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Changes, but no revolution in pipeline at Ferrari
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Changes, but no revolution in pipeline at Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Dec 2010   |  6:59 pm GMT  |  81 comments

The Italian press were at Maranello the other night for a dinner to look back over the season and look forward to the next. President Montezmolo hosted the event, along with team principal Stefano Domenicali, who still enjoys the full support of the Ferrari board.


There were suggestions in the Italian papers today, however, that some changes of personnel may be made before the start of next season, with senior engineer Chris Dyer, the Australian who is believed to have been at the centre of the decision to pit Alonso at the wrong time in Abu Dhabi, in the cross hairs.

“We’ve never had a revolution,”said Montezemolo. “And this time we will limit ourselves to minor adjustments and improvements in the interests of stability. Domenicali will communicate everything at Madonna di Campiglio in January.”

He revealed that the new car will come out in the final week of January before moving on to talk about the drivers. Earlier this week he said that Felipe Massa’s brother must have been in the car at some races this year and here again he didn’t spare Massa’s blushes,

“Alonso has brought confidence, optimism and presence at the factory. Massa did not have a good season. He was up against a very strong team mate, I’m sure that in 2011 he’ll improve.”

Writing in the Gazzetta dello Sport, veteran journalist Pino Allievi, whose family has always had very close links with Ferrari, suggests that it is not inconceivable that the team will replace Massa next year with Robert Kubica, “Whose phone number is known in Maranello.”

Montezemolo also called once again for third cars to be allowed, in preference to small teams “Who couldn’t even do GP2″. He would like “an American team, like Ganassi or Penske to race in F1 with a Ferrari, giving it to an American driver. Or maybe we could even give it to a serious team like Sauber.”

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81 Comments
  1. frosty says:

    whenever is read about President Montezmolo i cannot get the picture of a Bond villain out of my mind.
    i like him in F1, he seems very old school.

    1. Andy C says:

      I picture luca in a swivel chair in front of a wall with tv screens and a map of the world ;-)

      Still, no doubting the success of the company under him.

      I really don’t want to see 3 car teams, or a third car as a satellite team. Sounds like indycar to me…..especially as prodrives proposal was categorically dismissed.

      1. Damian J says:

        ……a wall of tv screens that are firmly bolted to the wall!

  2. Born 1950 says:

    It seems to me that there’s no chance that Kubica would agree to go to Ferrari as No.2 driver — which is what he would be while ever Alonso is there. It wouldn’t do his reputation any good. Only a rookie would be prepared to take that role, knowing it could be a stepping stone to greater things.

    However, I would guess Alonso would prefer an experienced and proven driver as his team mate — provided that team mate was prepared to back down whenever it suited Alonso. It would also have the benefit of removing one of the opposition.

    1. Andy C says:

      Felipe was within 1 corner of winning the wdc and before last year he had been very fast in f1 though…

    2. Louis says:

      Apparently Alonso and Kubica are good friends, but if it’s the back of Kubica’s Ferrari he’s watching going round and around the track, I doubt Alonso will be that friendly for long.

      Somehow I have an image of Kubica replying to “Robert, Alonso is faster than you!” with his “whatever” chuckle…

    3. Robert says:

      Alonso is a great driving talent, but if he were to go head-to-head with Kubica in the same equipment, I think Alonso would finish behind Kubica more times than not. That would most likely rip the Ferrari team apart, as Alonso would instantly throw a fit, like he did at Mclaren when he assumed he would get preferential treatment for having won back-to-back titles.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        We will be discussing this point for the next centuries!!!

        In my opinion, the problem is not that Fernando expected a #1 driver treatment – as you say, “for having won back to back titles” [could he believe that he deserved something just for that?] IMO, the point is that Fernando was treated as a the Team second option. It was openly clear in Hungary, when Lewis disobeyed the Team’s instructions and tried to have an extra lap on Q3. Nothing happened – well, Lewis’ dad claimed to RC, and Fernando was given a 5 position penalty, and the Team lost the WCC points, and nothing happened. And this was the beggining of the end.

        “We are not racing Kimi, we are racing Fernando”, Ron Dennis dixit. And he meant it.

      2. Robert says:

        Nice reply.

