Tag Archives: Ferrari

Ferrari confirms Allison departure

Ferrari has confirmed that James Allison is to leave the team, following weeks of speculation about the Englishman’s future.

Allison and the Maranello team have “jointly decided to part ways,” according to a Ferrari statement. Following the tragic death of his wife in March Allison had indicated his preference to return to the UK.

Mattia Binotto, the head of the power unit department, will take on the role of Chief Technical Officer.

“The team would like to thank James for his commitment and sacrifice during the time spent together,” said Maurizio Arrivabene. “And wishes him success and serenity for his future endeavours.”

Allison said: “During the years I spent at Ferrari, at two different stages and covering different roles, I could get to know and appreciate the value of the team and of the people, women and men, which are part of it. I want to thank them all for the great professional and human experience we shared. I wish everybody a happy future with lots of success.”

The 46-year-old Binotto is a Ferrari veteran, having joined the team in 1995, and progressed through the ranks of the engine department.


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Sebastian Vettel: “It’s something we need to fix…”

Sebastian Vettel says that Ferrari has to get to the bottom of its gearbox issues after he picked up his third five-place grid penalty of the season at Silverstone, resulting in him dropping form sixth to 11th on the grid.

The German was most concerned about the fact that he had the same failure on Friday and in FP3 this morning.

“It’s difficult to remember all of them!,” said Vettel. “One was a consequence of what happened in China, the second one I don’t remember, and this one here obviously was after the failure this morning. It was something new we haven’t suffered before [Silverstone]. Obviously we need to understand, because we had the same failure yesterday and this morning.

“I think the problems that we had yesterday and today, that’s a weakness, and we need to stop it. Obviously I think the other occasions it was more a consequence of other things happening, especially the first one – if you crash, obviously it was a mild crash, but still a little crash in China, and we had to change it. You see other people crashing and they have to change it. They are not made for crashing, if you see what I mean. Surely the issue that we had yesterday and today was something new, and we need to fix it.”

Vettel said the fact that the problem did not occur for a third time in qualifying gave him some confidence heading into the race.

“I think we took some precaution going into qualifying. We didn’t have the failure in qualifying, we didn’t see the failure on Kimi’s car, so I’m fairly confident that we will be fine tomorrow. But surely we got caught out twice with the same problem. We didn’t have it before, so it might be something related to the track here. It happened also at the same place, at the end of the lap onto the main straight, so we need to have a look and really understand what happened.

“Rest assured that we are looking into that. It’s a very high priority, obviously it cost us five positions today, and if it happens again it will do the same again. It’s something we need to fix. Plus if it happens in the race, you don’t finish.”

Vettel admitted that he had not had a great qualifying session, and felt he should have been a couple of spots higher than sixth he earned before his penalty.

“I was on a good lap the first attempt, and then obviously lost the rear in Stowe. I was able to catch it, but the majority of lap time was lost. And then the second approach I started similar to before but just went in a little bit too deep and wide in Turn One, and then it was difficult to recover from there. I didn’t have good laps at the end of qualifying when it mattered. I think the pace was actually OK, we were able to split the Red Bulls, but we didn’t in the end, so that’s a shame.”

Vettel said he had no problem with the track limits rules imposed this weekend.

“We spoke about it yesterday, everybody was there, so we all agreed on it. That’s it. So it’s OK. I don’t personally care if we can go out or not, it just has to be clear, and it was made clear yesterday.”

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Sebastian Vettel: “I think every race is an opportunity”

Sebastian Vettel says he had a “decent” first day in Austria, despite finishing the afternoon session in a gravel trap after a spectacular spin.

Vettel was third fastest in FP1 and fourth in FP2, with his time in the morning session standing as third fastest overall for the day.

He faces a five-place grid penalty, thanks to a gearbox change but he believes he still has a shot at winning on Sunday.

“Always, I think every race is an opportunity,” he said. “I think it was a decent day, I’m not entirely clear where we are, we didn’t have much running, in the afternoon in particular. But overall, we should be OK.

Regarding the spin he said: “We had an issue with the brake distribution [balance]. It caught me by surprise. It didn’t matter too much, we lost a couple of minutes, it didn’t make a big difference.”

Vettel says there’s no point fretting about his grid penalty.

“It is what it is. It’s obviously never great if you get plus five. Now we know, so we don’t need to worry any more.”

Meanwhile he didn’t join the chorus of complaints about the revised kerbs, which was led by Max Verstappen: “Maybe they need to build stronger front wings and they would stop complaining! I don’t know, I haven’t been on them, I haven’t experienced how harsh they are.”

