Why you can’t just put in a new engine in the Ferrari?
We might not have a Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend but there is a tremendous amount of action that is taking place off track but before we get into the world of Formula One let's just talk a little bit about Marc Marquez.
Can you believe that after that huge accident he had in Jerez last Sunday, he had surgery on Tuesday, and he's been declared fit to race again in Andalusia this weekend!
I know there was an x-ray that was doing the rounds about his broken Humerus but it's not funny,(see what I did there?) perhaps it wasn't as severe as we thought and after having a chat to some medical friends of mine it is very likely that he should be fine. I think it is an unnecessary risk for the multiple champion, but I am not Marquez.
The most important thing for Mark Marquez is not to fall on that arm this weekend.
Let’s get to the world of Formula 1.
I do get a lot of people who ask me and send me queries and say “Hey Sasha, Ferrari are down on power; we all know what happened with the FIA, why can't they just slap in a new engine into the back of their Ferrari and of course given you power units to the likes of HAAS and of course to Alfa Romeo.
It is not that simple so let's just go through where we are:
As we are aware of Formula 1 in 2022 will be completely different. New regulations, budget caps and the like are awaiting us.
In order to get there, the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams all got together and agreed that in order to prepare for 2020 they should all start implementing some measure to cut costs in the interim.
What this means is that teams will continue to race with their 2020 cars through 2021 with the updated technical regulations now delayed until 2022.
Development on the number of parts is limited in support of the cost-saving drive and now the teams are using the token system which they used back in 2016.
BUT it is not that simple and as of yesterday the 22nd of July Teams had to inform the FIA of their intent to modify a homologated component. Homologated could me parts of the engine internals and the exhaust system.
As of the 22nd of July, the teams had to notify the FIA of their intent to modify homologated components with an estimate on the parts and effects as well as a brief description of the reasons.
By the 5th of August the teams must provide the FIA with a full specification of the intended changes of the homologated component and any affected components.
By the 21st of September they must provide the FIA with the detailed scheme of the intended changes.
If the teams go and modify these parts and the parts don't work, they can within five races go back to the old part, but It means they must discard the new part as well as losing their tokens. Still with me?
One question is how many tokens each team has and what constitutes the use of one token. Can you change your PU with 1 token? Of this I am not entirely sure but am trying to find out exactly how it works.
Hopefully the information about the use of tokens will be released to us in due course.
This is the reason why it is not that simple to just put a new engine into the back of the Ferrari.
Let me add this that if it is dry in Silverstone in two weeks and Ferrari are still performing the way that they currently are, I don't know if either Ferrari will make it out of Q1.
Staying with Ferrari, there have been some new structural changes in terms of the organisation.
It's easy to use hindsight but since the death of Sergio Marchionne in July 2018 things seem to have gone a little bit awry. Louis Camilleri was brought in and he immediately got rid of Maurizio Arrivabene and then appointed Mattia Binotto to become responsible for all of Ferrari sporting and Technical activities as well as the Politics off the field.
I asked the question in last week's F1PitBox TV show as to where the Ferrari 2IC is?
There is a call that Ferrari must get rid of the Italians and employ other nationalities to fix their problems. That is disgustingly disrespectful to the Italian people and the workers at Ferrari and by the way Binotto is Swiss.
Here are some of the structural changes:
Rory Byrne, the legendary South African designer will be more hands on in the design of the F1 cars again
Mattia Binotto remains as Team Principal, with Enrico Gualtieri in charge of the Power Unit department, Laurent Mekies as Sporting Director, with Simone Resta in charge of the Chassis Engineering arm.
Perhaps these changes will allow Binotto to focus more on the strategic running of the team.
A couple of anecdotes from the Hungarian Grand Prix from this past weekend.
The first thing which really irritated me was the penalty given to both HAAS drivers for being told to pit before the start of the race to change to slick tyres. I get the driver-aid argument but is that really a driver aid? I think it is daft and I am just relieved that Magnussen managed to score at least one point from the race.
Lewis Hamilton really is in a class of his own in a car that is extraordinary.
There was a graphic that was shown during the race that compared the tyre wear between the Mercedes Benz of Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen.
The comparison highlighted the significant difference between the smooth way Lewis was driving compared to hard way Max Verstappen had to drive to be even remotely competitive.
Hungary saw Alex Albon finish 4th albeit quite a long way off the pace of his fellow teammate Max Verstappen. Christian Horner the team boss at Red Bull has come out and said he struggles to understand the criticism being levelled at Alex. Albon is not performing badly but he's not performing any better than what Daniil Kyvat or Pierre Gasly did, and Horner was very quick to voice his frustration against both Gasly and Kyvat, so I think little bit of hypocrisy mister Christian Horner
Finally, I picked this from Gary Anderson in his summation of the each of the team’s pro’s and con’s
He pinpoints a direction for development of both chassis and engine for each team.
Mercedes is good on both. This is stating the obvious as it has three pole positions and three wins, but it has done an exceptional job.
Racing Point is also strong on both elements but needs to get more consistency. Understanding the direction, it has taken with this year’s car will help with that.
Alfa Romeo needs a dramatic increase in downforce. It just lacks grip and with the Ferrari engine it can’t make it up on the straights.
Williams needs more downforce, but the efficiency of the car is pretty good, so stick with that efficiency level and get some more bits on the car.
For AlphaTauri, a bit more downforce wouldn’t go amiss. A bit like Williams, the car is reasonably efficient but needs more grip.
Haas again needs more downforce, but in its case more donkeys are also required.
Red Bull needs better efficiency. This lack of delta speed could come from running more downforce to compensate for the car being a bit nervous to drive.
As for Renault – more power please.
Ferrari needs more power, more downforce and greater efficiency. It needs a bit of everything.
McLaren shares Renault’s need for power. Its cars are fourth and fifth across the start finish line but eighth and 10th on delta speed increase, so downforce-wise not too bad but more will always help.
Silverstone is just around the corner and if the weather is favourable it’s a compromise circuit of downforce against drag.
With that in mind Mercedes should be in a world of its own. And Ferrari, unless it has a miracle up its sleeve, will struggle more than it has done so far