Ferrari - car switches will be difficult

MARCH 29, 2002

Ferrari - car switches will be difficult

FERRARI may have turned up in Brazil with one F2002 and three F2001 chassis but the idea that Michael Schumacher will be able to leap from car to car is rather more complicated a concept than many would have thought. The problem is one of tires. Drivers are only allowed to use a total of 10 sets of dry weather tires during a week but in qualifying, warm up and the race the limit is 28 tires (seven sets).

The problem for Ferrari is that the wheel rims of the F2001 are different to the wheel rims of the F2002 and the two are not interchangeable so, if Schumacher wants to run a new car and an old one in qualifying he must split his tire choice. It is likely that he will need three new sets for the race which leaves him four sets for two cars: two sets only for each car in qualifying. There is not time in a qualifying session for the tire companies to be switching the available tires from rim to rim and so Michael is either going to have to sacrifice performance in the qualifying session or in the race if he wants to maintain the flexibility of two different cars.

The F2002 gamble may thus be a troublesome one for Ferrari.

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