The FIA has been examining Scuderia Ferrari’s system and its unique twin-battery arrangement since April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has confirmed after Thursday’s Monaco running that he was now satisfied with it. The Safety Delegate said no extra sensors were fitted to the Ferraris in Monaco, and the FIA instead had to pursue a more complicated process to check how the system was operating.
The new software, which will be used from next week’s Canadian Grand Prix, will streamline that process and allow the FIA to continue to keep a close watch: “Via a complex routine we were able to be satisfied that the Ferrari was OK. But we don’t want to have to go through that all the time, so we would rather additional measurements are made. What we will have for Canada will be a better system which will help us get things done much, much quicker, because it’s taken us a couple of races to get to the bottom of it. We want them to put extra monitoring on, but at the moment we are having to do it in a painstaking way. It takes a little longer than we would like. What we’re trying to do is to monitor exactly what the differences between the two halves of the battery are. That’s the crux of the matter. Other systems treat their battery as one. Ferrari, it’s one battery, but they treat it as two. That’s the fundamental difference, I don’t think it’s a secret I’m giving away there.” – he explained.
Charlie Whiting added it would not be easy to fit sensors: “Not only are they sealed, [but] because they only have two of them for the season, it’s not just a straight matter of plucking a sensor off the shelf and putting it on. It needs better integration for that. I’m not sure when any more additional sensors can be fitted; probably not until next year.”
He said the problem had beem complex for the FIA to investigate: “We really have been trying to get to the point where we are entirely satisfied that the power being delivered to the MGU-K is correct. It was difficult to explain exactly what we were seeing, that’s what we kept going through with Ferrari, because it’s a very complex and totally different system to anybody else’s. We have to understand these things, it just took us a bit longer to understand what was going on. Their duty is to satisfy us that the car complies, but they were finding it hard to satisfy us. It’s wrong to say that Ferrari didn’t communicate, because they’ve been very helpful the whole way. It’s just been very painstaking and detailed work to try to get to the bottom of how their system works, and hence give us the comfort that we need.” – Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting concluded.