Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2016

Ferrari cleared over Melbourne pit board message

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In the round-up: Ferrari are cleared of giving a forbidden instruction to Sebastian Vettel via their pit board during the Australian Grand Prix.

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Eleven teams wrote a letter, but some teams are more equal than others.

Ferrari is F1, so says Ecclestone. Yesterday.

So when Ferrari say enough of this mess, Bernie had to listen.

Our two-race-long nightmare is over.

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  • 53 comments on “Ferrari cleared over Melbourne pit board message”

    1. Paddy lowe is so right instead of talking up the hybrid engines and how magnificent they really are. All we’ve had is complaints about how they aren’t loud enough, it hasn’t helped that the guy who’s basically in charge…. good old mad bernie has spend the last 2 years doing everything he can to get rid of em by criticising them every chance he can.

      1. All we’ve had is complaints about how they aren’t loud enough

        No, that’s not all we’ve had.

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          8th April 2016, 12:45

          Agreed: we’ve also had complaints about how they’re ‘not relevant’ (Honda and Toyota beg to differ), or how they’re somehow not ‘pure’, as if ‘purity’ has ever meant anything.

      2. I’ve not complained, I like the fact the engines are quieter as we can hear everything else going on such as tires squealing and radio messages. The old banshee scream created an awe inspiring moment, but drowned out everything else. The current ‘howl’ still doesn’t make you question how powerful these machines are, unless you’re looking at something other then racing.

      3. Whether you like the sound or not, it comes down to personal preference. IMO, the new engines sound like any other sports car. They don’t sound unique anymore. If you played me the sound of the old V6 and then an Indycar, WEC, GP2 etc, I could easily tell you which was F1. If you did the same now, I could only guess.

        That’s not the point though, the sound is only real spoils the live experience – it makes little difference on TV (or should I say, streams). The real issue is the cost and the fact that this has caused a 3 tier championship. At the top you have Mercedes and Ferrari. The two factory teams with a decent engine. Then you have the 2016 Ferrari/Mercedes powered cars. Then you have Renault/Honda and the 2015 units.

        Personally, I find it exciting when I can see that a team has done something innovative that pushes them forward on the grid or a driver pulls out a great lap that gains them a few tenths.

        I don’t however find it exciting when a team’s results are decided by their suppliers – I’ve not met anyone who supports Pirelli or Honda… Or a Ferrari fan who celebrates if a Toro Rosso has a good finish.

        1. I support Ferrari engine teams after Ferrari main team. Engine is not a supplier part it’s part of the overall performance package that Merc and Ferrari for a fee offer to smaller teams but they spend a lot on these engines as part of a performance advantage. F1 was built on this until the garagisti arrived.

          There are always tiers in F1, for the 4 years before 2014 it was Red Bull, then 2nd tier of Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus then tier 3 was most the midfield and the new teams in another tier 5 seconds a lap off the pace. This year we cannot tell yet but looks like will be Ferrari and Merc then tier 2 is the rest, it is very close.

          1. markp, as you say, in reality the number of teams which are able to compete at the front has traditionally been very limited and normally there has been a fairly strict heirarchy of competitiveness. In the period from 1979 to 2008, only four teams won the constructors championship (Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Benetton/Renault (usually considered one and the same given that Renault essentially just renamed the Benetton team)), and in reality most of those victories were shared between just three teams (Williams, Ferrari and McLaren).

            The idea of competitiveness being decided by an external supplier is hardly new either – I recall that Tyrrell’s ex tyre chief was reminiscing about the past and how some tyre manufacturers were openly hostile to some of their smaller customers.
            He recounted that he once asked Goodyear for a particular piece of information and was told “We don’t give that information to Tier 2 teams”. When he asked again, he was told that Goodyear’s policy was that, if the team didn’t have a sufficiently high media profile and wouldn’t garner enough attention for Goodyear, they didn’t bother providing them with full technical support (even though they were charged the same fees as teams like McLaren or Ferrari).

            1. Now that tyre situation is harsh. I get the engines as teams make them themselves as a way to gain an advantage the same as they do aero but Goodyear did not have a team of their own and charged equally. They were a supplier. Then again did Ferrari get Bridgestone tyres that teams like Jordan did not.

            2. markp, it was especially harsh when the same engineer noted that Pirelli, Goodyear’s main rival at the time, treated its customers in a much more even handed manner. However, at the same time he did note that Goodyear’s decision to concentrate their resources on a smaller group of teams did achieve Goodyear’s objective, which was to win races, even if it ultimately came at the expense of hindering most of their customer base in the process.

