April 4, 2007

Be Cool

The buzzword for this week end's Malaysian Gp is Overheating, not only because F1 seems bent on a masochistic self flagellation of wanting to run machines which normally operate just this side of molten metal in tropical climates but also because of the BIG QUESTION on everyone's mind: what's up with Kimi Raikkonen's engine.

Ferrari engineers saw a spike in operating temperatures in the later stages of the Australian GP and because Kimi's radio broke at the start of the race, could do nothing but watch as the iceman boiled away the chances for a successful repeat. The engine was shipped back to Maranello where it was tested by Luca Badoer on a different chassis before being sent back to Sepang. It was determined that it was indeeed subjected to overheating stress but that the engine could likely run the distance albeit only by giving up significan power towards reliability/survival.

I'm guessing they might opt to change it and take the 10 place penalty. Sepang is a pretty wide open track and passing is actually possible. (UPDATE: looks like I guessed wrong: no engine change as of friday night)

This of course brings up the intramural rivalry with Massa, if Felipe does well this week end Ferrari will have to wait to in effect name its #1 driver. Massa is not giving signs of being ready to take on the Rubens role just yet.

Always on the issue of cooling, take a look at this animation from Gazzetta Dello Sport highlighting the technical solution Ferrari has adopted to channel airflow to the gearbox oil cooler. Quite clever. Also note the fourteen individual oil sprayers inside the box. Cool indeed.

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