BMW and Mercedes chiefs say Ferrari will change exhausts

514106BMW and Mercedes motorsport bosses believe that Ferrari are changing the launch version of their new F60 machine because it contravenes the new 2009 regulations. Quoted by German news agency SID, Norbert Haug for Mercedes-Benz and Walter Riedl for BMW argue that the launch car s exhausts were open, when in fact the new laws specify that the exhausts must be covered.

Riedl said that he supposed the launch version was a ‘provisional’ one, and that Ferrari would be modifying the car significantly prior to pre-race scrutineering in March.

Haug, whose McLaren affiliates posted the fastest times at the Portimao circuit yesterday, agreed.

“Who knows, perhaps we are talking only about the launch version,” he said. “Every team knows that the exhaust pipes must be covered in 2009.”

No comment was made about the speculation that Ferrari moved their testing schedule from Portimao to their own Mugello track in order to modify the car. All the other new cars have covered exhausts, and so if the exhausts were designed in error, it represents a significant own goal on the team s part. However, most experts would consider it unthinkable that Ferrari would make such an oversight.