Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2015

Ferrari going ‘radical’ with 2016 power unit

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Big changes are afoot for Ferrari’s 2016 power unit.

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Comment of the day

Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, DTM, Hockenheimring, 2015
Wehrlein delivered in the DTM
The DTM may be an unusual route to F1, but Jack is impressed with Wehrlein’s credentials:

I’ve watched all three of his seasons in DTM, he is an excellent driver, though the DTM is hard to judge.

The whole grid is generally within 1.5 seconds, meaning championships are won on consistency over sheer mass of wins. He’s extremely calm behind the wheel, lending itself to this consistency. Last year he was by far the highest placed Mercedes driver, second highest, interestingly, was Paul di Resta.
Jack (@Jmc200)


Scott Dixon, Ganassi, 2016
Scott Dixon, Ganassi, 2016

Scott Dixon will use this retro Ganassi livery on his car in this year’s IndyCar championship, as used by Alex Zanardi when he won the title 20 years ago.

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to 1964 world champion and multiple motor cycling world champion John Surtees who is 82 today.

92 comments on “Ferrari going ‘radical’ with 2016 power unit”

  1. The last time I heard Ferrari were going radical with something on their new car, the F2012 came out. Yes, it nearly won the championship, but Ferrari does have a history of going so radical that they can’t even understand their own car, or being conservative and dropping into fourth fastest.

    Let’s hope, for the sake of our entertainment, that they get it right this year.

    1. Or being radical and dropping into fourth. :)

    2. Was literally what I was thinking.

      The last times we heard Ferrari were going radical, it never worked

      1. It should make testing intriguing though. Less than 2 weeks left. Bring it on! Yeah! But with less sandbagging pretty please……😕

      2. I don’t think it makes much of a difference to what they do, they find themselves in a similar spot anyways. They were ..
        conservative in 2010 (2nd to 3rd fastest car)
        conservative in 2011 (3rd fastest car)
        radical in 2012 (3rd fastest car)
        conservative in 2013 (3rd fastest car)
        New rules conservative in 2014 (4th fastest car)
        Conservative in 2015 (2nd fastest car)

        That gives an average of 3rd fastest over the past 6 seasons.

        Given their track record, they should make the 3rd fastest car next season, but due to the mess Red Bull and Honda find themselves in, I’m going to have to say that they would be 2nd fastest (something I think 90% of F1fanatics would agree to ;)

      3. When teams boast about being radical it all goes wrong. The fastest team in my perception are quite conservative in what they tell the media pre season. Remember last pre season Ron Dennis was on about the radical Honda engine and the tight packaging and it was jewel like to look at….it was all a load of rubbish. As a Ferrari fan I am sadly having images of fireworks but of the wrong kind, too much rubbish coming out from their camp pre season.

      4. I certainly hope it works and they compete with Merc at the front. As a Hamilton/Merc fan, it’s no fun to watch when the race is a foregone conclusion before it even starts. It’s only good when you can beat a formidable competitor like Seb in a top shelf Ferrari! Once Ferrari is fighting for the front again, I can hate them as the evil empire again and enjoy the racing more! :)

    3. I think it is a must for Ferrari.

      Sure, winning again after a win-less year and getting closer to Mercedes was fun. But to be honest, the gap was still too big; Mercedes was more often than not about 0.4s faster than Ferrari in qualifying and win the race with a big margin. To be a serious contender for the championship, Ferrari needs another jump like they had last year, and since all the easy gains were already made, they have to go radical and take some risks with their car.

      As Fernando Alonso has said, all positions are meaningless but the first one.

    4. This is not the same Ferrari though. They didn’t hire James Allison so he could come in and keep doing the same things they’d been doing before, even if that thing is radical change. Hmm. You know what I mean :)

      1. Full attax changes right there. If it works we will have a cracking season… If it fails we can mock them on F1fanatic.

        But they seem to be investing a massive effort to bridge the gap.

        1. Yes, all change at Ferrari, including the addition of the person Webber described as “like a computer” – Vettel. He has gelled with that team and Marchionne said he was fantastic.

          I’m looking forward to (hopefully) the battle of the big two that we’ve been waiting for. Fingers crossed that Ferrari doesn’t go in McLaren’s direction.

