Maranello, 22 July – The Tour de France, currently in full swing, has a daily prize at the end of each stage known as the Combativity Award, given out to the most aggressive rider. If Formula 1 did the same, chances are Fernando Alonso would be winning that accolade, for his duels with Vettel in the British GP and with Ricciardo in last Sunday’s German GP.
“It was good to bring Fernando home a little bit ahead of where he started in Hockenheim,” reflects Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director James Allison. “Sunday’s race was exciting for us because there were lots of close-fought battles, plenty of overtaking and as far as we were concerned, lots of little dramas for us to manage, arriving at the finish line having monitored fuel consumption and the ERS system, all while keeping an eye on the ever present threat of rain during the race.
“However, it was disappointing that we didn’t manage to get Kimi into the points even if some of that was down to the damage sustained to his front wing earlier in the race.” In Germany, Kimi confirmed that changes to the F14 T meant that he was beginning to feel more comfortable with the handling of the car, so hopefully in Hungary, a race that sees the biggest turnout of the year from Finnish fans, he can get a result worthy of his talent.
Hot weather was the dominant factor in Germany, apart from race day and similar conditions can be expected at the Hungaroring. “It’s usually very hot which is a challenge for the drivers but also for the cars and their cooling systems,” confirms Allison. “The heat will most especially affect the Energy Recovery System, because it’s a short lap with no real straights and there will be a fair amount of energy passing to and from the battery. The track itself is usually very dusty and dirty for the start of free practice, but then evolves very quickly as the rubber goes down.”
The mathematical halfway mark of the season was passed a while ago, but the Hungarian weekend leads into the official mid-season two week break. “One week after the Hungarian Grand Prix, we are not allowed to do any work in the factory,” explains the Englishman. “So we will be trying to fit quite a lot into that week, to be ready to be up and running again immediately after we return, to be prepared for the next Grand Prix in Belgium”.
“This stage of the season always marks the transition point between the current racing car and the next season’s car, with resources in the factory transitioning from one to the other,” continues Allison. “So it’s a time of much work on both projects, with plenty of effort still going into improving lap time on the 2014 car, while pushing ahead with the 2015 project.”