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Ferrari calm on Alonso engine situation
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Ferrari calm on Alonso engine situation
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Sep 2010   |  7:06 pm GMT  |  39 comments

Fernando Alonso won today’s Singapore Grand Prix using the same engine with which he raced in Germany and Hungary. It’s been a successful engine, scoring 68 out of a potential 75 points.

That engine will now be used for Fridays for the remainder of the season.

Photo: Darren Heath

Despite having now used all his eight allocated engines, compared to his rivals Red Bull and McLaren who each have one fresh one to take, Alonso and Ferrari say that their running will not be compromised.

He has two engines which have both done one race each – Spa and Monza. These will be used across the remaining four races.

Ferrari say they are calm about the situation, given that the engine with which Alonso did his Friday running this weekend had covered over 2,500kms.

The other thing which is giving the team great satisfaction tonight is the fact that they have now beaten their opposition on two very different kinds of track – an extreme low downforce track (Monza) and a high downforce one (Singapore).

“This win means a lot to keep in the fight in the championship, ” said Alonso. “We know there are still four races to go but it seems we can be competitive in any track, so thanks to the team. Great job at the factory. Great job at the track as well getting 100 per cent of our potential all the time, so let’s see in the remaining races. Forza Ferrari!”

This bodes well for them for the remaining races. There is some discussion tonight about whether Korea will happen, although the pragmatists say it will happen even if we all have to muck in and help finish the track on the Thursday!

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I think Ferrari will take the penalty and get a new engine. Using Monza engine anywhere is a risk. It has already been through great stress.

Best thing would be to run Spa engine at Suzuka and Monza engine at Korea (if it happens), take a penalty at Brazil and go to Abu Dhabi with a new engine. I believe starting 11th-14th at Interlagos isn’t exactly as bad as it would be on any other venue. The race can be interrupted by the rain and also the race in dry is sometimes unpredictable with people pushing hard towards the end of season and any mistake at front would benefit him.


Does it matter how many new engines he has? surely its the mileage left in the rest that counts.


Ferrari told the BBC that the Singapore engine would be used for one more race and that engine 8 (which has done 1 race already) would be used for the other 3 races? So what is correct?


Ferrari told me on Sunday night that Alonso’s Singapore engine will be used again for Friday running. Spa and Monza engines with one race on them each will do the Sat/Sun for the remaining events


Something to remember is the mechanic’s ability to ease pressure on the engine and pass it to the gearbox by tweaking ratios. Engines are a worry rather than a threat.

Alonso clearly fancies himself as champion but with the remaining races – Suzuka, Korea(?),Brazil and AD…We’re putting our bets, until further notice, on the Red Bulls.

Both were untouchable in three of those races last season and for their car to be so competitive and not win the championship would be genuinely unknown in modern F1.

Can anyone think of a car that was that much faster than the opposition and the driver didn’t win the championship? It doesn’t happen.


Of the 5 title contendors, Alonso would be the one least phased if he had to take a 9th engine and a grid drop, to my mind anyway. He has battled through the field on numerous occassions this year and finished with some good points, or came close to it (if it wasnt for an engine failure in Malaysia).

Alonso is the best driver on the grid in a car which is the best car (all round, i.e. Red Bull best in the corners, Mclaren best on the straights but both are less than impressive than the other’s strengths)


Shell is an incredible company which is working very closely with Ferrari. I think having Shell as a technical partner is a big advantage of Ferrari when F1 engines are in question.


bang on friend…..I think u are the 1st person I have seen identify that Very Important relationship….spot on !!


Slightly different subject, but James, how strong are the Ferrari’s in on track collisions?? Alonso being torpedoed by Barri in Spa, Massa getting a whack from Hamilton in Monza, and both cars undamaged….what are they made of?


It’s interesting whether there is difference between engines (within same manufacturer), e.g. wear rate, power output, reliability, efficiency etc (and what’s interesting, lost of power or rate of power reduction under exploitation, as Barrichello said, Cosworth engines lose much more power than other aggregates with mileage) . I guess for example mercedes engines should behave more equally and to be in closer range. But anyway engineers perform precise oil check (and perhaps other data) to adjudge remaining resource of the engine. and in this regard, Alonso’s engine (the last he used) may be really was ‘lucky’ aggregate.


On that above note, would there be a ‘replacement’ grand prix venue be brought in, should Korea not be up to standard?

This has happened in the past hasnt it.

Maybe Valencia?


Teams say that this would not happen – there would be one less race -bad news for Hamilton, Button and Vettel


Encore Monaco! haha


Racing an Engine in Germany, Hungary and Singapore is not a different matter. The Engine at Monza will struggle with the uphill climb at Interlagos[ where I think Ferrari will take a penalty and new engine]. Also Abudhabi is again mostly straightline. Its not as easy as they put it.


meant “difficult” instead of “different” in the second line


Just to clarify – what does the rules say? 9 engines for the whole season (if so, why does it say Friday here in the column?)

If it’s for the whole weekend, what happens if they go past their allotment?


8 for the whole season. The 9th brings a 10 place grid drop


It is to Red Bull’s advantage to have Vettel put pressure on Alonso right to the end, to see if there are any reliability issues. Engine advantage still is Red bull’s.