    5. Yep, let’s see if the radical Ferrari engines can beat the bog-standard ones Toro Rosso are using.

    6. If anything their proposed changes are largely in-line with convention. Normal push-pull rod front-rear; on-trend MGU-K placement; imitated compact gearbox; standard nose design.

      It is the combination of these design elements if anything that is unique. This is more of an internal revolution than an outright technological one – most of the design decisions appear to revolve around tested principles of tighter bodywork, improved underfloor airflow and greater thermal efficiency.

      If they’ve committed the effort I don’t think we should necessarily be defeatist.

  2. Now that Wehrlein is here, there will be at least one driver to give Hamilton a run for his money for the title. The worst haircut title, that is.

    1. Have you seen the picture of him used on his web site? Kinda creepy if you ask me.

    2. You can’t judge Germans on their aesthetics. Have you ever seen the interior of most Audi Quattros or BMW E30 M3s? ;)

    3. At least they both show that diversity is part of modern F1.

      1. What diversity? It’s not like all other drivers have the same haircuts.

      2. They are both here to enrich F1,make it more vibrant …

    4. Just think, if bernie was a hairdresser theyd have to keep the same hairdo all season!

    5. LOL! I tried to link a ‘Kid and Play’ pic but, it didn’t work. Remember those high top fade haircuts?

    6. Wrong. Wehrlein actually has hair…..his own hair…..

  3. Hahaha.. Richie Stanaway is pure class!

    1. Sounds more like a lack of manners than like a pure class.

      1. Or the person who will be doing the real sim-work at Lotus, when Jorda isn’t there to have her fun.

      2. Its not bad manners when its true. She even failed to qualify in one race weekend (Silverstone I believe) all because she was so far off the pace. So for her to be saying that she found what Sørensen said hilarious she should consider that people would actually agree with him and Stanaway. Even when Lotus signed her last year, Mitch Evans said “It’s not April Fools day yet” to her!!!

        1. I’ve seen a video of stadium race between her and Villeneuve and in the 2nd heat she finished nearly 10 seconds behind him!

        2. And of course, in 2014 in GP3, she never finished higher than 17th. Dean Stoneman replaced her for the last 4 races and got two wins and a second place… Not just in a spec series, but in the same actual car.

        3. There’s a difference between being far off the pace, which is a quite incontrovertible description of Jorda’s career performance, and being 12 seconds per lap slower in a simulator on pure pace which is indeed a laughable claim. The fact that Sørensen has so much legitimate ammunition with which to criticise Jorda makes his 12 second claim all the more of an embarrassment in the eyes of anyone who knows anything about motorsport.

      3. Exactly! Well said.

    2. I would never say that to a fellow driver but that is probably why I am not a racing driver… It is tough but it is true.

      I still do not think that drivers like Stanaway should be upset about Lotus’ choice of “development” driver because they surely want to race and win races, not “develop” an F1 car in a simulator. And I still believe that female drivers need to be visible even if they are not good enough as there will probably never be female F1 race drivers if we only make sexist jokes, say that they should make it on merit and do nothing to promote equality.

      The problem is that Carmen Jorda does nothing to help the cause. Perhaps she is not 12 seconds off the pace but she is painfully slow and really does not belong even in GP3. More importantly, she has said herself that female racers need a separate championship and her latest (re)tweets include pictures of “beautifully dressed” Jorda and “some tips for a good make up”. The message is clear: Women look good and drive pink cars for fun, while men do the real thing. That message has nothing to do with promoting gender equality in motorsports. Susie Wolff was a good example of how it should be done, Carmen Jorda is not.

      1. Lewis Hamilton is 3 time world champion and he posts stuff he likes all over twitter. And he also get criticized for his personal lifestyle. There is no winning, people always find something. We all know Jorda isn’t fast and she is there for the looks, but who cares. She is not pretending to be otherwise. There is only one message that was send out when Susie wolff was passed as Bottas his replacements. Woman are not going to drive f1 competitively for a very long time. They are all there for the image of the team, no matter what they do. Might as well look good and drive pink cars.

  4. Wow, a former F1 champ saying something other than “things were better in my day”? Good on Mario Andretti, it’s really refreshing to see some positive comments, particularly from someone involved in such a diverse array of motorsports as him.

