Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2012

Ferrari refute Marko’s ride-height accusation

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2012In the round-up: Ferrari deny claims by Red Bull’s Helmut Marko that they have been running a manually-adjustable ride-height system.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari denies ride-height system claims (Autosport)

“Ferrari has strongly refuted claims from rivals Red Bull that it has been running a manually-adjusted ride-height system in Formula 1 – on the back of the latest technical controversy that erupted at the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko claimed Ferrari had a tool-free ride-height adjustment system in this interview with Auto Motor und Sport (in German).

Just three engine brands in 2014? (ESPN)

Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug: “I assume and think and am pretty sure that we will have three and no more than three. But with three I think we can get the job done.”

Interview (Sauber)

Sergio Perez: “We need to be more efficient and I want to contribute to that. It is not that our performance was not consistent, but we didn?t always get the things right and also we have been unlucky sometimes. We have to get everything together and make the most out of what we have. The car is quick and for me my first victory would be a dream come true.”

The Good, the Bad and the Pride – Half Term Report with James Allison (Lotus)

“The worst moment by far was when the chassis broke on the first day of the first Barcelona test with Romain [Grosjean]. For about twelve hours I was not even certain that we would be able to get the car fixed by the first race. Missing the first test was bad enough, but not making the first race would have been an absolutely desperate situation for us. It was only once we had understood the failure and figured out how to fix it that the world started to return to normal.”

Q&A with Pedro de la Rosa (HRT)

“[Team principal] Luis [Perez-Sala] is one of the main reasons I?m at the team. I?ve always held him in the highest regard and I have blind faith in him. He?s never going to deceive me and I like to work with people who you can trust in and with whom there are no secrets. With Luis what you see is what you get. Sincerity is our strength and that gives us a lot of agility when making decisions.”

Green flag for a well earned break (The Sun)

Vitaly [Petrov] came to us from Renault F1 Team where he had been through a bit of a rollercoaster two seasons since coming into F1 in 2010. His first day with us was at a cold Barcelona test and he was quite shy, but soon on the pace. He settled into the team very quickly and has been a great addition.”

German Grand Prix video highlights (F1)

A selection of the best action from the Hockenheimring.

Replacing Felipe Massa at Ferrari (MotorSport)

“Ferrari?s option on Massa, to continue with the team for an eighth season, expired on July 31, and the team declined to take it up. Of late Felipe has shown better form, and it had been thought that maybe ?ǣ maybe ?ǣ he might be kept on board, after all. Ferrari?s decision not promptly to take up the option on his services does not definitively mean that he is out for 2013, but his retention seems, at best, extremely unlikely.”

Andrew Benson’s Blog: Battle to catch Fernando Alonso (BBC)

“The F2012 was a second and a half off the pace in Melbourne in March. It has improved in leaps and bounds since then, but the Hungarian Grand Prix proved it is still far from the fastest car on a fully dry weekend. As Alonso puts it: ‘Lotus, McLaren and Red Bull have been ahead of us for the whole championship.'”

The marriage ceremony is underway! (Circuit of the Americas)

“Today the the crew is laying final piece of base course and completing the entire first layer of pavement around the track. This process is referred to as ‘marrying the track’ and is taking place from turn 20, through the starting grid and up the hill to turn one.”

We’re in the summer shutdown! (McLaren)

“The summer break was considered by all as an eminently sensible impasse during the sport’s relentless nine-month campaign. Since then, F1’s moral and financial responsibilities have widened, and the need to formalise the break was introduced at the end of 2008 when teams signed off the Resource Restriction Agreement.”

Comment of the day

ShaneB457 reckons Perez is good enough to take Massa’s seat at Ferrari:

He?s currently ahead of him in the standings and has secured two podium finishes this year. He?s been unlucky in Silverstone, (Maldonado crashing into him) and China (clutch problem). He had the fastest lap in Monaco and most recently finished sixth in Germany. So yeah, I think he?s done amazingly well in a midfield team and has definitely got the edge over Kobayashi.

Perez would be a great replacement for Massa at Ferrari. If he was to go to the team next year and they would produce a quick car worthy of winning the drivers’ championship, then I think that he would definitely be a contender for the title, even with Alonso as his team mate.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Soren Kaae!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alberto Ascari clinched the drivers’ championship in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on this day 60 years ago.

