Ferrari has confirmed Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen suffered identical failures on their power units during the Malaysian Grand prix weekend.
The team’s chief technical officer Mattia Binotto said the team has strengthened the parts which failed on the team’s cars at Sepang. The faults prevented Raikkonen from starting the race and stopped Vettel from setting a lap time during qualifying.
However Binotto admitted the team “can never be fully confident of having solved the problems we’ve got.”
“The problems we had were completely unexpected,” said Binotto during today’s FIA press conference. “It’s a problem we didn’t experience both on the dyno and at a race track during the entire season.”
“There were some quality issues with the parts. We failed an inlet manifold on the engine from the compressor to the cylinder heads. And it happened twice because we had the same problem both Sebastian in qualifying and Kimi in the race.”
Binotto indicated the punishing weather conditions in Sepang may have contributed to the failures. “It’s something that we are analysing in parallel with reinforcing the components but something on which we need still to better understand,” he said.
Following the costly failures Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne indicated changes would be made at the team. However Binotto said these changes were already planned before last week’s race.
“What we are considering, something that is already planned, is to reinforce our quality department,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. So our quality department will be and is already reinforced, that is the organisation our chairman was meaning.”
“I think that to improve your performance you need to improve your car, your package, but as well you need to improve your organisation,” Binotto added.