Ferrari makes ‘authorized’ engine changes

A few items from the Red Bull and Ferrari camps that might affect the outcome of this weekend’s grand prix.

In other words, if you haven’t made your Your View picks yet, do it and then read on!

First, from Red Bull’s preview of the race is this:

• The 4.66 km track layout at the Circuit de Catalunya features one long straight and a variety of different corner types, making set-up a compromise. The track is quite a harsh one for tyres so, once again, this race could be decided by careful rubber management.
• Owing to the technical nature of the Barcelona layout, cars are only at full throttle for 64% of a lap, so it’s not stressful on engines. The layout also means it’s a medium downforce circuit.

“Not stressful on engines.” Interesting for both Red Bull and Ferrari.

Now, from the Ferrari sneak peak, which might include a hidden bit of news*:

Another element of the F10 package that has undergone close scrutiny in recent weeks is the engine. A lot of work was carried out on the test bench, completing several long runs and this work produced some solutions which it is felt will solve the reliability problems experienced in Bahrain and Malaysia. The team therefore requested and received authorisation from the FIA to make some changes within the framework of the current engine regulations and these modifications will be fitted to the engines to be used in Spain. While since China, everyone in the Gestione Sportiva has been working hard as always on their various areas of activity, it is fair to say that over the past weeks, the staff in the Engine department really produced a major effort, working night and day to analyse, evaluate and solve issues that have affected engine performance in past races.

Todd was talking about this on this week’s podcast, wondering why Ferrari didn’t ask for FIA approval to make some tweaks to its engine. It was concerning leaking pneumatic valves. Ferrari does not say exactly what it’s done, or whether the Sauber engines, which also have been sketchy, are getting the same treatment.

It sounds like Ferrari did so. And while I still think being about half done with your engines at barely 25% of the season is a bad place to be, maybe the team has found the cause of all those engine kablooies.

Perhaps I should have picked Fernando Alonso to win, after all.

* Let’s all pay attention and see if this develops into a story on its own.

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