Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel cruised to a comfortable victory in Belgium last weekend as Mercedes simply could not keep up with the raw pace that ‘The Prancing Horse’ has shown most recently.
Mercedes currently enjoy a 15-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship to go with Hamilton boasting a 17-point advantage in the drivers’ contest.
However, Ferrari have arrived at Monza as the pre-race favourites with their engine upgrade appearing to trump Mercedes’ as both manufacturers introduced new specifications last weekend.
Reports have emerged in recent weeks of the Maranello-based outfit covering its onboard FOM camera with a bag when its car is off-track.
The somewhat sneaky tactic has been spotted by rival teams and has prompted speculation that Ferrari was shielding its camera to prevent the team’s activities being observed between runs during practice and qualifying.
According to Race Fans, however, Ferrari decided to partially cover its camera in response to an incident that occurred at a previous race weekend when a rear-facing camera was accidentally activated while the car was in the garage. Footage was then broadcast of sensitive car parts including the engine and rear suspension.
The operating temperature of Formula 1’s on-board cameras is between 50 and 120C. Ferrari have now discovered the heat soak from its car when stationary has been high enough to overheat the camera and cause it to automatically switch off.
This is a huge problem for the Italian outfit as they rely on the data collected by the camera and purchases the footage from FOM for their own use.
The team have therefore commenced a cooling process between runs by placing a bag packed with dry ice over the camera.
The overheating issue was first documented during the particularly high temperatures at last year’s Brazilian GP. Mercedes has subsequently followed suit and utilises a similar method.
FIA director Charlie Whiting visited FOM’s broadcast centre on Wednesday seeking clarification on its reasons for camera cooling and how the issue can be resolved moving forward.