It was Ascari’s fourth consecutive win in the Ferrari 375 and his team mates filled the next three positions: Giuseppe Farina 14 seconds behind in second, Rudi Fischer almost another seven minutes back and Piero Taruffi a lap down.

58 comments on “Ferrari refute Marko’s ride-height accusation”

  1. seven minutes in the same car! People complain Hrt don’t belong in the sport for being too slow, clearly part of the ferrari team didn’t belong there either.

    The Massa joke writes itself, really.

  2. Helmut Morko putting intro practice the idea “the best form of defence is attack.”

    1. *Helmut Marko

    2. Helmut seems to be a bit of a jacka*s . It’s impossible to like that guy. He either makes up rubbish stories to protect Vettel and hammer Webber, or shout at Toro Rosso drivers for not being slaves to Red Bull drivers or makes comments about the abilities of young red bull drivers that are extremely biased. For him to complain about car technology is just ridiculous. Who is this guy anyway? and why does the press even take any interest in him?

      1. He’s in charge of Red Bull’s driver development program, so no surprises about shouting at Toro Rosso drivers. That said, he is a team advisor, and as such, he should be impartial to any conflicts within the team. Obviously, that is not the case.

        Just to add to that, it was a bit rich seeing him put down Alguersuari in Korea, considering the tremendous amount of success Helmut himself has had in Formula 1.

    3. @scuderiavincero Pretty much! It takes the attention away from Red Bull, Ferrari are just an easy target.

      1. @andrewtanner Pretty much the most high profile target one can find.

  3. I cant see why Ferrari would want to hold on to Massa for any longer, at best he’s average, at worst he’s a liability. They have nothing to lose from trying out a young talent, and everything to gain.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Massa won’t get close to a WDC again in his career, so why hold on to him? If they just want a “yes-man” to play second-fiddle to Alonso, why not go with a younger driver who might earn them a few more constructors championship points along the way?

  4. Really really don’t like Helmut Marko. He basically just admitted Red Bull had/have a ride height adjustment tool, If he/Red Bull believed Ferrari had one, it obvious they would’ve made their own system.

    1. Maybe he’s implying “Ferrari have one and we copied theirs” but I think he’s just trying to take the attention away from red bull and dump it on Ferrari.

    2. I thought the rule was you could only adjust the ride-height with a tool!

      1. And that’s why they get Marko to adjust the ride-height.

        Seriously though, his comment’s are the F1 equivalent of “I know you are but what am I?”

        1. @davea86 That made me smile ;)

          1. Same, nice one Dave :)

    3. And that basically means Red Bull’s been cheating in one way or another…, and VET is arguably young MSC now

      1. Funny how Red Bull were the ones being vindicated for the use of such system in 2010 when the ride-height of one of the Red Bulls (I believe it was Vettel’s) mysteriously dropped during Bahrain practice.

    4. He basically just admitted Red Bull had/have a ride height adjustment tool,

      Of course they do, all teams can modify their ride heights with tools…. Read, think, then type.

  5. “vide-president”

  6. I agree with COTD, but something tells me Ferrari have already made up their mind on Perez. Next best option would be Rosberg.

    1. but he has contract it seems..

    2. I think Kovalinen or Räikkönen would be worthy replacements for Massa, as Ferrari seem reluctant to sign drivers in their rookie years (with what happened with Red Bull & McLaren I think they should begin signing talented rookie drivers such as Perez).
      Kimi knows the team well and is a very quick driver; I reckon he could equal Alonso with his recent form (and that would bode very well for a 17th Ferrari constructors’ title). The only problem with signing Kimi is the strained relations with the team boss.
      Heikki I think deserves another shot with a top team, and he could fit nicely with Ferrari’s current team structuring (and perform better than Massa) but I still believe Perez would be a better option.

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        4th August 2012, 6:56

        I think giving a seat to Kimi would be the best thing to so…simply because of the circumstances in which he left before the end of his term..

  7. Didn’t know Ferrari’s option in the Massa contract expired end Jul. Is it coincidence Checo’s self compliment came out just after that expiry? Is he sending a message to Ferrari? Funny though, Ferrari do seem serious on Kimi while a 2 year old self confident fish is flirting to them…
    No hard feelings on Checo. But at the least, the last thing I want to see is a young man, esp if he is as talented as he claims he is, to become as political as some others. The world is already full of those and runs with garbage in garbage out process. The sports arena including F1 is the last place I personally expect not to see those.