              In the more recent era, Bridgestone and Michelin were both were accused of favouring a particular team over their rivals (Ferrari in the case of Bridgestone and Renault in the case of Michelin), harming the competitiveness of their rivals in the process. Jordan did indeed complain about that bias, whilst Newey similarly complained that McLaren’s competitiveness was being hurt by Michelin’s bias towards Renault.

              Equally, whilst teams might design engines in house, they are still dependent on outside suppliers for items. In the 1980’s, bias amongst electronic component manufacturers certainly had an impact – Bosch, who produced the most advanced ECU components and therefore gave certain teams a fuel consumption advantage, deliberately refused to sell their components to some teams (such as Alfa Romeo) because some of their German customers threatened to withdraw their business from Bosch if they started supplying their rivals.

              Some even went as far as effectively sabotaging their customers – Metzger, who was responsible for the TAG-Porsche turboengine, has admitted that Mahle actively stole information on the design of the lubrication systems from both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo’s turbo engines and passed it onto Porsche, who they knew were having massive issues with oil leaking into the combustion chambers. He quite freely admitted that, without Mahle’s industrial espionage, the TAG-Porsche engine would almost certainly not have been as competitive as it proved to be in the 1980’s – at least component suppliers these days tend to be a bit more honest when dealing with their customers these days…

    2. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      8th April 2016, 0:34

      Old Martin being a gentleman with Alex, and old Ron being rude with Kevin, teling him on his birthday and by a mail (not even sent personally but by his secretary) that Kmag was “free” (read fired).

    3. “Every single car has an extra set of tyres for getting into Q3, but in Bahrain only eight used that extra set so we will take home 14 unused sets that will be scrapped.”

      Those 14 unused sets are allowed to be used in race and quite a few of them were used in last race, am I wrong?
      He gets thing wrong?

      1. In Bahrain they clearly were not used (not the best track for using the SSofts) as Hemberly states. On the other hand, ou might be right that in Australia most of those sets would have been used in the race.

      2. Why can’t they just make those sets available to the drivers who reach Q3? Then the drivers who reach Q3 are rewarded with a “free” set of tires, so they have no incentive not to set a lap in Q3. Afterwards these tires can be handed back to Pirelli, as they have to start the race on Q2 tires anyway.

      3. You are wrong, unfortunately: the extra set of tyres can only be used in Q3.

        After that, they have to be handed back to Pirelli

        1. Drivers who make it through to Q3 must hand back the set of the softer compound tyres nominated for Q3, and start the race on the tyres with which they set their fastest time in Q2. All other drivers will be able to use the set that is saved for Q3 during the race.

    4. Of course Ferrari aka Rolling Stones was cleared of not cheating! When was the last time Ferrari was incriminated for anything?

      1. The last time they broke the rules. If they have not broken the rules then they cannot be punished just to satisfy the few who are prejudice against them. When you are the single most important entity people take shots at you, goes with the territory I guess.

        1. sunny stivala
          8th April 2016, 13:14

          using the pit board for a coded message is akin to flint-stones, Mercedes is more modern, they used text message to Lulu’s steering wheel, see video of Lulu’s car during Bahrain GP after an up-shift from 4th gear, (close-up by Frank T on twitter message on steering wheel, formula 1 blog com)

      2. That’s impossible! They have officially recognized right to interpret the rules, obviously, written together with FIA. So, in some situations they comply with the spirit of the rule in other with the letter of it. When they complain about some other team that complies with the letter it’s the spirit that gets them done and vice versa. No matter what happens Ferrari wins. It’s so good to be Ferrari, winning all races on the ‘green table’ racetrack.

        1. You are overestimating their power. Yes they have power as do Merc and Red Bull, Red Bull nearly got customer engines introduced just to help them, but they are still only 1 team and are subject to the rules and they do not always agree with the rules.

      3. Haven’t you (not you personally, but lot of fans) had enough of singling out Ferrari and taking shots at them? The article clearly states that multiple teams were investigated and none was punished.

        1. The article also left an oxymoron:
          “I think the teams will do their very best to try to get as much information to the drivers as they can, but I just hope they continue to do it in a legal way.”

