Mercedes Benz team principal Ross Brawn has said he will be launching a full investigation into the mistake in the pitlane at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which led to the rear tyre of Nico Rosberg’s car becoming detatched.
Rosberg came into the pits under the safety car, along with many others in a relatively standard move. However the rear right hand side wheel change went totally wrong when the wheel nut flew off the car just before he was released. While the rear gunner tried to scramble it back on, the lollipop man and rear jackman let Rosberg leave the pitbox, and the rear tyre subsequently became detatched and flow down the pitlane.
The loose tyre raced away, nearly knocking one Sauber mechanic over, before flying into the air after hitting a Williams mechanic who suffered cuts and bruises. It was finally caught by a brave Sauber mechanic.
Mercedes were fined $50,000 for the incident.
“It appears that as the guy came off with the wheel gun, it spat the wheel nut but he didn’t see it disappear,” said Ross Brawn.
“He went back on, fired the gun and realised the nut was no longer there so came back out to grab the other gun and the rear jack guy thought he had finished, so he dropped the car and away he went.
“I think we understand what happened and we will clearly look at how we can prevent it happening again.”
He added: “When the gun went on to take the nut off, the gun hadn’t engaged properly so the nut was off the axle and it spat it out. The guns are so quick and powerful now you don’t see the nut travelling at the speed of light.”
Ross Brawn the team principal of the Mercedes Benz team has warned the German manufacturer about supplying any more teams with customer engine units following Red Bull Racing’s interest in using the marques V8’s from next year.
Brawn believes the team, who supply engines not only to their works outfit but to Force India and McLaren too, are already at full stretch and that adding another supplier would weaken the works teams charge to a title.
“In my opinion, as constructors, we at Mercedes would need to think long and hard before adding another customer to our list,” Brawn told Autosprint magazine.
“I think we are on the limit as far as supplies are concerned. We must make sure there is always a Cosworth able to sell its engines, it’s not the duty of a car manufacturer.
“As for the power, I don’t know. The truth is that there is no procedure that determines precisely the parameters. We would be fine with placing all the engines on the bench under the FIA’s supervision.
“But measuring the power is only a part of the problem. There’s the cooling, the driveability, the fuel consumption. And just recently the boss of Renault’s engine guys has said that their V8 may not be the most powerful, but it’s the best from many other aspects…”
Some of the top team principals in Formula One have spoken out about the current decision making process over the new tyre manufacturer for Formula One. Bridgestone, the sole supplier for many season’s contract runs out at the end of 2010 and a new manufacturer needs to be selected. Pirelli and Michelin are the final two manufacturers in the running for the contract.
Ross Brawn, the principal of Mercedes Benz and former owner of Brawn GP said that he feels the teams need a couple of test sessions with demo tyres from the new manufacturers.
“There has got to be some testing with the new tyre supplier, whoever it is, so I think late summer and early winter there will be some tests organised with the new tyre supplier,” said Brawn.
“But again, we must try and accommodate that within the teams we have. We can’t afford to go out and start rebuilding test teams again.”
Brawn re-itterated the point that the teams want to keep similar technical regulations with regard the tyres, a statement which almost confirms Pirelli not Michelin will be chosen as the Italian manufacturer wanted to stick with the current Bridgestone-spec tyres.
“The teams have together produced a technical specification of the tyre we want,” he said. “So there is a document that we have all contributed to which is a broad spec of the sort of tyre that we want which means there is a single directive to the new tyre supplier of the type of tyre that is needed.
“That means we can continue with the development of our cars. Our cars are being designed around the current tyres because we have no other information.
“So I think everybody wants a tyre to come in that has similar construction characteristics to the current tyre, whether the compounds are quite the same is another matter.”
Meanwhile Swiss team boss Peter Sauber says he wants a decision sooner rather than later.
“I hope we have a solution before Canada,” Sauber said.
“It is not an easy situation this tyre situation, but it is important we have a tyre supplier for the next season and I think it is important to have a sole supplier tyre.”
Eric Boullier said while his team should theoretically favour the Michelin contract, his team were totally neutral in the decision.