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Sebastian Vettel: “Overall I think we have a great car”

Sebastian Vettel professed himself pleased with qualifying third in Canada despite just missing out on beating the Mercedes drivers.

Against expectations Vettel was only a tenth of a second off the Mercedes pace when it mattered in Q3.

“I think going into qualifying I thought it was possible,” he said. “As a driver you always feel that there’s a little bit more. I think on my last lap I was very happy with the lap in general, I was maybe a bit greedy out of ten and maybe not greedy enough into turn six, but there wasn’t an awful lot to grab otherwise, as I said, very happy.

“I wanted to get below the 1m13s mark because then I knew it would be very close with the Mercedes. I did that but just by one hundredth so a little bit was missing, but overall I think we have a great car, we did a step, so I’m happy with how the weekend has turned out. We did a step or so overnight so I felt in general very comfortable and enjoyed qualifying a lot. I brushed the Wall of Champions so done that, don’t have to do that tomorrow, so we should be all set.”

Regarding Ferrari’s turbo upgrade for this race he said: “I think we expected to bring performance to the car and that’s what it did. I think this is probably a track where it’s quite important. There are a lot of straights so yeah, I think that’s why we decided to bring it here as well and as I said, it worked and it should help us also tomorrow, not just today.”

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Vettel to take gearbox grid penalty in Sochi

Sebastian Vettel’s chances of taking on Mercedes in Sochi have been dealt a blow after he has been forced to take a new gearbox and thus a five-place grid penalty.

Ferrari thought that there might be problems after the collision with Kimi Raikkonen in China, and ran the gearbox today to check it out. The data confirmed that a change was necessary for Saturday.

Meanwhile Vettel was forced to pull off and park on the pit straight in FP2 today after he was hit by an electrical issue that prevented him from running for the balance of the session while the crew worked on the car.

“It looks like we had an electronic problem,” said Vettel after the session. “It’s a bit of a shame because we’re lacking a couple of laps, especially in the long runs and race trim, to see how competitive we are. I think that Kimi did homework for the team, so not too bad. Also I think here we know roughly what to expect. I think we can still learn a lot from what other people did.”

Regarding the Italian team’s prospects for the weekend he said: “Difficult to say. The balance isn’t yet where I wanted it to be, but I think we can improve. Naturally I think the circuit should come our way. It was quite slippery this morning, I spun the first two laps. I didn’t spin this afternoon, that’s already a massive improvement!

“I felt happier as the day continued. Obviously we did some stuff for qualifying. For the race we’re lacking a bit information, but it shouldn’t be too bad. So let’s see tomorrow morning, we still have another practice session.”

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Nico Rosberg: “It’s great if it’s a four-way battle with Ferrari”

Nico Rosberg is anticipating an exciting battle between Mercedes and Ferrari in the Bahrain GP – and the German stresses that the tyre rules mean that it will be hard to second guess exactly what his main rivals will do.

The use of three tyre compounds this year, plus the different allocations chosen by each team, has ensured that a variety of strategic permutations could work.

However this weekend it’s a little clearer at the front as the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers are all heading into the race with one new set of mediums, and two new sets of softs.

“It is going to be a tough one for sure,” he said when asked by this writer. “A lot can go on with the three different tyres, and all three will probably be used as well, for us in our case. It will for sure be an interesting race, strategy wise as well. And a lot of overtaking with different people in different situations with their tyres.”

Rosberg said that Mercedes wasn’t just eyeing Sebastian Vettel: “There’s Kimi as well, he had one of his greatest races here last year if I remember correctly, so for sure we’re keeping an eye on him. It’s great if it’s a four-way battle with Ferrari. That will be a great race, and there’s a very good chance that will be the case.”

The factor that may work against Ferrari is that Mercedes believes that the W07 benefited from cooler temperatures as qualifying went on, and that will also apply to the race.

“I think we got pretty good laps in at the end of Q3 as well, that’s part of it, and then temperatures dropping, getting a bit colder, maybe that was good for us. I’m not sure, it’s difficult to explain. It surprised us as well.”

Regarding Hamilton’s extra pace in qualifying he said: “Lewis did his homework very well.”

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Maurizio Arrivabene: “We took a decision…”

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has defended the tyre decision that turned Sebastian Vettel’s lead into the Australian GP into a third place.

When teams had a free choice of tires at the red flag the Ferraris stuck with supersofts, while the two Mercedes drivers restarted with mediums. They didn’t need to stop again, and when Vettel pitted, he dropped back. He was unable to recover to higher than third.

On the wall we were confident, in all honesty,” said Arrivabene. “So we were looking at the race. We looked at the gap we were gaining and at that time the radio was to go with our strategy and to keep going. Then, I don’t want to take any excuses. The red flag – the last one was in 2009 if I am not wrong, but it is part of the race so you have to accept it and that is it.

