APRIL 18, 2001
Wraps are off Ferrari troublesome brakes
FERRARI's ultra-secret new cylindrical front brake duct is believed to be the cause of Michael Schumacher's early exit from the San Marino Grand Prix.
The braking system was continually kept shrouded throughout the opening weekend of the European season to guard it from the prying eyes in the pit lane, but it is understood to fit snugly within the inside of the wheel rim in order to help clean up the airflow in an area made quite cluttered by the raising of the front wing for 2001 and to use centrifugal force for better cooling and to clear out unwanted dust from the carbon brakes.
"We've done some things to the brakes and the brake ducts which we'd rather keep to ourselves," said technical director Ross Brawn. "Obviously we won't keep them to ourselves for very long because there is a large number of photographers in the pit lane so you get photographs taken of everything, so I'm sure there are photographs of our braking system with other teams. It's a normal process."
After suffering handling problems for the second race in succession, getting a puncture on lap 23 of the race at Imola and retiring a lap later Michael Schumacher was concerned when TV crews found him in San Marino.
"Apart from the puncture there was some damage to the wheel rim that was possibly caused by the brake caliper," he said. "It was potentially too dangerous to continue with a potential brake problem."
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