Alfa Romeo’s aerodynamic problems “not an easy fix” – Raikkonen

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In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says it’s more than just the Ferrari power unit which is holding Alfa Romeo back at the moment.

What they say

Raikkonen said the balance of his car doesn’t feel bad, but it lacks the expected performance:

Obviously we are too slow. Where did we go wrong? I guess when we designed the car.

We hoped that we were, like where we started last year, we were obviously a lot better off if you’re comparing to all the other teams. This year we are definitely not where we were hoping to be over where we expected to be. So there’s been something gone wrong.

We need to improve the downforce to have efficient downforce. The engine’s the hardest one but it is what it is. Even if we would have the best car, best chassis we should be up there but obviously we’re not so we need to improve on that side. Obviously the difficult part is always that it’s not an easy fix. It’s not the quickest fix. It takes time. But hopefully, step by step, we can start turning it around and getting where we want to be.

We need more aero, efficient aero and go faster around every corner. The balance can be quite good, but the lap time is not there. So it’s quite easy to, in that way, to say what we need. But the most difficult part of the whole F1 is probably the aerodyamics. So it’s not an easy fix.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Yesterday’s debate looked at whether the FIA is right to outlaw the ‘quali modes’ some teams use on their engines:

I voted slightly agree (or just ‘agree’ without being ‘strongly’).

I think the move is entirely ‘cynical’ in the sense that it’s designed to curb the power of Mercedes engines and boost the image of a certain horse-flavoured team. However, I’m not opposed to curbing some of Mercedes power, however unfair it is, partly as they can take the hit, partly as some levelling is good, and partly because I think it may even backfire on the other teams. If so, a classic case of careful what you wish for.

At the same time, I think the idea of removing engine modes is good. Anything that transfers control away from the teams’ computer number crunchers and to the drivers is excellent. Let the drivers thrash the car or take care of the engine, it’s down to them. It’s in no thrill to hear team radio talk of what engine mode to set. Having the drivers push the car to the maximum all race – the maximum they and the car can endure – definitely is. So favour that. I don’t mind the extra ERS kick each lap as a boost since that then becomes a driver skill if they all have it: when to deploy tactically during the lap if being chased or chasing. But switching on an engine mode to overtake or consolidate a lead takes away driver skill as a factor.
@David-BR

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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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  • 18 comments on “Alfa Romeo’s aerodynamic problems “not an easy fix” – Raikkonen”

    1. COTD – spot-on, +1

      [Kimi:]Obviously we are too slow. Where did we go wrong? I guess when we designed the car.

      Ha! Absolute Kimi classic – made me literally LOL!

    2. One correction — the article that appears at the New York Times’ site is not an NYT story but an Associated Press wire story by Jenna Fryer. The original is on AP’s site here.

    3. COTD is totally wrong, the drivers already have the opportunity to control the PU for maximum power with a simple press of the overtake button without changing the engine mode. As usual the uninformed yap about drivers not driving the cars blah blah blah.

      “Anything that transfers control away from the teams’ computer number crunchers and to the drivers is excellent.”

      What a load of poop, the “number crunchers” will have the same opportunity to optimize and the drivers will still push or save when told to.

      Whoever chooses the cotd does a disservice to this site by choose such uninformed nonsense.

      All that taking the qually mode away will do is give them about 40 to 50 less horsepower on that ultimate lap. It might not even do that since they can set the engine mode to the race one and then press the overtake button at the important spots on their qually laps. Ooooh, we get to watch drivers pressing buttons instead of turning a switch, big whoop ti do.

      1. @megatron btw, i would help if you take a opinion serious. You do not have to agree with it.

        1. Clearly false opinions should not be taken seriously. Do yo think the world is flat? Should I take that foolishness seriously?

    4. I really want Alfa to improve.

      1. @Dave Same here.

        1. Alpha , Haas, and of course Ferrari are all in the same mucking fuddle.

          “The engine’s the hardest one but it is what it is.” Yeah right.

    5. Regarding the COTD: I’m not really either in favor or against the planned restrictions on engine mode usage. I’m only against it happening ‘during’ the season rather than between seasons. No change should come into effect while a season is in progress unless it’s for safety.

    6. It’s a bit sleasy, pretending the engine modes have to be banned because they can’t police them, but amazingly they can police the ban no problem!

      And part of the Indy-culture dumbing down of F1 that Liberty are after.

    7. Regarding the COTD, Hamilton is usually the one who decides to save the engine or to push. So that’s the driver in control of how and when he uses the engine.

      If this were really about coaching then they should ban the coaching. Duh

    8. I disagree with the “Curbing Mercedes” rhetoric. It appears that the FIA realised there is a lot more cheating going on than it initially thought.
      Apart from discovering the Brake Balance cheat from Renault, and the Engine cheat from Ferrari, they also are going to change the wing flex tests after realizing that they teams design the wings in a way to deflect.
      With the possible information from Ferrari in hand, they have now realized teams might also be cheating with the ERS system.

      From my POV, that means they are curbing every engine, that they didn’t comply with tech regs in the first place.

      If that means it’s curbing Mercedes than you would naturally deduct Mercedes has been cheating.

      1. The COTD expressly mentioned that it will quite possibly not curb Mercedes, but that their performance seems to have triggered the change during the season though.

        I don’t like changes like this during the season, and think it should have been prepared when the FIA realized they couldn’t prove what Ferrari were exactly doing in their PU.

        Then, instead of the unclear Ferrari deal at the eve of testing, the FIA could have announced these rules during winter, perhaps before others PU makers had to put a lot of effort into shady ways of getting equal with the 2019 Ferrari. Still would leave questions about Ferrari, but would have simplified a lot right then.

        1. Not really.. he/she starts with

          in the sense that it’s designed to curb the power of Mercedes engines and boost the image of a certain horse-flavoured team.

          and i do not think that is the case..

    9. At the same time, I think the idea of removing engine modes is good.

      As I understand it, you have to have engine modes, even if it were only on grounds of safety. For example we all know the speed of a car in the pitlane is 80 km/h, that’s an engine mode. From what others have said there are engine modes for things like following the Safety Car, driving out the pit lane, etc. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds true. The power units can unleash in the vicinity of 1000 hp with massive torque, so it would be crazy to think someone has that amount of power sitting there under their foot all the time. It shouldn’t be there unless they really wanted to have it there. You don’t want the situation where a driver might sneeze and the car is suddenly hurtling towards something or some people at 100 km/h. Human reaction time is about 3/4 of a second, and an F1 car can travel quite a few metres and be travelling at quite a speed in that time.

      1. there is just an electronic speed limiter for driving in the pits though, so it’s not the same thing. my Renault Clio has one too and it’s not deactivated if I sneeze thankfully!!

    10. Without intending to kick anyone while they’re down, I think Vasseur needs to up his game.
      Only a few articles back he was boasting that he told the guys “to forget about the engine”. That’s great if you have a plan of any sort to move forward, other than just to take Orlen’s cheques to the bank and deposit them.
      I hope he is smart enough to capitalise on the feedback Kimi can provide. Maybe he can skip with wasting practice sessions on Kubica, unless of course that is the deal. That’s sad, because Alfa need every minute of practice to set that jalopy up for what promises to be their maximum goal: p15.

      1. He made that statement to direct all energy to the development of the parts they can influence.
        So he does nog need to “up his game” he is already doing exactly that!

    Comments are closed.