  8. Although I’m Kobayashi fan, I have to say that Checo has really impressed me. I think he has the mettle to be a future champion. The fact remains that he is still young and he is a bit erratic at times.

    Knowing Ferrari, and LDM, I think we can pretty much be sure that Checo wont replace Massa. Ferrari have always taken the conservative approach, they havent hired anyone who wasnt sufficiently experienced since forever!

    I dont think anybody knows who will be sitting in the second Ferrari next year. I would like to see Heikki in there.

    1. Perez has a long career ahead of him, I can see him in Ferrari around 2015.

  9. Gotta love marko, Red Bull have been cheating for awhile now i say. 2011 they were too. nothing new from them really.

    1. @matt2208 – Red Bull have never cheated the technical rules; the reason they come under controversy is because they push the rules to their limit without crossing the line so to speak. The FIA ban such technologies because it isn’t within the intent of the rules.

  10. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    3rd August 2012, 4:58

    Wondering if Red Bull isn’t going to be penalized for their ride height adjustments?

    FIA will probably do nothing, and then release a “clarification” after the fact.

    1. No, they’re not going to be penalised. It happened back at the Canadian Grand Prix, and no action has been taken.

      This wasn’t a case of Red Bull being in a greay area the way theyw ere with their throttle maps. The FIA saw the part, didn’t like it, and told them to remove it, which they did. Case closed.

      1. Are there other cases of teams being simply asked to remove something illegal on their car which is a black and white issue like this and no action being taken?

        It does appear to be a case of as long as no-one sees you doing it then you are fine.

        So why would it be case closed if it is patently in breaach of the rules?

      2. There are two issues, whether they violated the requirement to have ride-height adjustable only by tool, and whether they have broken parc ferme by in fact adjusting the ride-height. The first issue was dealt with in Canada. The second remains in doubt. You don’t need to have a tinfoil hat to find it awfully strange that for two years people have been seeing and photographing suspicious changes in that car’s ride height and now we hear they were busted for violating the tool-adjustment rule. It’s like finding a lock-picking set on a guy who claims he never committed a burglary.

        1. You mean people kept reporting seeing him in the close vicinity of burglary scenes, around the times those crimes were committed and then finding a lock-picking set on him two years later, just to have him claim he never used it! :)

          I find it really repulsive how Red ******** puts a dubious thing on their car for which they know FIA will ask them to remove, while all other teams first ask FIA if the component in question is OK to use, and only race it if they get a green light from FIA.

  11. Link to Circuit of Americas story isn’t working for me.

  12. Red Bull’s Helmut Marko claimed Ferrari had a tool-free ride-height adjustment system in this interview with Auto Motor und Sport (in German).

    I find it very suspect that a week after it was revealed that Red Bull had a tool-free ride height adjustment device, they are accusing other teams. And I find it doubly so after Helmut Marko made a song and dance about Vettel’s penalty at Hockenheim while the team was under the microscope over their engine mapping. Between this and Christian Horner’s claims that all the other teams are conspiring against Red Bull because they are jealous, why, you could be forgiven thinking that they’re feeling very uneasy and are trying to force the spotlight of public scrutiny onto someone else.

    If that makes me a cynic, then I’m a cynic.

    1. I agree with your cynicism!

  13. Norbert Haug expects three engine suppliers in 2014.

    In other words, Mercedes are planning to leave F1 at the end of 2013 and take their engine supplies with them. For someone who dislikes Mclaren as much as myself, this would be hilarious. :D

    1. who's better who's best
      3rd August 2012, 11:52

      Curious @kingshark …why would you hate an F1 team? Especially Mclaren

      Have they ever done anything to you?

      1. I’m curious about why you asked “Especially Mclaren”? Why would you believe them somehow less deserving of “hate” than other F1 teams?

    2. I think it’s more likely that Renault or Cosworth leave. I’d be amazed if Mercedes pulled out.

    3. Why speculate on who he might be suggesting is going to leave when all you have to do is actually read the article and it’s made quite clear that Merc, Renault and Ferrari are all developing engines for the new regs.

      1. Have they ever done anything to you?

        I don’t hate Mclaren. I dislike them with a passion.