        What could Mclaren or Ron Dennis have done about that? Not much. Hamilton was doing everything he could to win the WDC his rookie season, while having a 2-time WDC as a teammate. The kid has balls, isn’t afraid to make moves, and is one of the top 3 drivers in the sport today.
        Alonso did much the same this year to Massa when he passed him in the pitlane. It was a dick move, as the team had Massa lined up first. What could the team really do? It became obvious right then that Alonso was the better horse in the race, so put your efforts behind him.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        @Robert

        You say “the kid has balls… and is one of the top 3 drivers”. I fully agree about the kid. IMO, he is not one of the top three – he is one of the top two, being the other Fernando, each of them with different driving styles, but both quite better than the rest. I hope that the next year the two of them will be swapping positions during all the season (and that finally Fernando gets the WDC :-D)

        “What could McLaren or Ron Dennis have done about that?” Obviously they should have done somethig. Ron was the decission maker, so we are entitled to expect some kind of management from him, aren’t we? Maybe they could have simply treated both drivers equally for the rest of the season… but I think that the best way to handle the situation was not “to race Fernando, not Kimi”.

        It’s my opinion, and I am absolutely pro-Alonso biased, as you know – and I admit it.

      4. Dave C says:

        Erm sorry to burst your bubble but when it comes down to it Alonso/Hamilton is not the cast iron 1 and 2 you seem to think they are, number 1 now is VETTEL! Now this kid has replaced Kimi as the fastest driver in F1 in term of raw speed and can pull lap times out of nowhere when needed, but he’s still improving as a all rounder and we’ll see a improved SV in 2011 and a period of Vettel dominance is imminent provided he gets the machinery.
        I say that if Red Bull’s performance drops off in the next 2 years then I can’t see anything but Ferrari and Mclaren trying to poach him, maybe even Mercedes, if they do then Alonso/Hamilton/Rosberg get very worried.

      5. Damian J says:

        It is short sighted to heap all of Alonso ills in 2007 at the McLaren team. Perhaps Alonso should man up instead of being petulant! He’s also happy to be the beficiary of team orders but does n’t like it when the team goes against him. That’s being hyocritical!

        Even Domenicali has admitted that he’s been quite difficult to handle!

      6. smi says:

        @Dave C

        As both Vettel and Kimi were fastest in Neweys cars its obvious the ‘fastest guy’ is Newey, but we knew that before :D http://www.neweyfacts.com/

      7. sachindgr8 says:

        i would like disagree with you here, remember when alonso was in inferior cars for those 2 years, people were discussing “how wonderful, talented driver he is, winning races with inferior car” and would wdc if in better car… the same thing is happening here with kubica this season, kubica is very talented no doubt but only way to judge them is after a season where both in competitive cars. Only time kubica had good car is in 2008 where he was wdc contender for first races when alo had slow renualt. remember renault in 2008 saying “we want to give alonso a good car, that is the only motivation” etc etc …

      8. Robert says:

        @Sach – Alonso really never had a truly inferior car as the Renault was fantastic compared to the field. Kubica has always had an inferior car. Even with the BMW he was forced to work hard to reach the podium, let alone win a race. Yet he challenged for damn near the entire season.

        @Galapago – no way is Alonso in the top 3. He is top 5, but not top 3. The best raw drivers are Vettel, Hamilton and Kubica. Their ability to take a second tier car and put it on the top step is unrivaled by any other driver in the sport right now, bar Schumacher. Alonso relies on team orders in order to challenge for the title. Because of that, I’ve lost respect for his ability as a driver.

      9. Galapago555 says:

        @Robert

        “no way is Alonso in the top 3. He is top 5, but not top 3″

        And that is the reason for the Team principals to vote him as the best driver on 2010.

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88556

        Mmm… seems that someone do respect his ability as a driver!!

      10. Robert says:

        And would one of those team principals be the same idiot who blamed his teams lack of ability on his rookie drivers? The guy doesn’t have enough intelligence or common sense to understand that you need an experienced driver in your team to help get the most out of the car. If he doesn’t have the ability to connect the dots regarding that simple scenario, I don’t care what he has to say – the guy is beneath me mentally.

        As for Alonso being voted No. 1 driver by the T.P.’s; it’d mean something if he held the trophy at the end of the year.

      11. Galapago555 says:

        “As for Alonso being voted No. 1 driver by the T.P.’s; it’d mean something if he held the trophy at the end of the year”

        So you mean that it only minds to get the trophy— then why talk about “top 3″, “top 5″, or “top any number”, if you only care who is the winner?

        IMHO, it just means that 12 people among the ones with a deepest knowledge of F1 in the world – “idiots”, as you say – rank him as the best driver in 2010. I give an argument to support my opinion, given before, that Fernando is one of the top two, being Lewis the other.

        On the other hand, you think that he is not a Top 3, just a Top 5. And then you explain that the only relevant thing is to hold the trophy.

        Ok, it seems that we have different views.

        That’s it.