“Let’s say historically Renault could prefer Michelin because they are both French companies, but I don’t think there is a preference for the Renault F1 team,” said Boullier.
Mercedes Benz have unveiled their radical new engine cover which they hope will propel them to the top of the podium in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The German car manufacturer has been struggling with its car against the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, however weeks of hard work and technical advancement have led to the team launching swathes of upgrades including an extended wheelbase and this new engine cover.
The cover has a very thin roll bar, and two large ducts on either side as opposed to the normal circular engine duct seen where the roll hoop is. It will also be used in conjunction with an F-Duct.
Michael Schumacher shook down the new car in a filming event last week and will be looking to get more comfortable following a difficult return to F1.
Michael Schumacher got behind the wheel of a GP2 test car today as he begins preparations for his eagerly awaited Formula One comeback.
The seven time world champion signed a contract to drive with the Mercedes Benz team, reuniting him with the sport that delievered him so much success, and the man that helped him – Ross Brawn.
The multi-million pound, 3 year contract will see Michael race until the age of 44.
Since retiring in 2006 he worked as a consultant and occassional tester for the Ferrari team, and was set to replace Felipe Massa mid-way through last season when the Brazilian got injured in a massive accident, but was unable to do so due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident. This test is designed to show he is now over that injury.
However, despite some good running and completing some 52 laps, his day was cut short by poor weather conditions. He will pick up the action again tomorrow and Thursday.
“The day today was good especially because after a long time I could drive again in a car that came almost close to a current Formula 1. Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert – this alone was worth it,” he said.
“I felt comfortable out on the track from the very beginning, and naturally I’d like to thank our Team and the GP2 series very much for the opportunity to drive.”
The contraversial “double diffuser” design which rocked the start of the 2009 season will be banned from the end of the 2010 season it has been revealed.
The FIA ruled that the design was legal after a major challenge to the double diffuser which was designed by Ross Brawn’s team, BrawnGP and then replicated. Major players like Ferrari and McLaren said the contraversial advantage was what lost them the title challenge when the small Brawn team took easy early victories, and eventually the title.
It has also been said that the diffuser design un-did all of the work done by the technical working group in terms of stripping away aerodynamic pieces in order to combat the boring procession races that had been occuring.
Mike Gascoyne, of the Virgin Racing team enterting F1 this season was bouyant on the move.
“I think it is exactly right,” he said.
“It is what we should do, and it is what both FOTA and the FIA are looking at for 2011. I think it is very sensible and very easy to do – just tighten up the regulations and it is done.”
Michael Schumacher’s Formula One return with Mercedes Benz has been confirmed today after an official announcement with the German driver.
Schumacher, who will be 41 at the season opener in Bahrain, has been signed on a three year deal.
He is known as the most successful F1 driver ever, with 7 titles and some 91 wins to his name and painted Formula One red with a highly successful period in the early 2000’s with Ferrari.
Ferrari as a team, and its fans will be bitterly disappointed on the announcement of Schumacher’s return with a rival team, and not with the Scuderia who make their 2010 title assault with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
“The motivation I think is pretty straightforward,” Schumacher said. “The call I got from Ross at the end of November concerning the chance to go racing, Mercedes being involved, I felt great.
“I never left the race track. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006, but in three years of absence I got back all the energy that I am feeling right now. I played around with motorbikes and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.”
“It [Mercedes GP] is a team that has won both championships this year,” he said. “With Mercedes Benz as a strong partner, our aim can only be to fight for the championship.
“There will be strong competition, as we have seen, but I am thrilled to be back in this one.”
“I played around with motorbikes, and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.”
Schumacher returns to team up with Ross Brawn a man who helped mastermind many of his titles through the years with Benetton and Ferrari.
The unstoppable duo will be back, with German backing and Nico Rosberg too. Ross was understandably delighted that Schumacher is back.
“I asked Michael that question and he is the best judge of what he can do,” Brawn said. “I trust him explicitly and he told me he can do it.
“He has always been his own best critic, the man himself knows what he is capable of. I am very comfortable and confident and put my trust in Michael, and it won’t be misplaced.”