Cosworth's Review of the Monaco Grand Prix After a positive start to Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix which saw AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello running in the top six and some feisty opening laps from the new teams, it was an ultimately tough...
Cosworth's Review of the Monaco Grand Prix
After a positive start to Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix which saw AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello running in the top six and some feisty opening laps from the new teams, it was an ultimately tough Monaco Grand Prix for the eight drivers with Cosworth power. Although there were no issues with regard to CA2010 engine performance, unfortunately none of the eight drivers were able to complete the 78 lap race as a result of incidents or car-related mechanical problems.
The tight and twisty street course is always a stern test of a driver and team's mettle and so it proved yesterday with no fewer than four safety car periods and a total of 12 retirements from the 24 car field.
AT&T Williams saw its qualifying promise dashed with both Nico Huelkenberg and Rubens Barrichello crashing out of the race, thankfully unharmed. Virgin Racing and Lotus Racing showed encouraging race pace but were unable to continue their run of classified finishes. The Lotus of Jarno Trulli and the Hispania Racing (HRT) car of Karun Chandhok were looking odds on to finish but an altercation into Rascasse just a few laps from the chequered flag ended both of their races prematurely and brought out the final safety car of the afternoon.
The Cosworth CA2010 engine displayed a good performance throughout the weekend and no mechanical or reliability issues were reported. The sole incident occurred in Thursday free practice when the unit in Jarno Trulli's Lotus overheated as a result of a chassis-related cooling problem. Nevertheless, Cosworth is not a company to rest on its laurels and is working hard to optimise the performance of the CA2010 for subsequent races, starting from the Turkish Grand Prix in just under two weeks' time.
Q+A with General Manager of Cosworth's F1 Business Unit, Mark Gallagher
How did you think the Monaco weekend went from a Cosworth perspective?
"From an engine perspective we had a good weekend with the only issue being damage caused to an engine in Jarno Trulli's Lotus on Thursday when the car suffered a chassis-side water leak which left the CA2010 without any cooling. That's usually a problem, and it was! Williams did a good job qualifying 9th and 11th, and Lotus and Virgin Racing surprised a lot of people by setting lap times in the 1m17s bracket. It was unfortunate that none of our four customer teams scored a race finish, and particularly HRT as Karun Chandhok drove well and looked on course to finish 14th. Monaco is a hard race on cars and drivers, as we all know, and this weekend was no exception."
Talking of HRT, there was some negative media coverage about the team's future. Can you comment?
"Yes, there has been something of a tendency to find fault or criticism with the new teams wherever possible and I think this criticism is quite unjust. If you talk to the new teams directly, witness the determination of their respective managements, and indeed look at their cumulative success to date in fielding three teams in 2010 in the midst of some of the most difficult economic circumstances imaginable, you would get a different and rather more balanced view. From a Cosworth perspective all three new teams work hard and are good commercial as well as technical partners. I think we are in a better position than most to comment on their condition and what we see is nothing but positive."
You have confirmed that Cosworth is currently working hard to optimise performance and address issues that have been highlighted since the start of the season. What is the background to this?
"One of the enormous advantages of working with a team like Williams, and particularly a vastly experienced driver such as Rubens Barrichello, is the degree to which they give us feedback and push Cosworth to address any concerns and optimise performance every step of the way. This is because they are proven winners, like us, and know what that requires. The CA2010 has achieved or exceeded its targets but we have also seen some issues which we are working hard to resolve. This is all part of the relentless nature of Formula One racing and its technical demands. Anything that compromises performance and reliability or inhibits the drivers is an issue for us, and we have only one objective in mind -- to give all our customers the best engine solution possible, whether that's for new teams seeking to close the performance gap to the existing teams or Williams returning to the front of the field."