Ferrari to change Massa’s engine

Posted on March 14, 2010

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With just a few hours till lights out in Bahrain, a few bits and pieces overnight – most significantly Ferrari are changing the engine in Felipe Massa’s car.

The team said on its Twitter page @InsideFerrari: “Not the best start of the day. We are going to replace Felipe’s engine but just for precaution. The engine can be used again in FP sessions.”

Each driver has just eight engines for all sessions of all 19 races this season. This Ferrari motor is not dead – the team say it’s good for free practice – but it’s an unexpected early glitch for the famously reliable Ferrari. Engines were one of the biggest factors in holding back Vettel last season as he really struggled towards the end with very restricted running in practice.

Massa is not taking a penalty in today’s race, where he will start on the front row after qualifying second.

All of which brings us to Bernie’s latest utterance about the Indian GP. He’s told press in Bahrain the New Delhi event will not replace an event currently on the calendar in 2011 – so 20 races in all. Bernie’s also muttering darkly about going back to the United States.

Will the teams want two extra fly-away races in a season? Will eight engines be mechanically capable of doing 20 or 21 Grand Prix? Sure, they could increase the supply to each driver to nine but it’s all added cost in a time when the Resource Restriction Agreement is supposed to be gliding into place.

UPDATE: Ferrari has said the same change will be made to Alonso’s car on the @InsideFerrari Twitter. They said: “We will change the engine on Alonso’s car for the same precautionary measure which determined the previous decision.”

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