      12. Andy C says:

        Its funny how many times I’ve read that (people thinking Kubica would give him a run for his money). I think Robert is very very good. I’d love to see that matchup.

    4. JK says:

      Are’nt Alonso & Kubica best of friends?It would either work like clockwork or be a serious case of handbags at dawn if it went sour.Remember Alonso & Hamilton at Maclaren.

      1. Andy C says:

        Indeed, but so were Gilles and didier peroni at one point.

    5. nick says:

      I’m not sure – I think the big question is whether Ferrari would sign Kubica alongside Alonso. The main way they arrange a number one and number two driver setup is not through contracts, or different treatment. It’s by having one decent steady driver, and one super-talented star. Usually only one of them has any chance of winning the championship, and therefore they may use team orders to maximise those chances. In my opinion, with Kubica and Alonso they’d have two stars, which would be very unusual, and it’s very hard to say who would end up in front. I imagine Kubica would be more than up for the challenge.

  3. Andy C says:

    I would love to see kubica at Ferrari. But I can’t help but think there would be fireworks there too.

    I rate kubica in a good car, so getting into a team with such a strong technical area and budget would be excellent.

    I imagine Fernando would be happy to keep Massa there, hoping for a repeat of last season as a confirmation of him as no1 in the team.

    Mind you, if they pulled the trigger on kimi (despite people saying the year he got dumped that they did not understand how he was so fast in that car) they won’t think twice about Massa.

    As for the Chris dyer thing, they surely have short memories if he is the fall-guy. Look at how many race wins he has been involved in with schuey and kimi as an engineer and strategist. Seems you are only as good as your last race.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Totally agree about Dyer. Fernando said on Spanish media something like “the same people that decided the strategy in the last race were the ones that decided the winning strategy in Monza.”

      1. James Allen says:

        ..and everywhere else.

      2. Andy C says:

        I know wikipedia is not an exact barometer of quality but wikipedia but they refer to him as being called at times “the master of all strategists”.

        The expression here we go again comes to mind.

  4. Michael Prestia says:

    As a Ferrari fan I can not see how Luca di Montzemolo’s comments are meant to stir the competitiveness out of Massa. I think it was a planted seed to calm the media exposure when they annouce his replacement. So whether its Kubica or Jules Bianchi… lets wait and see.

    1. Frenchie says:

      Jules Bianchi still has a lot to prove.

      I was expecting a lot more from him in GP2 despite his back injury.

      After listening to Mark Webber on Radio 5 Live, I could see him joing Maranello in 2012 a la Nigel Mansell towards the end of his career. Massa will probably stay on board next year but his contract may be termainated early (I believe he is signed until the end of 2012).

    2. Andy C says:

      Ferrari wont put a rookie in a race seat.

      1. Michael Prestia says:

        I know that they haven’t in the past but now that they have a young drivers program I can see the possibility.

  5. Chris says:

    Massa can’t feel good about LDM’s comments, especially considering he gifted his win to alonso in germany. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t want to see Kubica in a ferrari – It would be nice to see him in a front running car for the first time in his career.

  6. monktonnik says:

    Now that the team orders issue has been “clarified” I can’t imagine Kubica racing alongside Alonso as the recognised Number 1.

    I think that the conjecture about Chris Dyer is interesting. It almost seems as though Ferrari are seeking to remove a lot of the old guard of the Schumacher/Brawn/Todt era and find success with Italian personnel. There is nothing necessarliy wrong with that, but it would be a shame if Chris Dyer was moved aside for one strategy call.

    1. Taz says:

      I would love it if Dyer moved to Mercedes and show his back to the team that he gave so much to, yet get criticized for one mistake. And then schumi will have his long term engineer and ross behind to go on his way to more success :)

      1. hisham ali says:

        This is the first thing that came to my mind when I read the piece. But what would they do with Mark Slade?

  7. Galapago555 says:

    Could be great to have Robert Kubica. Whenever in Spanish media they talk about Felipe leaving Ferrari, it’s always this name the one that comes around. They say that he and Fernando are “friends” – I mean, if we accept that it is possible that two F1 drivers can be friends… They also say that Fernando would accept to have Robert as team mate.

    I have my doubts about Fernando accepting someone who is not ready to play the #2 driver role… James, do you think that in case Robert moves to Ferrari we would see real fight between them, or are there “number 1 treatment” clauses on Fernando’s contract?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      85 days until the start of FP1 in Bahrain!!!

      1. Andy C says:

        Here here. The off season is too long. But less so with 20 races!

    2. James Allen says:

      I don’t see it happening in the near future, end of next year maybe?

