had he stepped in to stop the executions, he himself would have probably been killed as well. So they basically teach up and coming journalists to witness and record the events, and not to become part of the events themselves.
        This comes up regularly when vision of someting terrible happens and public are outraged why the journalist/photographer didn’t step in to assist, however, I could only imagine that it would be a terrible decision to be faced with.

        1. The example you give is quite extreme and I would suggest in no way could the photographer physically assist, but in many examples around the world, a choice can be made, do I shot a photo or do I help. What to do on an isolated road when you come across an accident with people hurt? that was the kind of thing I meant. We are humans first and journos or photographers second, I agree with the concept of the story being recorded and the greater world being made aware, but for me, if you have a chance to save someone or help a grievously injured person, put your camera down and help.

    11. I disagree with the cotd in the sense that I don’t find the evidence based researched explanations for crashes boring or mundane at all. I think the real explanations ARE interesting because you can always learn something from those.

    12. What i feel is Mark Thompson is feeling very bitter that he missed the opportunity to take the pictures after realizing he could had taken the pictures. Now he is trying to bully his way in and somehow prove to the world he is the saint here and his colleague (who was doing his work basically) is the evil.

      Take the pictures. Its upto you to publish it or not. You cannot ask Alonso to crash again to take the pictures!

    13. I’m very excited about the test, will McLaren test with Alonso?

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