Kimi Raikkonen’s engine failure at Valencia, which was triggered by a broken con rod the same problem that caused Felipe Massa to retire in a cloud of smoke at Hungary did not come as a complete surprise, Ferrari have disclosed.
Raikkonen dropped out of Sunday’s inaugural European Grand Prix at Valencia when his Ferrari V8 caved in on the start/finish straight, just as Felipe Massa’s engine had done in Hungary.
Ferrari have revealed that they were fully aware of the “potential risks” with Raikkonen’s Ferrari 056 V8 since the con rods were from the same batch used on Felipe’s engine. However the team elected not to change the engine because of the impact that the grid penalty for doing so would have carried.
“The engineers were aware of a potential risk in general terms with the 056 engine fitted to Kimi’s car, which was on its second race, given that the con rods were part of the same batch used on Felipe’s engine,” Ferrari said in a team statement.
“Changing the engine on Kimi’s car would have seen the Finn start far down the grid at a track where it appeared that overtaking was impossible.”
The Finn’s chassis and engine arrived at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters on Monday morning, and further checks will be carried out despite the obvious similarities with Massa’s failure.
“Initial analysis of the engine fitted to Kimi Raikkonen’s car confirmed the breakage of a con rod.”
“Currently underway are further checks to try and understand what provoked the failure, even if it is easy to surmise that it could be a similar problem to the one sidelined Felipe, three laps from the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix.”
Raikkonen’s failure to bring home points at Valencia sees him drop to third in the championship, seven points behind team-mate Felipe Massa, and an ominous thirteen points adrift of Lewis Hamilton.