Ferrari refute Marko’s ride-height accusation

F1 Fanatic round-up

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.

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

  1. Hairs (@hairs) said on 3rd August 2012, 0:38

    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. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 3rd August 2012, 1:07

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

    • ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 3rd August 2012, 2:32

      *Helmut Marko

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 3rd August 2012, 6:55

      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?

      • ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 3rd August 2012, 8:19

        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.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd August 2012, 8:26

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

  3. George (@george) said on 3rd August 2012, 1:34

    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.

    • soundscape (@soundscape) said on 3rd August 2012, 3:58

      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. maxthecat said on 3rd August 2012, 1:40

    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.

  5. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 3rd August 2012, 2:14


  6. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 3rd August 2012, 2:23

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

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 3rd August 2012, 2:26

      but he has contract it seems..

    • 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.

      • sid_prasher (@) said on 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. leotef (@leotef) said on 3rd August 2012, 2:58

    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. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 3rd August 2012, 3:28

    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.

  9. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 3rd August 2012, 4:58

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

  10. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 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.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd August 2012, 7:35

      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.

      • hamster said on 3rd August 2012, 11:29

        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?

      • DaveW (@dmw) said on 3rd August 2012, 15:03

        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.

        • Brace said on 3rd August 2012, 17:18

          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. gabal (@gabal) said on 3rd August 2012, 7:25

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

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd August 2012, 7:47

    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.

  13. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 3rd August 2012, 7:51

    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

    • who's better who's best said on 3rd August 2012, 11:52

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

      Have they ever done anything to you?

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

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd August 2012, 13:39

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

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 3rd August 2012, 21:11

      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.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 3rd August 2012, 22:16

        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.

        • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 3rd August 2012, 22:25

          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.

          • Julian (@julian) said on 3rd August 2012, 23:47

            “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??)

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 4th August 2012, 1:36

            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?

    • 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. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 3rd August 2012, 9:12

    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. Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd August 2012, 10:08

    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?

    • @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.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 3rd August 2012, 21:24

        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.

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