    And that Ganassi livery is wonderful.

    1. yup Andretti is a proper champ and a true gentleman

    2. I :heart: champcar of the nineties.

      Sadly, it was taken from us on 31/10/99.

    1. Ouch.

      I gotta try to be a positive commenter.

      She is way Hotter than Villeneuve.

      Hotest dev driver out there.

      Also pay attention, to the pretty racing lines she takes.

      And who gave her a racing seat? Hard to asses her speed, except… Failed to reach 107% in a single make formula.

      Not sure her dev work can be relevant with pace so slow.

    2. If shes 5sec slower than Villeneuve then shes not 12sec slower than Sørensen thats for sure.

      1. Well she claimed now that she is only about 1 sec slower than Grosjean in the simulator..

        1. Well that is more respectful… But Susie Wolf was “only” half a second behind Massa in a Real F1 car.

          Jorda is maybe just Simulator gifted.. When I did simulator once… I was not close to 1 second behind Sebastian Vettel… On best lap 2 seconds…

          If she wants to make a mark, she needs to be there, stomp. 2-3 tenths faster laptime than race boys can deliver… That is what Bottas did, and got him on friday practices… And then did in real car…

          I am sure if you show up and beat Grosejean by 1 second, you would be given a seat regardless of gender…

          But 1s off pace…

  5. +10 for a headline article that exposes 90% of F1 fans lack of technical understanding.

    Technical sport + under 10% fans that understand = fans being biggest problem

    1. So what is the solution? Spec-series?

      1. His solution is a test that requires F1 technical knowledge prior acquiring the official title of F1 fan. In a sport that sorely needs new fans, this elitist mindset will only distract genuinely interested recruits.

        1. Maybe the problem is not the fans, but merely the commenters who call themselves a fan!

      2. Sumedh, I would say that it would be far more effective to explain that technology to the fans in a clearer way.

      3. F1 Fan Remedial Learning Program – or longer drive through detentions until they can spell MGU-H correctly.

    2. Lol don’t know how a headline or it ‘s related article exposes anything. Reading the article certainly provides a basic understanding. Doubt that the number is 90%. Blaming the fans is backwards thinking, but then so is the suggestion that unsustainable unlimited spending is the answer when the money is no longer there in this global economy and most of the teams are already struggling to get competitive. Most fans understand the drivers are limited from pushing and yet are still seeing processions, therefore the show isn’t what it could or should be and therefore it is the ones producing the product, not the fans, that is the biggest problem. Fans are obviously smart enough to know what a good product is and therefore viewership has suffered.

      1. Nothing wrong with not understanding the technical aspects of F1. Many fans dont, but then react to technical changes as though they do…

        For instance, some fans think aero is why we have processional racing with zero evidence to support it….

    3. yeah, but if over 80 percent of the fans had a competent understanding of the technology underpinning the ‘sport’, F1 would no longer be the pinnacle of motor sports.

  6. Do engine customers like Haas get the latest spec engine? Or do they get secondary versions? What are the rules (if any) regarding this? It would seem that the supplying team has a vested interest in not providing commensurate power unit to it’s competitors.

    1. Found this:
      Article 23.5 of F1’s 2016 Sporting Regulations reads: “Only power units which are identical to the power unit that has been homologated by the FIA in accordance with Appendix 4 of these regulations may be used at an Event during the 2016- 2020 Championship seasons.”

      “Although the new rule prevents manufacturers like Mercedes or Ferrari supplying customer teams with different specifications of engines, it does not preclude the possibility of them using different software mapping or fuel products.”

      I’m assuming the customer teams will be doing the same.

      1. In theory that is still on @NewNorsk. But given that the FIA missed the boat on blocking in season development, the reality is that normally the works team gets the newest bits earlier (because they are often not yet able to build more of them at once) and then allocations make it even more complicated (with 5 engines or even less in the future) to judge what car has which spec available to run

        1. I’m confused here. Does Toro Rosso get a 2016 spec Ferrari engine?

          1. Bustertje, Toro Rosso will use a 2015 spec power unit. What the rule says is that power units can only be used once homologated – it doesn’t block a team from using an older specification power unit given that it has already been homologated.