      1. Grant says:

        Being idealistic, what a fantastic situation it would be with the pairing of;

        Button and Hamilton at McLaren,
        Vettel and Webber at Red Bull,
        Schumacher and Rosberg at Mercedes
        and Alonso and Kubica at Ferrari.

        The top eight drivers (imo) in the top four teams.

        Then Koby could move to Lotus Renault.

        Fantastic…

      2. Andy C says:

        Many people said jenson was of interest to Ferrari didn’t they at one point didn’t they James?

  8. Ward Safi says:

    Interesting how Ferrari stuck Santander branding onto their old Marlboro branded Ferrari in that picture.

    For all their boasting of their historic value to Formula 1, they themselves really lack respect for those values.

    It’s been so long since they ditched Italian Racing Red that younger people think this ‘Marlboro scarlet’ is Ferrari’s historic colour.

    1. James Allen says:

      I know, I saw that too. It seems to be on the side of the engine cover too like in the old days

      1. John Butcher says:

        Any idea what year the Malboro Ferrari is from?? Seems a shame that they have ruined it with Santanda stuck all over it though!

      2. unoc says:

        but they put a marlboro on the nose of it. Along with the santander on the wings. Makes no sense.

      3. Mike says:

        I would guess it is the F300 from 1998- it has the periscope exhaust they introduced that year and a raised section on the nosecone, either side of the Marlboro.

        Interesting that they would use a car that did not win either title!

    2. Adam Taylor says:

      Thats very eagle eyed to see that branding

  9. Neville says:

    Kubica in red ? I guess I prefer him in black and gold. Also, his manager said earlier that they are open to offers from other teams provided that they have a good rally car for Robert. Lotus has got one: Proton S2000, stronger and faster than Clio 1600.

  10. Bru72 says:

    Alonso and Kubica are very good friends I’ve heard. Could you confirm this James?
    However, I want Massa to stay at Ferrari. If he is on form this year aka 2008, and the results go his way, Alonso will have to help the cause.

  11. David Ryan says:

    While Kubica’s driving style is very similar to Alonso’s (and would therefore make development direction much more straightforward) I am extremely sceptical that he would be comfortable with, or willing to accept, a seat at a team which has already demonstrated its preference for Alonso. Parallels with 2007 come to mind, as others have mentioned. It will also be interesting to see how pronounced the gap between Alonso and Massa is next year if the Pirellis follow their form from the Abu Dhabi tests and favour oversteer, which Alonso is known to dislike. There is a limit to how much they can negate that with weight distribution after all.

    Has to be said if they honestly believe getting rid of Chris Dyer is going to prevent a repeat of Abu Dhabi, they really need to look at their history in a bit more detail. Compared with how self-destructive the outfit has been in the past Dyer’s misjudgement (if it was indeed his call) is a comparatively minor blip, and this sounds more like the power politics which were so detrimental to Ferrari’s performance in the 1960s and 1970s.

    1. Andy C says:

      Dave,
      You continue to be one if my favourite posters.
      I would love to see Robert at Ferrari. I fear though it might be prost senna again.
      Best wishes for 2011!

      1. Andy C says:

        As in same type of situ as those two mclaren…..

    2. Rafael says:

      Based on a a certain website’s analysis, Fernando actually needs oversteer to properly induce understeer with his trademark vicious turn-ins, most prominent in the Renault days (http://flyingpigpedia.wetpaint.com/page/Driving+Techniques). So I don’t think he particularly hates it.

      I agree with you however that getting rid of Chris Dyer could be a bad move. I mean, okay… Maybe the guy botched it in Abu Dhabi but then again, he also called a masterstroke in Monza or in Singapore this year. Who I really think needs to be changed is Stefano Domenicalli, given he seems to be too “chilled”: He isn’t as paranoid or fearful about the possibility of losing like Jean Todt/Ross Brawn, and therefore isn’t as disciplined or as particular when it comes to detail.

      In addition, Ferrari needs to strengthen its engineering core. For example, I’m pretty sure if they threw Geoff Willis a bone, he’d definitely dump HRT and go to the Scuderia. Finally, if they’re thinking of replacing Massa, I don’t think Kubica is the right call. Given the Pole is also highly ambitious and competitive, and therefore wouldn’t play kowtow to Alonso’s wishes – even if they are the best of friends. I think the best man for the job would be Nick Heidfeld: Competently quick, a team player and technically sound. The German would also surely be elated just to be driving a car capable of fighting for the championship for the first time in his career.

