F1 teams are finding it hard to justify the use of KERS, because of packaging and reliability compromises. For the Chinese GP both Ferrari and Renault dropped their energy recovery systems, leaving just the McLarens and Nick Heidfeld’s BMW following the route championed by Max Mosley.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali (left) has hinted that the outfit may write off this season and focus on developing its 2010 car – a strategy that worked for Brawn this year. Although there will be no wholesale rule changes for 2010, the refuelling ban will require a major rethink.
Ferrari engineering chief Luca Baldisserri has been moved to a factory-based job after the team suffered strategic disasters in qualifying and the race in Malaysia. But team sources confirm the biggest concern at Maranello is the F60’s lack of reliability. In the Schuey era, credit for the cars’ bulletproof record went to Nigel Stepney…
A row has erupted over whether Brawn GP is entitled to the 2008 TV revenue that was due to Honda this year. Brawn was deemed to be a new entry, and Flavio Briatore has argued that it should not get a share of the money. Brawn’s engine partner McLaren Mercedes has the opposing view.
McLaren has parted company with its popular sporting director Dave Ryan, who had been suspended after he was deemed responsible for attempts to mislead the FIA stewards. Kiwi Ryan had been with the team since 1974.
While the diffuser controversy has created tensions within FOTA, the GPDA has quietly been strengthening its position. Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil have all now joined its ranks, leaving Kimi Räikkönen as the only outsider.
Räikkönen will attend the opening of a new Ferrari store at 193-197 Regent Street, London on May 6. Surrounding an F2005 replica in the window (which is for sale) will be the usual range of Prancing Horse products.