Ferrari may change Vettel’s chassis in bid to solve problems

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is open to changing Sebastian Vettel’s chassis to see if that solves the problems he has encountered in recent races.

What they say

Vettel finished 10th and 12th in the two races at Silverstone while team mate Charles Leclerc took third and fourth. Binotto was asked if he would consider replacing Vettel’s chassis:

I think we are open. If that is something that will help, why not? Whatever we can do to help is important.

As for Sebastian from a team point of view, from a driver point of view, to try to be better in the next races is important. So I’m open to do it. I will leave that obviously to the driver, to the team, to discuss on the side.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is a ‘normal’ 2020 F1 calendar a realistic possibility?

Interesting to hear about plans for next year. I wonder how realistic those are; are Liberty just expecting the virus to disappear when the year changes from 2020 to 2021, or are they relying on vaccine to arrive before the start of the next season?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Ferrari may change Vettel’s chassis in bid to solve problems”

  1. Were they allowed to take the Mercedes home after the screening ?

  2. COTD heading ; Oops, “is a normal 2021 calendar realistic”, it may well be a 2020 type calendar the way things are going.

  3. For the first time I actually agree wit Steiner, F1 should not be so much about the tires, especially tires that blow up. The teams spend hundreds of millions designing, producing and developing their cars, but all we can talk about is the tires. F1 needs a much better tire supplier.

    1. For the first time you get it about the terrible tires they’ve had for years now and that have been way too much the story of F1? Wow.

    2. That’s a tad harsh; Pirelli design the tyres to a brief given to them. It’s the brief that is wrong. Other suppliers looked at the brief and thought ‘why would we drag our name through the mud to ‘put on a show’ when that show is constant tyre deg/durability conversations?’. Can’t blame them really.

      It hasn’t helped that the tyres are way out of ‘normal’ in ratio – 18s should definitely help there, even if the cars will need bulkier suspension to take over some of the squish.

      I do prefer 2 stop races as it gives a bit more strategy to it, and I’m not a huge fan of refuelling.

      Really I think they just need to work more on thermal stability of the tyre, so it can be ‘overheated’ 15 or 20 times in a stint without falling to bits like it does now after 1 or 2. Chemically I’m not sure how that’d work but hey, I’m not a tyre tech. I’m more than happy if tyres only last 30-40% of the race if they can be lent on somewhat without being damaged.

      I still maintain the stupidest bit of the regs for overtaking is the 100l/min constant fuel limit. Just give them X Kg of fuel and let them get on with it – proper turbo boost modes would close the gap just as well as DRS does.

      Oh, and shorten pit lane entry/exit time. One downside of low pit lane limits is stops take a long time overall – if they only lost you 10-12 seconds people would stop more.

  4. And that wouldn’t necessarily make a difference to the outcome. Too early to start thinking about something as radical as changing a monocoque, especially since there isn’t any physical damage in it as he hasn’t crashed out.

    Re COTD: I see where it’s coming from in wondering how realistic the plans are, and I share the same views to an extent. The overall global situation mightn’t necessarily be back to 100% pre-COVID by next March, so we shall wait and see. I also agree with @hohum in that the next season could well still be more like the current one.

    1. The overall global situation mightn’t necessarily be back to 100% pre-COVID by next March

      This is a massive understatement in my opinion. It is highly unlikely that things will be back to normal by March next year. There are some doctors who say that the chances of having a viable vaccine within 5 years are roughly 50/50, and without a vaccine the virus is still very much going to be something all countries still have to deal with – whether internally, or in terms of people travelling, or both. It’s possible that a vaccine will come before then, but not likely, and it’s possible that there will never be a viable vaccine. Herd immunity isn’t something that will be achieved in the short term either, and might never be a viable ‘solution’ anyway, since it would require huge numbers of people getting infected and dying.

      The media seem to treat this as a 2020 problem that will disappear in 2021, but that is far from guaranteed. But I’m sure F1 is aware of this and will be making contingencies for different scenarios.

  5. I may be cynical, but I feel like Vettel is talking about something more broad than just a literally inferior monocoque/chassis when he’s saying he “gets an inferior car” – I would guess it is more about the level of support he gets, or setup work, or even QC – getting this slightly inferior engine (no two are the same) or whatever.
    Yet the conversation got deflected towards replacing the chassis – I guess by the journalists- and Binotto was happy to jump on the opportunity – couldn’t blame him, as now Seb has nowhere to go with this claim – either he agrees to replace to chassis and nothing happens and he looks like an idiot, or he goes on explaining and inevitable sounding like blaming the team for whatever I mentioned above – and then he makes an Alonso out of himself.

    1. I think webber and one other pundit has made the recommendation to replace the chassis as this has apparently worked before. It can’t hurt to try it and surprised it was done earlier. Fingers crossed they do it and it sokves tge gremlins even if it might be psychological.

