Maranello, Wednesday: Ferrari have announced that their Formula One team will not be using their new “F-duct” system at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, preferring to delay the use of the innovation until after modifications have been made to their drivers.
Ferrari’s interpretation of the device, first seen on a McLaren earlier in the season, raised eyebrows at the Spanish Grand Prix when onboard footage saw the drivers briefly having no hands on the steering wheel as they operated the system, by blocking an air vent in the cockpit with their left glove.
Ferrari has confirmed that it does not intend to use the F-duct again until the modifications are complete: “Our F-duct will remain inoperative until we have had Fernando [Alonso] and Felipe [Massa] modified to use the system safely,” a Scuderia spokesman said today. “We are currently consulting the world’s best surgeons to evaluate the possibility of giving each driver an additional arm.”
The weight distribution and balance implications of adding an extra arm to the driver are considerable, and the modifications may mean that the F-duct system is not re-introduced until after the European Grand Prix in June. However, the changes will carry the advantage of adding extra space onto the drivers’ race suits, allowing the team to earn millions more dollars using the space to not advertise various cigarette brands.
A column on Ferrari’s website, however, written by the anonymous “Horse Whisperer,” poured scorn on attempts to declare the current F-duct arrangement unsafe: “This is just idle chatter from teams jealous of Ferrari’s superior pedigree and historical accomplishment,” the unknown author said. “It makes me so angry that I could go and smash a television set.”