      4. Due to the fuel calculation issue with the SECU after the restart, the teams (not just Ferrari) were allowed to send messages (concerned with the issue) to their drivers. Charlie Whiting mentioned this in the interviews he gave after the Australian GP : “Teams had to tell the drivers to do a couple of things they wouldn’t normally have been allowed to do, but that was all done in consultation, so that was fine.” So the teams had Whiting’s permission to send these messages.

        Ferrari also had an additional problem with the dashboard, and again had permission for the message :”Vettel had a problem with his dashboard at the time and, in light of the race circumstances, Ferrari had sought permission from the FIA to use the pitboard to convey information its German driver should have had anyway. The governing body was therefore aware of what the team was up to.”

        I would think that they only investigation the FIA had to do here was to check if the photograph was from the correct time in the race (after the restart when the SECU issue occurred) and if the message was one of those Whiting had permitted to deal with the SECU or dashboard problems.

      5. RaceProUK (@)
        8th April 2016, 12:51

        I like how you’re so obviously biased you didn’t even read the snippet below the clickbait headline; I have reproduced it here to save you the hassle of scrolling:

        It is understood the Ferrari message was one of many being investigated by the FIA, with race director Charlie Whiting having warned teams against trying to deliver coded messages via pit board ahead of the start of the season.

      6. There is only 1 cheat on the grid, and that is Teflonso.

        1. Well if we want to drag up the past then we should also put McLaren in the cheat list for 2007, Renault for 2008 (which you are blaming Alonso for?), Ferrari, Red Bull and Merc….how about Jenson Button for the fuel tank row when he was at BAR?

          1. Yes, that BAR cheat was a whopper! Cleverly disguised as a “swirl pot” they nearly got away with that extra sized tank. Question though: You say “Jenson Button for the fuel tank row”, but would JB have even been aware of it? In order to keep a secret the less in the know the better, which is why most secrets in life stop being secret. There would have been no need to inform the driver surely? Unless you know better of course…..

            1. RaceProUK (@)
              8th April 2016, 19:41

              In order to keep a secret the less in the know the better, which is why most secrets in life stop being secret. There would have been no need to inform the driver surely?

              That’s never stopped the ‘Teflonso’ crowd.

              Formula One. The sport where you do nothing wrong and get called a cheater.

            2. My Button comment was a joke but the Alonso situation can be seen in the same light. I put the initial comment I replied to down to 1 persons complete dislike of Alonso. There are no saints in F1.

    5. What is with this “muddle up the grid” that they keep wanting.

      The grid spot are already muddled up quite enough and the racing is good enough without the need for artificial intervention.

      Sure the Mercs might drive away at the front but the rest are close enough and the Merc dominance will end eventually, whereas crackpot ideas seemingly just won’t ever go away.

      1. More misguided thinking by the “powers that be”.

        Putting the cars in parc ferme after qualifying does nothing but ensure that the cars will race in the same order in which they qualified. Allowing true qualifying settings and then changes to the cars after qualifying could see cars do better in the race than in qualifying or vice versa if they get the changes wrong.

      2. @dbradock – The problem with “muddling up the grid” is that the Mercedes will finish 1st and 2nd anyway. It’s just much more likely that one will start a few positions ahead of the other and by the time they are 1-2, they’ll be 30 seconds apart on the road a cruising.

        With 1 team domination, we NEED them to be starting 1st and 2nd so they can actually race each other!

      3. Well they have muddled up something……the fans minds.

    6. That’s a fantastic article showing every single F1 race programme. I’m fortunate enough to have attended the 1993 ‘Sega European Grand Prix’ when I was a nipper and still have the programme. After all these years I’ve only just realised that Damon was supposed to look like Sonic the Hedgehog – blue overalls, red boots and white gloves, love it!

    7. Muddling up the grid isn’t exciting. Watching a tense qualifying where the person who does the best job rightfully gets grid position has been one of the more entertaining parts of the race weekend. Watching them throw everything they have at it, and occasionally making an error because they are so on the limit is fine. Having some crap shoot system to try and deliver a contrived grid so we can watch a car we know is faster anyway go through the motions of making up it’s rightful position isn’t the real racing we want.

      Just stop meddling and trust that teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will eventually be able to compete with Mercedes on merit and not because some spanner has been thrown in the works. I don’t want to watch some handicapped competition this isn’t amateur golf!

      I’m honestly just glad these dinosaurs are too old to know what a blue shell is.

    8. It would be a tricky situation for Horner if Verstappen replaces Kvyat – “Multi 333, Dan. I repeat, Multi 333, not Multi 333”.

