Tag Archives: chassis

Maria De Villota crash: Car not to blame, say Marussia

Car not to blame for De Villota crash, claim Marussia after investigation



11:03 GMT, 16 July 2012

Marussia have excluded their car as a contributory cause behind Maria De Villota's accident almost a fortnight ago.

De Villota continues to make good progress following the incident at Duxford Airfield which resulted in her losing her right eye.

De Villota required two operations at Addendrooke's Hospital in Cambridge in the wake of a crash that saw the 32-year-old run into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle at the end of an installation run whilst conducting a straightline aero test.

Crash: De Villota lost her right eye following the incident at Duxford

Crash: De Villota lost her right eye following the incident at Duxford

Phil Duncan F1 blog

The team has since conducted a thorough investigation, both at their Banbury base and at the scene.

A team statement read: 'The Marussia F1 Team conducted an initial analysis immediately after the crash.

'This aimed to identify the causes and contributory factors behind the accident and also served to determine if there were any car-related implications for the impending British Grand Prix.

'Having carefully examined all the data and supplementary information available at that time, the team were satisfied there were no such car-related issues and cleared its chassis for race weekend participation.

Recovery: The Spaniard is making good progress

Recovery: The Spaniard is making good progress

'Following its initial investigation, the team proceeded to carry out further detailed analysis of the accident.

'An external forensic investigation was commissioned and carried out at Duxford Airfield (a FIA-approved and much used testing venue, compliant with the recommendations for a test of this nature) and with the team at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury.

'This external analysis has been carried out autonomously of the team's own internal investigation.

'As would be normal procedure, the team's findings have been shared with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the independent UK regulator which acts in the public interest in respect of work-related accidents.'

In light of the investigation, team principal John Booth said: 'We are satisfied the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident.

'We have shared and discussed our findings with the HSE for their consideration as part of their ongoing investigation.

'This has been a necessarily thorough process in order to understand the cause of the accident.

'We have now concluded our investigatory work and can again focus on the priority, which continues to be Maria's wellbeing.

'In that regard, we continue to support Maria and the De Villota family in any way we can.'

Lotus hopeful of end to chassis problems that led to test debacle

Lotus hopeful of end to problems that led to testing debacle in Barcelona

Lotus technical director James Allison is confident the team have cured the ills that blighted last week's second pre-season test.

The Enstone-based marque were forced to abandon running for the week at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya after just a handful of laps on the opening day of the four-day programme.

Initially explained away as a problem with the chassis, Lotus have now confirmed the specific issue surrounded the mounting of the upper-front wishbone rear arm.

Teething problems: Lotus had to abandon testing in Barcelona

Teething problems: Lotus had to abandon testing in Barcelona

Lotus had planned to fly out from their factory the chassis that had completed significant mileage in the first test in Jerez.

However, further investigations revealed 'a possibility of the same problem reoccurring', according to Allison.

That forced Lotus to pull out of the second test altogether and instead focus on solutions for correcting the problem to ensure the final test that begins in Barcelona on Thursday will hopefully pass without a hitch.

'It's been an intense few days, but I have to say everybody has completed their tasks in tremendous fashion,' Allison told the team's official website.

Technical Director: James Allison of Lotus

Technical Director: James Allison of Lotus

'On the first day back at the factory I spoke to the entire Enstone personnel and clearly explained what happened.

'Everybody understood the situation was unfortunate, but under control.

'We designed the new parts, manufactured them, and fitted them to the chassis. We then completed the necessary tests satisfactorily and the chassis left for Spain.'

Although expressing his confidence regarding the repair, which adds one kilogram onto the chassis, Allison appreciates the time lost last week cannot be regained.

'Of course, missing four days of testing is not ideal,' added Allison. 'We need mileage at this stage of the year, as does any other team. That said, there are reasons to remain optimistic.

'First of all we completed many trouble-free laps in Jerez and gained a good understanding of the car.

'Also, some of the small issues we identified in Jerez needed to be fixed, and the parts were not available last week.

'So tomorrow the car will run with all the required redesigned parts. We're looking forward to being back on track.'

Eleven of the 12 teams will be in Barcelona, with the exception of Marussia, who this week confirmed their absence after failing the last of 18 FIA crash tests which they are to now re-take.

Lotus out of testing in Barcelona

Chassis problems force Lotus out of F1 testing in Barcelona

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has taken the painful decision of pulling his marque out of the remainder of this week's second Formula One pre-season test in Barcelona.

Running an upgraded chassis from the first test in Jerez earlier this month, Lotus were forced to call an early halt to the first of the four-day session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Romain Grosjean, who had been quickest of the 2012 cars in Jerez, almost immediately noticed an issue with the car, bringing the curtain down on the team's plans after just seven laps.

Testing times: Lotus have taken the radical decision to leave Jerez

Testing times: Lotus have taken the radical decision to leave Jerez

Lotus swiftly opted to fly out the initial chassis used in Jerez, however have now aborted that idea in order to give them enough time to rectify the situation.

Lotus chiefs have refused to be drawn on the exact nature of the issue, although it is clearly serious given they will now not run for the remaining three days of this week in Barcelona.

Boullier said: 'Not running this week has been a tough decision to take, but we feel our choice is the right one.

'On the positive side, we have quickly identified the issue with the chassis and our design office has already devised a solution.

'We draw faith from the fact the E20 was quick out of the box in Jerez and showed its reliability there.

'We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next week, but everyone at Enstone is ready for this challenge.'

Plus points: The F1 team are taking positives from the developments

Plus points: The F1 team are taking positives from the developments

Boullier has confirmed the team will be on track when the third and final four-day test gets under way in Barcelona from March 1.

Although the car passed all FIA crash tests, mandatory from this season before testing began, today's few laps seemingly highlighted some defect.

Technical director James Allison explained: “Before we were due to fly out chassis E20-01 (used in Jerez) we ran a series of simulations at the factory based on the data provided by our brief running on track today.

'As a result, we were able to identify an area which requires some additional work.

'It will be more productive for us to carry out these modifications to both chassis at Enstone rather than send E20-01 out to this week's test.

'We'll put the right measures in place and we will be able to fix the problem before next week.'

The lack of track time lost this week, however, puts a serious dent in Lotus' preparations, and that of drivers Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, ahead of the season-opening race in Australia from March 16-18.