At that stage of the race we have to be a bit more aggressive. It could be right, could be wrong. Sebastian was talking about that. In the end we were pushing like hell and Sebastian also had the chance to be able to overtake Hamilton, that was in our strategy. If you want to look at the glass not half empty – we were there. But this is the news. Of course after that, you cannot be happy after this but this is racing.”

Nevertheless he admitted it was a race lost: “Yeah. We lost… the race if you look, it is in front of everybody that we were showing a very, very good pace. We were quite comfortable and after the red flag, we took a decision. A certain decision that can be right or wrong. But…”

He remains optimistic about the season.

The pace in the race is very good. The car is very good. So, this is what I have to say. But we don’t have to give up. We need to continue to push because every race has their own story. You have to turn the page and look forward and think about the next one thinking to do not what you have done today but to do even better for Bahrain.

The start was super. I have to say both of the drivers, they start like two rockets and after that they were able to take an advantage, and that was good for us. This is the reason why at a certain point we were looking at the gap, looking at our strategy prediction and looking quite comfortable. But at the end of the day you have to look at the result of the race, not the provision. We have to be realistic.”


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Ferrari targets title challenge with new SF16-H

Ferrari F16-H

Ferrari unveiled its new car in an online launch today amid much optimism in the Maranello camp about the season ahead.

Dubbed the SF16-H, the car features more white in its livery than in recent years, harking back to the golden years of the mid-70s.

The car is very different from its predecessor, and notably after four years with pullrod front suspension, Ferrari has gone back to pushrod.

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene made it clear that the team has to be in the fight for the World Championship this year.

“Normally I’m not setting the objective, it’s my boss who sets the objective,” said Arrivabene. “Last year the objective was three victories, we got it. I think this year we need to push a bit more, so it’s going to be the championship.

“At least we would like to fight until the end for the championship. I know it’s nit going to be easy because our competitors they are not sleeping at all. For sure we are all committed to do our best.”

Technical director James Allison said of the car: “I have to say looking at it today I feel very, very happy and extremely proud of all the people here at Maranello, and I can’t wait to take it racing.”Ferrari F16-H


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Sainz expects rivals to progress in 2016

Carlos Sainz Jr says he was relieved that Scuderia Toro Rosso was finally able to confirm its Ferrari deal – but the Spaniard is concerned that the team could be left behind as others develop their newer engines over the course of the season.

Sainz says that at one stage he was worried about the team’s future after doubts were expressed about Red Bull’s commitment to F1.

“They were very small thoughts,” he told this writer. “Honestly I always had a lot of trust, a lot of belief, that the thing was going to be solved really soon – even though it wasn’t very soon, but soon enough!

“I am relieved that now we have a solid platform to work on next year. I think it will be a step forward. Having a full Italian team will also help, I think there will be good relationships – from what I know they really enjoyed the time when Ferrari was there. I think everything is very positive for next year.”

The downside is that STR’s 2015-spec engines are likely to be unchanged over the course of the season, while all the other manufacturers will be making steps as they use their tokens. Sainz says that the team knows it has to make the most of the early races.

“This is the main thing, that probably the first half of the season will be the most important for us, when we need to maximise what we have. The second half will be a bit more difficult, obviously. Especially after looking at this year, there was a lot of in-season development.

“Also we noticed with Renault that we had the same power for the full season. Toro Rosso at the beginning of the season was up there, and then little by little we went backwards. So it will be all about maximising the first half, I think.”

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Ferrari not involved in Hoyle spy case, says Mercedes

Mercedes has formally confirmed that Ferrari is not involved in the ongoing spy investigation into departing engineer Ben Hoyle.

When Mercedes launched legal action against Hoyle the company understood that he would be heading to Maranello. However, as previously reported the Italian team denied that Hoyle would be joining.

In a website statement today Mercedes has sought to clarify the situation and stressed that Ferrari is not part of the story.

The statement said: “There are on-going internal investigations, regarding confidential information being removed from Mercedes by Mr Hoyle, in order to protect against potential damage to both Mercedes and any company which could potentially receive such information.

Mercedes will continue with these investigations until it can conclude that all the confidential information is recovered, which is anticipated to take a further 2-4 months.”

Regarding Ferrari’s involvement the statement added: “The investigation has shown no reason to believe that information has been transferred to Ferrari, nor have any of the court documents made any allegation regarding any inappropriate conduct by Ferrari.

Mercedes will continue to protect its interests, including carrying on the legal proceedings against Mr Hoyle, and continue to protect against potential inappropriate transfer of confidential information within the motorsport industry.”

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