    9. Why are unused tyres scrapped? Surely they can be used at a subsequent race?

      1. Wow the tyres degrade even as they are being stored.

      2. If i was to hazard a guess it would be because they have already been issued to teams for use as their Q3 / raceday ‘extra set’, so have been placed in the tyre blankets, brought up to temperature and readied to be raced. so by the time they are cooled down and taken out the blankets they are no longer ‘new’ tyres. as i said, only a guess but it makes sense in my head.

      3. Unused tyres that have been mounted ready for use at an event have to be destroyed after the race, as dismounting them again can cause damage to the tyre. Pirelli takes away the tyres and gives the wheels back to the teams.

        1. Wow – what a colossal waste! Does that apply to wet tyres as well? So after every dry race, there would be hundreds of unused wet tyres?

          1. Yes, but it begs the question why not leave they tyres mounted on the wheels between grand prix.

          2. Pretty sure the wet procedures are different. Pirelli have in the past been worried they were going to run out of wet tyres because of a number of consecutive weekends were wet.

    10. How much can they restrict a coded answer:
      An answer from the radio as simple as:

      We can not give you an answer for that

      We can not answer that question

      Both the same meaning and both may be coded lime the first one is yes and the second one is no

    11. Really cool link to those event artworks. I’m digging 1998.

      1. And 2005.

    12. F1 engines… Let me give you a simple example…

      194.478 km/h was average speed of Bahrain GP winner last weekend. 308km was done… so pretty much ze sexy F1 engines do under a humble estimate 33l/100km While racing accelerating, cornering, braking and yes sometimes overtaking. Most even underfuel, but lets be conservative and just say 100l/308km. That is pretty good. My humble car NA toyota does 16.7l/100km when doing 190km/h… I tried but it wont reach 194.478 km/h. Give or take about half of what F1 engine consumes at similar speeds.

      Now here’s the big one… My humble powerplant has 0 ERS 0 turbocharger 0 KERS… thus only generates 87 bhp… and not at 12000 RPM… F1 engine does roughly lets say 870bhp in race trim? It seems like F1 engine produces 10x more power while only using 2x more fuel… so as a rule of thumb… my humble car using F1 efficiency could travel at its top speed for… 1/5th fuel consumption? 3.34l/100km while traveling at certainly unsafe speeds. What about at safe speeds? at around 120km/h my F1 petrol churner would eek out 1.5l/100km…

      Which is simply astonishing.

      “Lowe believes the biggest failing of the current engine regulations, which are still talked down by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, is the sport’s inability to convey its successes to the outside world.”

      I wish these simple figures help you guys understand how good F1 engine technology really is and why it would be beneficial to see some of it in our road cars. How long will it take to reach mass production, 10 years? Tesla cars while greatly nice are far from carbon efficient. Engine like this would help us decrease CO2 production by a lot, even beyond what Tesla offers in 2015.

      1. There are more parameters to consider that improve the efficiency of an F1 car, like downforce and air resistance. And let’s not forget that these engines are huge, they need to be a lot smaller until they’re put in production vehicles.

        However, it’s extremely satisfying that they are the best engines in motorsport right now. F1 has always been at the peak of car technology, and it should remain there. Everyone is criticizing the engines, even though they clearly are an amazing piece of modern engineering and design.

        What they should criticize, are the policies enforced by the FIA, which practically demanded that they create those state of the art engines under serious budget limitations. If we had a free development period of 5 years, and not that ridiculous freeze and token system, the manufacturers lacking would be up to speed by now and we would enjoy the racing instead of blaming the engines every now and then.

        1. How big is a current F1 PU compared to say a v6 engined road car. Current F1 cars look incredibly well packaged are we sure the F1 PU is not smaller than a luxury road car Engine?

          1. Im sure it would fit a sedan… Only small 2 milion per unit issue…limits production.

            But atleast its best in motosport…

      2. Interesting points but an electric motor is a much simpler power unit and if the battery power comes from renewables it’s better than these complicated ice power units imo. How much carbon is attached to the reserch, development and manufacture of all the extra parts? Their trying to make a dinosaur live in the modern world instead of imbracing a dinosaur for what it is, powerful and awesome in its own right.

    13. I’ll be contraversial a bit .. Muddle the grid.

      I see one clear benefit of reverse grid… Teams will make cars better at overtaking.

      Take Mercedes for example… So good in clear air… So bad in dirty air…

      Enter reverse grid for sure top teams will make amazing overtaking machines…

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