Ferrari: Work on a tight schedule
"The past few days have been more difficult for the team than usual"
These are busy times for Scuderia Ferrari, with a pace of work dictated by a deadline that will wait for no man. The cars that raced in the Principality of Monaco headed back to Maranello on Monday morning and as usual, the Scuderia crew immediately began the work of preparing for the next race, the Canadian Grand Prix. Time is tight to meet tomorrow’s deadline, when the cars leave Maranello heading for Montreal.
This week has also been rather more frenetic because of the problems encountered with Massa’s car over the Monaco weekend. “The past few days have been more difficult for the team than usual, both from an operational perspective and from a human side,” commented Head of Track Operations, Diego Ioverno. “Our first task was to work out exactly what happened to Felipe last weekend. Once we had done that, we moved on to preparations for the coming race, which we will finish in the coming hours.”
Because of what happened in Monaco at the weekend, the work on Fernando’s and Felipe’s cars has taken different directions. Alonso’s underwent the usual “servicing,” and preparation specific to the Canadian race. Felipe’s however was built up around a new chassis, so that it’s actually been built from scratch. “After a race, it’s standard practice that the whole car is pretty much dismantled,” explained Ioverno. “Then the components are sent back to their respective departments to be inspected. After a race like Monaco, where the car is subjected to heavy loads and also frequent contact with the barriers or guardrails, this phase is even more complex than usual.”
In the time between two Grands Prix, the routine is for the cars to be disassembled, checked and inspected and then reassembled according to a spec sheet aimed at the requirements of the next race. However, after a special race like Monaco, where the cars use some parts specifically designed for this track, the post-race work involves replacing these. “We’re talking about suspension and some bodywork parts which are rapidly removed and put to one side,” continued Ioverno. “The rest of the components them move on for checking in different ways, depending on what materials they are made of and this can include using instruments to check for faults not visible to the naked eye nor with the use of a lense.
“For metal parts, we can use inspection methods using penetrating liquids, which can show up the presence of a fracture. Then we also have ultrasonic checks for carbon components. There is also a basic visual check and an accurate measurement check of each component. After Monaco, it’s as if we are starting everything from zero, with each part re-examined exactly as if it had only just been made, to check that it still matches all its original characteristics.”
Once the cars have been packed off to Montreal, the Scuderia personnel will get a chance to rest and catch their breath after what has been a very busy time. The mechanics who were working in Monaco at the weekend got back to Maranello on Monday morning and went straight to work and so far, none of them has had a day off, give that all the equipment has to be ready to head off to the airport by noon tomorrow. It means the team will have the weekend to relax before, on Monday and Tuesday, they too head off to Montreal.