          2. no, ferrari said(in that moment) it was too late to start preparing aditional unit for toro rosso or RB, so thats why they offered 2015 unit, sauber and hass will get 2016 PU cuz they had enough time.. RB didnt like the idea and you know the rest xD

  7. Carmen Jorda does not deserve any role in F1 whatsoever but it’s not like our good friend Stanaway is the next Hamilton.

    1. @xtwl well, he doesn’t claim to be either. But he has a very respectable junior resume, he’s won championships and he’s won in GP3 and GP2.

      Stanaway’s tweet is hard but regardless who he is or what he’s done, he has a good point that anyone here could have made even though we’re not even racing drivers to begin with.

  8. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    11th February 2016, 8:26

    A touch harsh from Stanaway, but he has a point. Jorda told that she was “more or less within a second of Grosjean” – but who is she trying to kid. Since she was, on average, five seconds off the pace in qualifying in her three seasons of GP3, so if she was within a second of Grosjean it doesn’t speak well of Enstone’s simulator.

    1. Well, we don’t know any background off course @william-brierty. I do think that its a bit harsh, but true what Stanaway writes – had she seen the points at times in GP3 people would certainly respect her speed more.

      As for the simulator – I think its quite possible that Jorda was able to get close to a second off Romains pace. First of all she would have been able to do enough laps in the simulator to get to know the tracks, the car etc. And off course doing fast laps in the simulator is not quite the same as bringing that speed to the track in real life, especially with other cars getting in the way of running a “perfect lap”. Also, she might have learnt a trick or two from the likes of Pastor and Romain in that simulator work

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        11th February 2016, 15:05

        @bascb You are absolutely right – much of her “pace” could be attributed to the simulator not being a physical exercise – albeit she has done a commendable job in trying to demonstrate her athleticism!

        I don’t have a problem with her lack of pace, not everyone is Fernando Alonso, nor do I have a problem with her being Renault’s development driver: she is a female racing driver, and female racing drivers need exposure to inspire the next generation of girl racers. What I do have a problem with is the way in which she has used her public profile: strolling the paddock like this, and appearing in magazines like this.

        Now if the undeniably beautiful Carmen wants to flaunt those stunning legs of hers, that is fine, become a model. What is not fine is being a self-portrayed curiosity, a quasi-professional who seeks to beguile rather than inspire. A professional racing driver has professional responsibilities, as Susie Wolff diligently attests.

    2. Someone close to a Renault tells me they’ve taken the coin slot off the simulator at Enstone!

  9. That Jordan King article is such a farce.
    Only got this far because of Daddy’s money and now that Daddy can’t buy an F1 seat even after “rescuing” Manor, he needs to buy an “article” in The Mirror of all places, where one minute he’s racing in Grand Prix 2 (a vain attempt to appear as a real GP driver??) and the next it’s F2 – a non-existent series! Not only that but they’re having to give away sponsorship for free in the hope they’ll stay on for the years after!

    1. It strongly reminded me of the article hailing “F1 superstar” Max Chilton last week. About as full of hyperbole over how great the driver is.

      Lets see how King does in his second year in GP2, it’s not as if he is hopeless, but he does have to show more to be ready for something like F1 @blankfrank

  10. I couldn’t agree more with Stanaway’s opinion, but… I just never like to see a racing driver take cheap potshots at another racing driver, especially on a platform like Twitter. If there’s a genuine bit of bad blood going on and it’s a continuation of on on-track feud than yes, maybe I’d understand it, but it just seems a little bit uncouth and unprofessional to have digs at someone who hops into a dangerous wheeled missile and (even if they do it relatively slowly) risks their health in the same way you do.

    I’d much prefer to see a bit of ‘siblinghood’ between drivers, and leave the potshot-taking to fans and commentators.

    But maybe I’m just old fashioned…

    1. @neilosjames the thing is, drivers to tend to sypmathize with each other as if they’re all a part of a brotherhood. That is the usual way they seem to interact. I’ve only ever seen this kind of animosity towards Jorda. Maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye – maybe she is generally not liked by her peers, maybe she behaves in a way that induces this? I have no idea but another driver took shots at her when her F1 deal was announced, and now it’s Stanaway and (to a lesser extent) Sörensen.

      It’s a very clear departure from the norm.

