Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has stated that his team will likely take advantage of the new-for-2008 rule that allows a driver to take his first unscheduled engine change of the year without penalty. Kimi Raikkonen isn’t due a new V8 for his Ferrari, but the damaged exhaust from Magny Cours may have had knock-on effects for the power unit. I’ll have to be honest and say that I don’t follow engine lifespans and changes, but I presume Ferrari are correct in saying that the Finn hasn’t had a out-of-sequence change yet.
In two weeks the Formula One circus visits Silverstone, and while the Northamptonshire circuit isn’t known as an engine breaker, Raikkonen’s power-horse is likely to be very tired following it’s troubled French Grand Prix. Domenicali said they had done all they could to preserve the unit during the race, informing Raikkonen via the radio of certain things that will prolong the life of the engine. However, with the rule in place that will allow Raikkonen a fresh motor without penalty, a precautionary change is surely the way to go.
For sure, after such a heavy race from the middle to the end, it’s very likely that we have to change it so we need to play the joker that allows us to do it. As I said, we will do the analysis later on and tomorrow but there’s no rush to do anything more than eventually change it when we go to Silverstone. Stefano Domenicali.
The team still do not know exactly why the right exhaust started to fall apart, and Domenicali said that an investigation may prove difficult due to the damage done during the remainder of the race. However, the Ferrari boss said that they chose to not remove the offending part during a pitstop because they felt it would cost more time than it may have saved.
For sure we were very worried, no doubt, it was a long race to finish, maybe lost a lot of years and a lot of hair but that’s part of the game. In that condition you never know. It may stop any lap, it’s too difficult, it’s critical.
Unfortunately it was not possible to understand [why] it [happened] and also the other difficulty is that we had almost half of the race with all the breaking parts falling apart so it will also be difficult to have the pieces in our hands because they’re somewhere around the track. We will try to do the analysis after this weekend but at the moment there’s no other info. Stefano Domenicali.
As soon as Ferrari confirm the reason for the part failure (or not) and whether or not they will change Kimi’s engine, it will of course be reported on BlogF1.