        The reason I dislike Mclaren is because the fans constantly see them as a non-political fair team. BS. Mclaren have used team orders and have favored drivers just as much and often as Ferrari. I don’t remember any other team spying on other teams or lying to the stewards to win themselves an extra point.

        “Mclaren lets their drivers race and Ferrari doesn’t”. Most pathetic joke I’ve ever head.

        1. The reason I dislike Mclaren is because the fans constantly see them as a non-political fair team

          So the primary reason you dislike them is because of other peoples’ perception of them.

          1. “So… you dislike them… because other peoples’ perception of them… is… cute.”

            I was so heavily inspired by the way you quoted kingshark and then used it out of context that I gave it a go myself.

            (Am I doing it right??)

          2. So the primary reason you dislike them is because of other peoples’ perception of them.

            You clearly did not bother reading the rest of my post. Spygate 2007, Liegate 2009; does it ring a bell in your head?

    4. I am also a strong disliker of McLaren, mainly because Brundle & Herbert (not to the same extent though) are so biased towards McLaren, which infuriates me. I am a Red Bull fan because I like the way they push the boundaries; this also makes me detest McLaren further. And finally, I absolutely can’t stand Hamilton.

  14. If 2012 was using the 2009 points system, Schumacher’s first points would’ve been in Valencia, with his total being only 10 points (Europe, Britain, Germany would be his only scoring races)

  15. If Haug is “assuming and thinking and pretty sure that” there will only be 3, could it be that Mercedes will withdraw? It looks unrealistic, but I think he can be “pretty sure” only about himself and his company, not about others. Isn’t PURE trying to enter the sport? Ferrari will definitely remain as they have stated that without their own engine they wouldn’t compete in F1. Then there are also Renault and Cosworth. The latter may lose HRT and Marussia and therefore remain excluded from F1; Renault are unlikely to stop their collaboration with Red Bull.
    There are currently four engine manufacturers. If PURE enters the sport, two of the current ones would withdraw, according to Haug. If PURE, for any reason, don’t enter the sport, one should withdraw, and that would be more realistic. But how can Haug be “sure” that a rival company won’t be competing?

    1. @fixy – I don’t think PURE are out of the picture yet, but I believe they have had problems with funding. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but why don’t Honda return as an engine manufacturer? They have had much success with turbo’s before, and it would help them for sure with road car development, so why not?
      BMW also could return, or Toyota as they have their Le Mans team and would be able to use modified F1 engines to race under the new regulations.

      1. I don’t really understand the LMP1 reference. According to the article F1 engines could be used “alongside 5-litre turbos”. Surely if you have a choice of a 5-litre turbo or a 1.6 litre turbo you go for the 5 litre option unless there are other restrictions if you run the bigger engine which offset the larger bore size?

        The principle of similar engine layout across categories seems to be a good one though. Surely if the overall capacity, angle and number of pistons is the same across series, even if other specific parameters differ then there will be enough commonality to reduce the cost of developing both engines, better economies of scale in production, improved testing opportunities without significant cost implications etc – all supposedly targets the teams are working towards in F1.

  16. Wow. Am surprised to see even on this site, like German, French and Italian F1 sites everybody seems to accuse Red Bull and everybody seems to think that this-skillful-retired-guy called Dr Marko is a perfect ***hole! This guy who was gathering dust before Mateschitz called him and now pays him to make “wise mid-week comments”. And probably by now everybody must hate this team except all Austrians and a bunch of Germans.
    But hey! Let’s not forget that all this nightmare is due to Adrian Newey’s rules interpretation! I’ve been saying for a long time that the teams are not to blame for such blunders. The biggest problem in F1 has always been in the procedure of how the rules are enforced. The ignominious scandal is that the FIA has never learnt lessons in 60 years of F1 racing!
    It goes like this: (sometime in February) Charlie? This is Ross, we have invented something called front-wing stalling device but we’re not sure if it’s legal, can you please confirm. Charlie replies : Ross, am not sure either, you know, I am not an engineer. But I think it might be legal. Not sure though. Maybe. Know what? Build it and we will see later on, after a couple of races. After 2 races the legal tangle is in full swing and Ross is busy explaining that he asked the FIA for permission. The FIA is busy explaining that the front-wing-trick is a smart interpretation of the rules and so on. According to these rules the other teams now can lodge a formal complaint which will be heard in front of the racing circuit stewards and, if the teams appeal (if the protest is rejected), in front of a 2nd level jurisdictional body called World Motor Sports Council which only then takes a legally binding call.
    Now here’s my question: Why can the FIA not make a legally binding answer when the teams consult with them BEFORE building the actual car parts?
    The little details regarding the consistence of that World Motor Sports Council made of FIA members of Nicaragua, Burundi, Samoa and Marshall Islands will be the subject of another discussion.

