Car failure caused Massa’s crash – Ferrari

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Felipe Massa’s crash during the Monaco Grand Prix began when something failed on his car, according to Ferrari.

Massa suffered two similar and destructive crashes during the race weekend at the first corner, Sainte Devote. On both occasions his F138 made heavy impact with the barrier on the left approaching the corner, then slammed into another barrier on the outside of the first turn.

Ferrari said there was no problem on Massa’s car during the first of the crashed, which occurred during final practice and kept him out of qualifying.

However technical director Pat Fry believes the second smash was not Massa’s fault: “[The] accident looked very similar to what happened in the third free practice session, but in fact the two incidents are very different.”

“Unlike yesterday, it seems that today’s incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car. It’s too early to say precisely what happened and in the next few days, we will try and ascertain the exact cause back in Maranello.”

Massa’s lap 29 crash had unfortunate consequences for team mate Fernando Alonso, as it gave his principal championship rival Sebastian Vettel the chance to gain a place at the expense of Lewis Hamilton.

Massa expects no ill effects from the crash at the next race in Canada: “I was taken to hospital for all the precautionary checks and luckily everything is in order,” he said.

“I’m alright, I’ve just got a slight pain in my neck, but nothing serious. Now I will look to get in shape and be back 100% for the Montreal race.”

Schmidt Peterson hires IndyCar’s first female lead engineer, will work with Hinchcliffe

Photo courtesy Audi Sport
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Leena Gade, who helped lead Audi to three wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has joined Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as lead engineer for the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe.

“I’m really honored that I’ve got a chance to come across and work in INDYCAR,” Gade said in a team media release. “When I was a kid, I used to watch Indy car (racing), especially when Nigel Mansell first came over (in 1993), and I followed it quite a lot.

“During my sports car days, it was a little less so, until I had friends come across to the U.S. to work in it like Piers (Phillips, SPM’s general manager).

“I’m quite honored to be given the chance. It is going to be something completely different to anything I’ve ever done before, so it’s a big learning curve, but it’s a challenge that I’m really relishing, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Gade, who grew up in India and is from Great Britain, is one of the most recognized engineers in all forms of international motorsports. She becomes the first female lead engineer in Verizon IndyCar Series history.

She’s also the second female lead engineer in Indy racing history, joining Diane Holl, who served as engineer for Adrian Fernandez, Tony Kanaan (Tasman Motorsports) and Richie Hearn (Della Penna Motorsports) in CART from 1996-2000.

Gade, who holds engineering degrees from the University of Manchester in England, has engineered cars in several race series and for several manufacturers, including F1, BMW, A1 Grand Prix, GT racing, Jaguar, Audi and most recently with Bentley Motorsport.

She became the first female race engineer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011, and followed that up with another Le Mans win in 2012, as well as being part of the World Endurance Championship drivers and manufacturers titles in the same year.

Also in 2012, she was named FIA WEC “Man of the Year” and was awarded the C&R Racing Women in Technology award from the Lyn St. James Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation.

Her team also won Le Mans for a third time in 2014.

“There was significant interest in Leena amongst the international motorsports community, so we’re really excited that she sees where we’re taking SPM, believes in what we’re doing and that she is now a part of our organization,” Piers Phillips said. “ I’ve known Leena for quite some time now and I’ve worked alongside her, so I knew the credit she’s been given is well deserved. We’re very much looking forward to throwing her into the deep end and seeing her add to the team’s success.”

Gade and Hinchcliffe go into the deep end that Phillips referenced when they take part in a team test Jan. 24 at Sebring International Raceway, the first time the pair will work together.