  6. Horner pointing out the obvious tactic when you are a trailing a better team. Didnt see them taking any risk in the Vettel days, team orders and all….

  7. If Ferrari believe Vettel might go to Racing Point next season then it’s in their best interest to avoid sharing a lot about the inner workings of their car or development paths. It’s no surprise that the performance gap between the drivers appears to have widened and I expect it to continue to widen as the car is developed.
    I assume Vettel is also using the knowledge of the Ferrari car in his negotiations with Racing Point. The rest of the season will just be about how much Ferrari can hide from Vettel. I expect a lot more setup ‘mistakes’ and incomplete practice sessions.

    1. Why would Racing Point be interesting in Ferrari’s technical details when they get the Mercedes ones so easily? ;)

      1. because Vettel might know what Ferrari was doing last year illegal on their engine ? and i think Mercedes would be probably interested in making legal ?

        1. I’ve thought about this a bit. Does Seb know what they were doing? If he does then essentially dismissing him from the team was a really stupid thing to do. The Machiavellian thing to would have been to keep him for a further 1-2 years till that issue had blown over.

  8. Interesting point from Steiner on the tyres.

    It begs the question: What would racing be like if the tyres were rock solid and the drivers could push at their and their cars’ limits from start to finish? Would it be more exciting? Would it be more processional? Would we see more mistakes, more action, more overtakes? Would they have to increase the fuel load limit by a whopping margin or even have to reintroduce pitstop refueling?

    As far I understand it, the main reason the tyres are not built to last is to create more variables because of the possibility of varied strategies between cars and teamsn, and need for pit stops; hence the 2 compound rule. But what if we threw that all away and just raced at the limits – what could the outcome be?

    1. @shimks Rock solid tyres would likely amplify the performance differences between the teams, since they would be less limited by the performance of the tyre and more by the cars’ performance. So I’d expected Mercedes to pull even further ahead for one thing. Also, teams with less downforce available might have difficulty bringing the harder tyres up to working temperature, which is usually less of an issue for higher downforce cars who can exert higher forces to generate the temperature required.

      If fuel rules remained the same, then not much would change in that respect. Teams would still underfuel their cars at most races, then make the drivers lift and coast to find the optimal race performance. Being able to push harder in the corners wouldn’t really change that.

      There would be no pit stops, so no different strategies at play and no chances of under or over-cutting, and I would expect the cars’ performance to be more similar between qualifying and the race than they are now, since they would be more dependent on their ultimate flat-out pace rather than having to slow down to manage tyre temperatures and wear.

      So I’d expect very processional races where the teams that already qualify ahead stretch their legs more and build more of a gap to the cars behind, resulting in a very strung out field with maybe only rain or safety cars creating any variation.

      The only advantages I see from an entertainment point of view would be that there might be more mistakes since drivers would be pushing hard for longer periods of the race (although would still have to manage things like engine stress, brake temps etc), and you might see a bigger difference between drivers on race pace since they are no longer hobbled by the tyres.

    2. Processions generally, ala the MS/Ferrari days. The biggest enemy is the dirty air effect that takes away so much performance from a car once in dirty air. That still applies on tires that can be pushed. The trailing driver may have tires with which to push, but so does the leading driver. That said, it is important that for the new cars in 2022 the tires are actually good for a change and not nearly so limiting, as the dirty air effect will be far less, and drivers will need to be able to push or the unprecedented redesign will have been for naught.

    3. @keithedin @robbie Very interesting replies. Many thanks, Gentlemen. Food for thought!

  9. In reply to the comment of the day, do they not know that Russia already has a vaccine?


  10. From The Independent… 16 Nov 2013 – Two cracks were revealed to have formed in the Briton’s [Hamilton] Mercedes chassis explaining why he has been so off the pace recently.

    Who says history doesn’t repeat itself…

  11. There is a high probability that a new chassis would be of some other team. They might terminate his contract without waiting the end of the season. Or they might swap him with Kimi, Giowinazzi or Shwartzman, moving him to Alfa Romeo or F2 team till the end of the season.

    1. He cannot be moved to F2 owing to Sporting Regs 26.1
      “Any driver who previously won the GP2 Series or FIAFormula 2 Championship or any driver who completed a full season in the FIA Formula One World Championship will not be permitted to enter the Championship. “

      1. Meh, this rules needs to be cancelled. F2 should be serious championship, not a kindergarten.

      2. And some saying a right point – Ferrari, Astroll Martin, Renault and McLaren should swap their drivers now, without waiting next season.

  12. Nice number plate on the Merc (D A10RKA). I do hope that wasn’t driven to the venue on the open road as it is illegal to re-space a plate to make a word or name, £1,000 fine too…

Comments are closed.