    1. “Let’s not forget that all this nightmare is due to Adrian Newey’s rules interpretation!”

      If there is no specific rule against it, then it’s legal.

      “Why can the FIA not make a legally binding answer when the teams consult with them BEFORE building the actual car parts?”

      Because there was no specific rule against it and then they backtrack cause of the whiners. Effectively saying, ‘We no longer welcome innovation in F1’.

      1. It looks as if recently lots of “If there is no specific rule against it, then it’s legal” sort of reasoning by RBR got caught with the pants down! All this is too familiar. Much too familiar. What am saying is that the teams could and should be forced to bring new parts to the race track only AFTER a legally binding ruling! What we have now is ridiculous! Charlie says: Bring it on, maybe it’s legal. But my opinion is not legally binding! THIS IS PERFECT ********!

  17. who's better who's best
    3rd August 2012, 11:40

    I think shane B457’s comment of the day sums up exactly why Perez WON’T go to Ferrarri

    Alonso, perez is faster than you, do you understand???

  18. As an Alonso fan, who believes he is the best driver of this era by a distance, I am not really bothered who will succeed Massa as his team-mate. But I take issue with fans who suggest that Fernando has a Prost-esque veto against top drivers, or that being a number two to Alonso is a bad thing. Lewis Hamilton learned from Alonso in his debut season, and although Grosjean was nearly written out of f1 history because Alonso was so familiar with the r29, being a Ferrari driver is surely too great an opportunity to turn down. Ferrari, for all their whining about leaving the sport, will be in F1 in 20 years time, as will McLaren and Team Enstone. Other teams are still up in the air – what will happen to Williams when SFW dies?

    I don’t believe in single driver teams, but it has been proven that many greats have had a decidedly average number 2 beside them at some stage of their career. Senna famously vetoed Warwick from Lotus, Prost had Hill and Johansson as team-mates and some of Michael Schumacher’s team-mates in his first career were average to say the least. Also, the idea that FA has had a say over team-mates in the past is also illogical. Trulli beat him in 2004 and Fisichella had an immense 2004 and was hot property when he joined Renault. Definitely not signed to play second-fiddle immediately. In all probability De la Rosa would have been Alonso’s team-mate in 2007, had it not been for the fact he is Spanish. In 2008 many top drivers were signed up by the time Alonso’s contact was torn up at McLaren and that resulted in a straight swap with Kovaleinen. Piquet Jr was obviously retained due to Crash-gate and his Briatore links. Then he moved to Ferrari where many expected a close season with Massa.

    What is certain is that the replacement will have been driving in the 2012 season. I read that Sauber is not happy with his current line-up but he would be a fool to let Perez go for less than a King’s ransom (and probably save some money on engines).

    I respect Raikkonen immensely, but what does it say for Ferrari when the FIA say that teams should be able to race for 30 million a season but Ferrari are willing to pay that for a driver NOT to race. Then re-hire him 18 months after their last instalment. If that happens LdM can take himself straight to politics, if you ask me. That’s 1980’s/90’s Ferrari logic.

  19. COTD does make a lot off sense if Ferrari were looking for a racer to complete a 2 man equal footing racing outfit, but there not, there looking for a tail gunner and Massa is it.
    What driver would take He`s place and play second fiddle to Alonso is beyond me,
    But hey, Fisi gave up a seat in F1 just to be a test driver, it must be the allure of the prancing horse.

  20. Re: US GP, Austin, November. If anyone is thinking of going, please check that you’ve got accommodation lined up. I’ve just spoken with a cousin (30 minute bicycle ride from the track) where I’ll be staying and he tells me that there are no hotel rooms left at all, and some local residents are renting their spare bedrooms at $1,000 a night. Local scuttlebutt is that there will be 300,000 visitors. Also, if your flying in (I’ll be driving, it’s only 22 hours away), check where you’ll be landing — the local airport (trying to expand their Customs facilities) can’t take any more international charter flights.

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