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GP Week : Issue 21
Short Straights Developments continue at the top n McLaren has promoted Team Manager Dave Ryan to the position of Sporting Director. The move follows McLaren’s pummelling in the media over their dodgy pit call for Lewis Hamilton in the German Grand Prix. n Toyota believes the rear suspension failure that befell Timo Glock at the German Grand Prix was caused by a failure on the right rear toe-link/ trackrod. Glock returned to testing duty for the team on Thursday in Jerez and reported no ill effects from his accident. n The FIA has begun its random engine checking process. The sport’s governing body sealed Lewis Hamilton’s race winning Mercedes engine in Germany to conduct checks, as part of a raft of random engine checks it will carry out for the rest of the season. FORMULA 1 championship rivals McLaren and Ferrari showed no intention of slowing their pace of technical advancement for the remainder of the 2008 season by debuting bold new developments to their respective cars at last week’s Jerez test. Constructors’ championship leaders Ferrari became the latest F1 team to test an ‘anvil’or ‘shark- fin’engine cover, following McLaren’s development of a similar concept at the pre-German Grand Prix Hockenheim test which, although successful, McLaren chose not to run in the race. Having won two races on the bounce, McLaren showed off their latest development, a set of BMW-style ‘antlers’on the nosecone. Slightly larger than BMW’s aero device, McLaren’s ‘antlers’appear to hold much in common with Honda’s ‘dumbo wings’, which the Anglo-Japanese squad introduced to improve front end aero efficiency. Again, while McLaren’s update was deemed a success, it remains to be seen whether the team will risk their inclusion without further development or analysis. Other teams to make developments at the test included Force India who successfully tested a seamless shift gearbox. Toyota and Honda both joined Ferrari in testing an ‘anvil’engine cover concept. This was the second such test for Toyota following the team’s initial development run at the Hockenheim test. BMW, as many teams, ran some of its testing in 2009 configuration and on slick tyres. The BMW ran a number of days with a wider nose than its 2008 challenger, without its usual ‘antlers’due to next season’s reduced aero regulations. On the final day, BMW ran some interesting 2009 modifications, with a new variant on its intelligent mid-positioned engine cover mounted wing, which attaches the sidepod chimneys and associated flip- ups to the engine cover.