Ferrari have constantly been denying any problems in terms of reliability with their Engines this year, however, Ferrari has made changes to its engines for reliability reasons for the Spanish Grand Prix after being granted permission to do so by the FIA.
The Maranello outfit has experienced problems with its V8 unit since the start of the season, with Fernando Alonso suffering two failures already and customer team Sauber also having a spate of issues.
Changes aimed at improving the performance of engines are banned under the engine freeze regulations, but design alterations on reliability grounds are permitted provided prior authorisation is given by the FIA.
Ferrari has confirmed that, following work on its power plants at its Maranello base since the last round in China, it has found some solutions for the problems and it has been given the green light to make revisions for this weekends race.
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 said in a Barcelona preview piece on its website"
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.
Ferrari has, like all its rivals, spent the three-week break between races working on upgrades for its car in particular its full version of McLarens F-duct, which the team says will feature on its F10 in Friday practice.
The team tried out the innovative concept, which stalls the rear wing on the straights when the driver operates a vent situated on the nosecone from the cockpit, during one of its four permitted straight-line tests in Italy last week.
Ferrari says a decision on whether it will be kept on the car for the weekend action in Spain will be taken after both race drivers use it for the first time on Friday.
Using this idea is not as straightforward as simply fitting a new component to the cars, because it involves not just a different wing design, but also a driver-operated system to use it effectively, the team added.
Evaluation has therefore been quite a lengthy process, involving simulation and test bench testing, prior to it making its track debut last Saturday during one of the four permitted straight-line aero tests, held at Vairano.
Giancarlo Fisichella was at the wheel of the F10, while Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were able to try the system on the simulator.
On Friday in Barcelona, the wing will be tested by both drivers during the free practice sessions, as they will need to get used to actually operating the system and there will be no need to do a back-to-back evaluation against the existing wing as this has already been carried out at Vairano.
After free practice, a decision will be taken regarding its use for qualifying and the race.
Welp, I'm kinda pragmatic on this one. F1 is a serious, very strenuous and athletic sport. It's not the same as driving behind the wheel of a DTM or Rally car (which is already very demanding by themselves). You don't just go on a few years hiatus and then expect to do equally well when you come back, especially when one is already advancing in age. Considering that he is not really right at the bottom of the pack is already a great feat! :bsmilie:
I'm a big Schumi fan myself actually... but the man needs to enjoy his retirement and rest on his laurels! :bsmilie: