Kimi says it’s ERS, not the engine

There has been a lot of talk about Ferrari lately and with good reason, they just resigned their 23-year-long President in favor of a more Fiat-centered approach.

The new boss leveled a finger at the “sporting arm” of Ferrari and specifically the engine they created to contest the 2014 season which saw the biggest regulation changes in decades—most notably a V6 turbo with hybrid system. It represented a format Ferrari was not offering on any of their road cars.

To those ends, the enterprising folks at AUTOSPORT decided to take the opportunity to ask Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen, what the issue might be with the engine and the Fin said:

“I think in the race conditions it’s one point that we have to look at,”

“But during the season it’s not so easy [because of the engine freeze].

“I’m sure we can make a 100 per cent improvement over the winter.

“We have made some improvements already and I think if you look at certain engine manufacturers [compared to us] over one lap it’s not too bad, but then in a race distance we seem to be struggling a bit in certain places.”

I appreciate AUTOSPORT asking the question because the DNF at Monza for Fernando Alonso was the first mechanical failure since 2010 for the Scuderia. Many have suggested the engine is the problem and Luca Marmorini, the former head of engine development, was fired because of it.

Specifically the ERS seems to be the culprit and Ferrari has used four (out of an allowed five for the season) of the MGU-H systems for Raikkonen heading into the Monza weekend. Perhaps the heat and not kinetic is the real bugbear?

It tends to make more sense as Ferrari are no strangers to making fantastic engines and certainly a V6 turbo can’t be the biggest hurdle for them but perhaps the hybrid system is the moving target that isn’t playing well with the turbo.

When I spoke to them over lunch a year ago, Ferrari’s David Waddilove suggested this would be a challenge and I asked about heat related concerns but I have not read anything that would suggest the MGU-H over the MGU-K, that’s jut my speculation based on the usage numbers so far.

It will be intriguing to see if they can get on top of the issue over the winter months but like all development periods, the other teams improve their kit too so we will just have to wait and see—that is if we’re not all consumed by the mesmerizing sight of the youngest driver ever in Formula 1 in 2015.


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