Just when Ferrari thought it was safe to come out to play with their ‘flexi-floored’ F2007 after the FIA’s technical delegate declared it legal, it would seem there has been another twist in the tale and Ron Dennis might actually get his wicked way after all.
To cut a rather long mind boggling story short, at Melbourne McLaren CEO Ron Dennis and his cronies wrote to the FIA asking for confirmation regarding the use of springs to mount the front of the floor, as seen on the Ferrari and BMW-Sauber. The theory is the device would allow the floor of the Ferrari / BMW-Sauber to move up when the car was at speed improving the aerodynamics and straight-line speed of the car.
This prompted the FIA delegate Charlie Whiting to shoot round to the Ferrari Garage to have a good old gander at their car and see what all the fuss was about. However, given that the floor met the FIA’s current regulations of not moving more than 5mm vertically upwards when exposed to a force of 500 Newton’s, Whiting declared Ferrari’s car legal.
But later on in the week following on from the letter McLaren submitted, the FIA clarified the allowed usage of the device, and revealed that the bodywork testing would be altered accordingly…presumably because Charlie Whiting could stand more of Ron Dennis verbal torture.
Personally if Ron backed me into a corner and came jabbering at me, I’d probably give in to his demands just so I could escape to see another day too.
The letter to the teams from the FIA declared:
“The test described in Article 3.17.4 is intended to test the flexibility of bodywork in that area, not the resistance of a device fitted for the purpose of allowing the bodywork to move further once the maximum test load is exceeded.
“Quite clearly, any such device would be designed to permit flexibility and is therefore strictly prohibited by Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations.
“We have no objection to a device in this area which is fitted to prevent the bodywork from moving downwards, provided it is clear that it is not designed to circumvent the test described in Article 3.17.4.
“Therefore, with immediate effect, we will be testing bodywork in the relevant area with any such devices removed.”
This means that if Ferrari’s floor is found to not pass the altered bodywork testing as outlined by the FIA, they could find themselves having to remove the device and handing the advantage to McLaren who do not have such a device installed on their car.
Ron Dennis or Bond Villain Dr.Blofeld? –>
Not that this would probably be a huge problem for the talented technical bods from Maranello, but having to see that griping old slaphead Ron Dennis walking about smugly thinking he had won would be enough to test the patience of a saint.
It really is amazing what the promise of a shiny pot can do to a grown man isn’t it? But it would seem that while some go out and try to win their pots on track, others like to get theirs by getting rid of their rivals through more nefarious means.