Ferrari to use new software after cheating allegations

1 month ago

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Original article written for motorlat. 24/05/'18

Ferrari has presented the FIA technical commissioner in Monaco with a updated 'energy management' software. It should exclude abuse. There are still doubts about the old version. Has Ferrari tapped more than the allowed 163 hp from the battery?

The battery dispute has its next episode during the Monaco GP. After investigations by the FIA had apparently revealed that Ferrari's energy management was beyond all doubt, Ferrari still had to submit a new software for energy management to the technical commissioners, which should rule out any abuse.

T hat happened on the first day of practice. Now the FIA must examine whether one can actually do anything that is forbidden with the technology used before Monaco and the new, modified upgrade.

Ferrari divides its energy storage, as the only team in the paddock, in two segments. Therefore it has two outputs. This is not punishable as long as it never exceeds the limit of four megajoules of energy per lap and 120 kilowatts (163 bhp) fed into the system by the battery. This is measured with a FIA homologated sensor at the output of the battery. After a tip from Mercedes, the FIA checked performance charts and the batteries in Baku and Barcelona. The allegation was that, under certain conditions, the sensor could be bypassed so that it does not measure the complete output of power.

The competition claims that they have determined a sudden increase in power of 20 bhp at Ferrari, in Baku, during the qualifying session (by GPS measurements), which should result in a three-tenths of a second advantage. In Barcelona, however, Ferrari did not show the same extra power figures on the straights. But everyone in the paddock was warned, since the first battery checks already took place in Baku.

The suspicion was quickly focused on the battery and the smart energy management, which is supposed to deliver more power in phases, without the sensor measuring it. In fact, it is irrelevant if the participant did something illegal. A technique is already illegal if it is possible to do something that is forbidden. The burden of proof that excludes this, lies solely with the team and not with the FIA.

So far, it is still not clear whether Ferrari's battery was theoretically capable of delivering more than the allowed power. However, there seems to be legitimate doubts about it. Regardless of whether it was used or not. The German 'Auto, Motor und Sport' learned, from both the teams and the FIA that the evidence is extremely complicated. Experts of the FIA are still investigating charts from Baku and Barcelona.

Therefore, Ferrari had to react to eliminate these doubts. Since we can assume that the Italians now operate in a safe window, a protest would be pretty pointless. It would probably show that everything is legal.

What has happened in the past can no longer be protested, even if the FIA can not remove any doubts about the old system. The deadline has long expired. There are only two ways to roll up the case again. Either FIA President Jean Todt commissions the FIA's International Court of Appeals to investigate the case. Or a competitor asks Todt to do this.

@bruznic

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Comments (10)
  • Hi congratulations - your post has been selected by DriveTribe engineering Ambassador for promotion on the DriveTribe homepage.

    1 month ago
  • Personally I think this is bullshit. Wouldn't it be cool if they all could extract / use as much battery power as they want when they want for how long they want. Then there would be less teams crying the other one is cheating. Also, I hate to say this again, but, this sort of proves my point that f1 should be combustion only. Less complications and butthu

    1 month ago
    • I don't mind a set amount that can be used. But I'd like it if they do it lmp1 style. Do what you want as long as you don't exceed this number. It proved to be done by a lot of different...

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      1 month ago
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  • Have a budget cap

    But let the teams do whatever they want

    This separates the wheat from the chaff

    And you choose what to spend your money on

    1 month ago
    2 Bumps
    • I think a budget cap is very hard to enforce. But perhaps it is the future of f1.

      1 month ago
  • Hi congratulations - your post has been selected by DriveTribe F1 Ambassador for promotion on the DriveTribe homepage.

    1 month ago
    1 Bump
  • I blame Jean Toad and Liberty. Both want better racing but have gone about this in completely the wrong way. They so want to even up the grid that they would love every car to be the same but for the paint. By doing so and decreasing the window for race winning engineering ideas teams are left with little room for thought. So much so designers are toying with bending the rules. Look at Ferrari mirror-gate...

    F1 is faced with budget cuts but how much have Merc & Ferrari spent developing so called power units? No wonder the sport is expensive. Quite why an F1 car has to be relevant to something you see in a Sainsbury car park is beyond me.

    Gone are the great engineering ideas of the past..skirts, fan car, 6 wheels. Now racing is all about tyres and SC pit stops. So glad Toad is in his final year of mucking up F1.

    1 month ago
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    • Why? Didn't he get re-elected?

      1 month ago
      1 Bump
    • Third and final term. Maybe it’s as long as he could serve as President? Not sure, just glad he’s going and hopefully someone less hybrid minded will uncouple F1 from these...

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      1 month ago
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