Does Massa yield from lead at Interlagos to help Alonso?

Place your bets.

If this team play will be necessary the poop will hit the fan. I know odds are slim, but picture for a second this scenario. After all Massa knows that track and is the only Brazilian to win there since Senna.


Of course. NO one complained when Ferrari switched the order there in 2007


Busted like over ripe grape!

Totally forgot that one. Probably because I was never that excited about Kimi and 2008 Brazil made me forget all races there pre 2008 happened. After all, 2008 was the only time I jumped around like crazy on the sofa while watching a race in complete disbelief of what I was seeing.

I asked this because in 2003 I think when Rubbens ran out of gas the garbage started to fly! But obviously Brazilians had their fill since Massa won twice since Senna, and yielded once already.


I wonder how many people feel as I do that Alonso’s career seems to be heading on a collision course with Michael Schumachers in terms of their respective paths. I appreciate Alonso’s brief flirtation with Mclaren is different to the path Michael took and the fact that the 2010 Ferrari is a lot better than the 1996 Ferrari..

But both drivers won double championships with Benetton/Renault, the so-called underdog team with questions over their traction control systems (remember Michael’s amazing starts in 1994?)

Both drivers then had a few years break and didn’t win championships, before Michael won a further five with Ferrari with a little help from a sub-ordinate team-mate. If Alonso wins the title this year, I am going to be convinced that the pair’s careers are being mirrored.


Alonso’s career is nothing like Schumacher’s. Schumacher’s cheating at Benetton in 1994 (banned traction control, drivers aids, faster fuel rig etc) is the worse cheating in any season in the history of F1. To top it off he ten deliberately crashed in to Hill at the last race.

In Alonso’s during 2005-2006, traction control was legal and on all F1 cars.

Schumacher never raced a teammate on equal terms. Alonso went to McLaren and did it.

Schumacher crashed in to two titles rivals on the deciding race to try and win the WDC, Alonso has never done this.

As much as I don’t like Alonso, he is a saint compared to Schumacher.

Schumacher’s dirty driving this season alone has also been appalling. Pushing Rubens in to the wall, he has also hit 9 cars so far this season (3 in Canada and another 3 in Singapore alone).


If Korea doesn’t happen James does that mean that they have to run a grand prix to replace it? Given how they have run the the season and their engines etc, it would seem wrong if there was suddenly one less race on the calendar. Should Portimao or Aragon be preparing for a surprise maiden GP?


If I recall correctly, Legard suggested on Twitter a few weeks ago that Magny-Cours was the backup…


Thought the teams were not returning to Europe again this season. That would be quite a logistical challenge.

Surely Bernie has people working behind the scenes to tie up any loose Korean ends.


I dont think that would happen. Just think of the logistics of the operation. Pretty much all of the cargo is in the far east for the next 4 weeks, returning to base only for it to be shipped out to Brazil.

Also a late october race in France, they may as well take the wheels of the cars and turn them into boats!


What about Imola, Hockenheimring or the new track in the Algarve Portugal (Portimao)?


I wonder what the weather is normally like at Magny-Cours at the end of October .


Probably cold, possibly wet and likely misty early in the day. I have been there for World Superbikes several times which is held early in October, and it’s too late in the year for an event in central France.

On the other hand, if some of Mark Webber’s luck could be transferred across, it might be a nice day.


all of the 8 engines are good enough to cover more than 3 races. that makes 24races for a season. this must be why they are confident.


Just one engine failure and it’s curtains for alonso’s challenge. Ferrari took a risk with keeping alonso’s car on a high power setting for most of the race but has it paid off. We will see on the next Friday practice.


dear friend that comment applies to your beloved mclaren and redbull teams as well. why no love for the Italian stallion? they got u nervous don’t they 😉 HUGE points grab over the last little bit. your boys should have sealed this long ago… stallion was way back 5 races ago…….show the love ;0


Mclaren have used 7as well as redbull I think they plan to use the 8th in japan alonso has used all 8 and massa is into his 9th if they have just 1 engine problem is the ‘great’ alonso going to claw back places when sutil had so many problems getting past a virgin at Singapore


You have to admire Ferrari’s confidence in their engineering.

Be interesting to see what happens next.


Ferrari can be rightfully confident I think. Suzuka ’06 was Schumacher’s first engine failure in something like 5 years and for whatever reason their powerplants are almost improbably

durable. As for their gearboxes though…


I’m thinking the Red Bulls should have Suzuka in the bag with that car of theirs.

James, will Ferrari have to turn their engines down for the remaining races? I wouldn’t have thought so, but they have done two of the most demanding races.


After each race the engine looses a little performance, a few percent. Even if an engine could survive 2,500+kms it would be slightly down on power.

However, judging by the way Ferrari got the back on the pace last weekend a few electronic tweaks can make all the difference.

Suzuka is quite demanding for the engines due to higher lateral loads but I don’t expect to see a repeat of Schumi’s 2006 misfortune.

Hayden below has a point though…there could be mechanical gremlins elsewhere.


If they were going to turn ANY engine down it would have been the unit in Alonso’s car today. I think we can safely say he was letting it all hang out throughout the weekend.

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