Liuzzi to switch chassis in Canada

Vitantonio Liuzzi will become the latest driver to change his chassis this year in a bid to resolve his struggles with the VJM03.

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have done the same earlier this year.

Liuzzi will revert back to the car he used in the first four races of the season. As discussed here last week his deficit to Sutil in dry qualifying peaked at over a second in the Turkish Grand Prix.

He said:

The last few races have been pretty tough as we’ve been struggling with a general lack of grip that makes it hard for me to give the maximum.

Monaco was OK and I thought we had solved the issues so it was quite frustrating in Turkey that I couldn’t make the most of our new development items.

We’ve put in some long hours at the factory and found some minor damage on the chassis that we picked up in Monaco. We thought we had fixed it but as a precaution we are switching back to the chassis I used in the first four races.

We’ll look at the chassis again back in the factory and see if we can find any other areas we need to address.
Vitantonio Liuzzi

Adrian Sutil said he will try Force India’s version of the F-duct – which they call the SRW – in practice again this weekend, having not raced it in Istanbul.

Despite finishing comfortably ahead of his team mate, who did run the SRW in Turkey, Sutil believes the new part is a step forward for the car.

The SRW was a development item in Turkey and we didn’t use it on my car in qualifying or the race as we didn’t get enough information on it after the various issues we had in practice. It’s a really good system for me as I can use it without taking my hands off the steering wheel and once we introduce it long-term it will be very easy to use.

We saw on Tonio’s car that it gave a big improvement, so if we can use it on my car it will be a real step forward. We will test it some more in Canada and hopefully get some good data together.
Adrian Sutil

Reserve driver Paul di Resta will not be driving for the team this weekend but will resume testing duties in the next race at Valencia.

Read more: How much longer does Liuzzi have left?

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14 comments on Liuzzi to switch chassis in Canada

  1. Casanova said on 8th June 2010, 12:13

    SRW – Stallable Rear Wing, I presume. Makes more sense as a name than F-duct…

    • BasCB said on 8th June 2010, 12:53

      Still not a easy mouthing name, but F-duct fits only for the McLaren car, as it refers to blowing onto the rear wing close to the F in Vodafone.
      McLaren calls it the RW80 if i am not mistaken.

    • bosyber said on 8th June 2010, 13:20

      I think it is Switchable Rear Wing actually, but yes, they don’t have any reason to give it an unclear name (McLaren did a reason to do that when they developed it).

      Does anyone know who first came up with the f-duct name?

      • Aussie Fan said on 8th June 2010, 17:01

        I could be wrong but I am pretty sure it was Jonathon Noble from Autosport that came up with the “F-Duct” name. Also the inlet hole is beside the “F” on the Vodafone logo on the front of the car too.

        • steph said on 8th June 2010, 17:03

          Aussie Fan I’m sure that Jonathon Noble did coin the name too because of the “F” in Vodafone

          • bosyber said on 8th June 2010, 17:09

            Thanks, autosport usually quick to pick up on things, so that makes a lot of sense!

  2. bosyber said on 8th June 2010, 13:36

    I don’t recall other seasons where several drivers of different switched chassis after unclear performance reasons.

    Of course, I could just have missed it. Keith, anyone, did this happen in other seasons (well, other than in a season with spare cars and the like, where I think they kept switching cars at every opportunity, I guess). Did the media just never report/notice it (maybe the teams just didn’t comment on it as they do now?).

    Did the chassis become more fragile in recent years as teams get better at being only just able to pass the crash tests, but as marginal as possible? Or is it a function of using the chassis for more races – ie. it is exactly that they are now not just switching chassis for every race, possibly to save costs?

    Or are the drivers more fragile/more in need of excuses, and are those chassis only placebos to make them perform better?

    Or maybe a bit of all these.

    • Joe said on 8th June 2010, 14:13

      This one: Or are the drivers more fragile/more in need of excuses, and are those chassis only placebos to make them perform better?

      I think Luizzi is whining about not having the faster chassis and in reality it is Luizzi not having the skills of Sutil (who has somehow become under-rated IMO). But excuses, excuses. He probably didn’t expect to have a chassis switch with his teammate to resolve this issue. :P

    • Tim said on 8th June 2010, 14:46

      There was, of course, the infamous account of Nigel Mansell’s time alongside Alain Prost at Ferrari. Prost thought that Mansell’s chassis was better and convinced the team to secretly switch them over, chassis plates and all. Mansell claims he only found out when he drove the car, felt it was somehow different and confronted his mechanics.

      Of course this has all happened before – the reason it has become such a big deal now is because Michael Schumacher did it first and Mercedes used the damaged chassis to explain away some of his performance issues in the first few races.

      F1 chassis are stronger than they have ever been, but they still suffer damage as well as normal wear and tear. Carbon fibre is not particularly easy to repair either – you can’t simply weld or bolt a new bit on as you could do with an alloy chassis.

      Unless the team is aware of specific damage then changing the chassis (in reality the monocoque) is often a last resort-type solution to a difficult to pin down handling issue – if you’ve tried everything else then change the chassis and see if that makes a difference. Sometimes, no doubt, teams swap chassis for purely psychological reasons (see Prost, above).

  3. MouseNightshirt said on 8th June 2010, 17:50

    Liuzzi’s latest excuse. Won’t be long now…

  4. verstappen said on 8th June 2010, 20:37

    Did you know that after every race all (!) the paint is removed of the entire chassis after which it can be checked for damage?

    A lt of the true f1 fanatics probably know this, but I only read this last year in f1racing. What a sport it is we love!

    And a bit more on topic: the Dutch F1 commentator did mention occasions where chassis’ were swapped, because there seemed to be ‘an issue’ and after a very thourough investigation, a little hair-fracture was discovered. I think he did mention it in relation to Heidfeld.

  5. Charles Carroll said on 8th June 2010, 20:47

    Yes, he may be on his last legs as an F1 driver.

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