Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 5 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 60 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 60 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions

Ferrari had software problem early in Australian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Australian GP 2014, Melbourne

Ferrari's lack of pace early in the Australian Grand Prix was caused by a software glitch outside of its control that left both its drivers without full energy recovery boost.

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen struggled in the opening laps of the Melbourne season opener as they were unable to use the 120KW of power they have available from their car's MGU-K.

That proved particularly costly for Alonso who, without the boost, lost out to Nico Hulkenberg on lap one and then got stuck behind the Force India throughout the first stint.

Ferrari launched an investigation after the race to find out why the MGU-K was not working, and it found out that the problem was caused by issues with how software provided by F1's organisers interacted with its car.

According to appendix 3 of F1's technical regulations, drivers can only use their MGU-K after the start of the race when their car has reached 100km/h.

The confirmation that the car has reached this speed is registered by a control system that is managed by both FOM and the FIA.

A glitch somewhere in this system meant that the Ferrari cars were never registered as having reached the 100 km/h marker - so their MGU-K never automatically activated.

After two laps without any MGU-K, Alonso and Raikkonen did manage to operate a manual over-ride of the system to deploy the kinetic energy themselves.

But this was still not delivering as much laptime as the system in fully working order would have done.

The system managed to reset itself at the first round of pitstops, however, meaning Alonso and Raikkonen had fully functioning cars for the remainder of the race.

It is not clear how much the early issues cost the team but it was possible that Alonso would have made it on to the podium if he had not been stuck behind Hulkenberg at first.

AUTOSPORT understands that changes have been made to the control box software supplied to Ferrari for Malaysia that should ensure there is no repeat of the Australian GP issues.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed