Ferrari’s clever wheel nut system designed to shave a tenth of a second form a pit stop has been ditched. The nut failing to attach properly forced Raikkonen to retire in the season opener in Australia from P5.
Last time out In Austria, the same system caused Sebastian Vettel to remain halted in his pit box for around 13 seconds, as the nut refused to engage properly with the thread on the hub. This cost Vettel a comfortable P3 and a podium presentation.
An angry Ferrari team principal said following the Austrian race, “We threw away, one more time, a podium for a stupid piece we need to recover, we need to fix, as soon as possible.”
Two weeks later and Maranello’s design team have delivered a new and deeper threaded nut for both cars to use in Silverstone.
“I know we have something here to try,” said Vettel. “It should hopefully avoid any problems in the future, but obviously we have to wait and see.
“The guys are doing a lot of pitstop practice to see whether it works.
“I hope we don’t have any more trouble because it cost us a podium in Austria, which was not ideal.”
Maurizo Arrivabene has also promised there will be no more glory runs by Ferrari on Fridays. The team from Maranello has been fuelling their car lighter than is the norm for the race simulation runs in this year’s FP2 sessions.
Whilst this has created excitement ahead of the race that Ferrari have closed the gap to Mercedes, the reality come Sunday is the team from Brackley is still totally dominant.
Vettel is also hopeful the two-day test that followed the race in Austria will yield further improvements in Ferrari’s continued bid to close the gap to Mercedes.
That said a bullish Sebastian Vettel believes the team may have unlocked more of the Ferrari potential at the recent test in Austria.
“There are still some things undergoing analysis, but we were pretty happy with what we could get out of the test and hopefully we will see that this weekend when I hope I can have a fight with Mercedes on track”.
Vettel could only manage P6 in FP1 today, behind both Mercedes, Toro Rosso and his team mate – some 1:465s slower than Rosberg who topped the time sheets.