    2. Yeah I agree @neilosjames. Being technically correct doesn’t make it okay to be pointlessly hurtful. It says more about Stanaway than it does about Jorda, really, and not in a good way.

  11. Can’t see where it is radical. Have I missed something?

    1. I thought the same. But perhaps its a big change, rather than radical, which amounts to a “radical” change in design philosophy in headline world.

      It seems like they have copied best designs of their competitors in a lot of ways. So “radical” may actually mean better, despite concerns voiced here by other posters…concerns i had myself until i read the article…

    2. It operates similar to a diesel… About as radical as it gets for a petrol engine.

      How did you miss that?

  12. Have to agree that seeing Radical and Ferrari in the same sentence has normally let to a less than stellar performance.

    Hope it’s not the case.

    Ricciardo is going to be in for a long hard and fruitless year I’m afraid – engines are so crucial no amount of great chassis can make up for it and Renault are already suggesting it won’t initially be much better than last year.

    1. I thought they said it would be at least 40hp up on last year’s engine from the start.

      Also remember Horner talking up the progress on the Renault PU.

  13. Carmen Jorda just confirms all the stereotypes about female drivers: painfully slow, only there because of her looks… and now other drivers are having a stab at her too. But the worst part, putting this into the context of female drivers in Formula 1, I think she has a very toxic influence. After last year I hoped we would never see her again, but sadly we will have to endure another year of FOM pointing cameras at her face whenever the on-track action falls flat.

  14. Come on Fezza, give us fans something to cheer again this year!

  15. Ferrari seemed to have changed a lot of their PU layout. I think it’s a bigger risk, and a more ambitious approach than what just meets the eye. I wouldn’t be surprised if they face a handful of issues in pre season testing.

    As an F1 fan I would like to see their layout produce results so that we can finally have 2 different teams fight for the WDC and WCC. But as an Alonso fan, I’d like to see them struggle just so that Vettel can start to understand how frustrating it was for Alonso when he was driving for the red team. A year or two more of non championship winning cars, and the environment within the Ferrari garage would become the exact opposite of what it is right now.

    1. As a Ferrari fan I hope Vettel and Ferrari will whoop Alonso’s and Macca’s a** the same way they did last season. I really hope that Macca will continue being a total crap, so that Alonso will realize what a huge mistake it was to leave from Ferrari, although he probably realized that already last season haha :)

      Go Seb! Forza Ferrari!!!

      1. Yeah, my thought exactly – Go Seb!

        But as an Alonso fan, I’d like to see them struggle just so that Vettel can start to understand how frustrating it was for Alonso when he was driving for the red team.
        That’s a bit mean. Who’s to say Seb doesn’t understand the frustration of coming second? He did just that in 2009 and took it down to the last race in 2010. His hero is Schumacher, who had to endure five years of red until he became WDC.

    2. If to struggle now means “to take the title fight down to the last race of the season” then I’m sure Ferrari would be delighted to “struggle” in that fashion in 2016. And a lot of neutral fans would be delighted to see that as well.

      1. If to struggle now means “to take the title fight down to the last race of the season”

        That was all Alonso. I don’t expect Vettel to take the title fight down to the last race with a car such as the F2012

  16. Can somebody send me a link to the simulator WDC standing?

    Or maybe it is not the development driver’s role to run fastest laps on a computer, but rather provide good feedback to the engineers.
    Otherwise, I’m sure that Google’s AI computer would beat even 12s-Sørensen.

    1. We shall see next year when Formula E introduces robot races.

  17. Happy 82nd to John Surtees. A legend and true gent.

    1. Cool shirts, they where gonna run with a “classic” livery this year right?

  18. -A driver says something politically correct:

    “F1 drivers are PC-machines, they lack personality, they should say what they want.”

    -A driver makes a justified complaint about a driver that should have never had this kind of exposure as a racing driver:

    “Rude much dude? You should be more politically correct.”

    1. The complaint should not be directed as an personal insult towards Carmen or anyone.

      1. @rethla Pointing out that her record of performance in GP3 was dire is not a personal insult, it’s an assessment of her credentials as a professional racing driver.

        1. That twitter reads “People joke about you becouse you are so bad” and its an insult.

  19. Ferrari’s plans are very interesting, i can’t wait.

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