      1. David Ryan says:

        Thanks for the link, and very fair comment about induced understeer. I should in hindsight have been more specific. The stronger front tyre will make it less easy for Alonso to reach the limits of their grip and thus induce the understeer he favours mid-corner (as with Kubica), and thus requiring him to adopt a different approach in slow to medium corners. It’s not something which will demolish his pace – he is a double world champion after all – but it is noticeable that he was not as inherently comfortable with the 2007 McLaren which was more oversteer-prone or the 2008 and 2009 Renaults which were similar.

        Domenicali being chilled isn’t necessarily a downside – compared with the sometimes Machiavellian attitude of the Scuderia’s previous incarnations, it’s probably a blessing. What is perhaps not so helpful is Luca di Montezemolo sticking his oar in every so often; as he will no doubt recall from his own experience in the 1970s, the team works best when left to its own devices without outside interference. He is of course president of Ferrari and has the right to express his views, but compare it with the more hands-off approach Enzo Ferrari took (and which Luca took in the early 2000s) and it is a more intrusive approach.

        Geoff Willis at Ferrari would certainly be an interesting addition – he’s got a strong technical background, although after Red Bull I’m not sure how well he’d fit in with the culture at Ferrari. Nick Heidfeld is also an interesting suggestion and one I wouldn’t immediately have thought of, but like you say he has a lot of qualities which the Scuderia would find very useful. I do wonder whether he’d find some of the politics frustrating though, as at times he could be just as outspoken as Kubica about issues like that. It’s a possibility though.

  12. Merk says:

    If he starts whining one more time about GP2, seriously…….who does he think he is, the boss of F1?

    If those backmarking teams got the same extra money Ferrari is blackmailing out of the FIA that only and exclusively Ferrari get, the backmarkers would be their rivals too.

    Ferrari should just go start their own League and win every race by telling everyone to let Alonso pass. I believe F1 does not need Ferrari in their current state. In fact, they are an acne on the face of F1.

  13. Paul L says:

    people were saying Alonso-Massa wouldnt work because Fernando couldn’t handle two top drivers. Alonso showed that up by simply outperforming Massa. Luckily for some fans Hockenheim occurred so they could run the mill on the same old caricature and put their happy-invective spin on things.

    Now why couldn’t Alonso do the same against a guy who was outscored by Nick Heidfeld twice?

  14. jmv says:

    Nice.. to see Ferrari mentioning teams like Penske and Ganassi in awe…

    We want to be like them… the great American teams!

    Some things of F1 will just never be understood.. for example that big players of the racing world like Penske and Ganassi are not in F1 today…

    Instead.. we get Marussia

  15. Lilla My says:

    Apparently Montezemolo also mentioned Ferrari’s general problems with brothers as Schumacher’s brother and Kimi’s brother used to race for them from time to time in the past (correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t know the original source of the interview but read it on a different site) as if balancing out the comment about Massa’s brother. No matter what, that wasn’t a pleasant comment for sure, but the fact is that Massa underperformed throughout the whole season. Of course the easiest explanation would be that what happened in Germany cut Felipe’s wings, but I compared his qualifying results from before Germany and after Germany (didn’t count Singapore) and his average position on Saturday was more or less the same, it was even better after Germany, so I think the Hockenheim argument isn’t really valid and Massa generally struggled to match Alonso’s pace. Overall Montezemolo gave him grade 7- for his performance in the season, so I think he wasn’t that harsh after all. The only problem was the way he said it… that of course depends on the person, but I don’t think that talking about your brother driving for the team is the best way to motivate a driver to up his game. Let’s be homest – Montezemolo couldn’t say that Massa was brilliant, but he should have been more subtle.
    As for Chris Dyer – I think people’s memory is a really short one. It’s easy to blame him or any other team member for the wrong call and loosing the championship, but the fact remains that the championship was lost in 19 races and not in the last one, though Abu Dhabi is the easiest one to point out to. And we don’t have to go back in our memories too far to remember that the same crew that lost the race in Abu Dhabi, won the race in Monza with their good strategy and fast pit stop.

    On Kubica in Ferrari – I like Robert very much and I would love to see him in a competitive car, but I don’t think I’d like to see him in Ferrari (not now at least). Firstly, because I’ve heard that Kubica and Alonso are on good terms and I’m afraid that would end quite soon if Kubica joined Ferrari. Secondly, because I also like Alonso very much so I wouldn’t like to see fireworks between two of my favourite drivers. These were my subjective reasons. More objective reasons would be that I don’t think Ferrari needs Kubica right now – I think they function best when they have no. 1 and no. 2 driver. We may like it or not, but that seems to be their way. I think they tried more or less equal treatment when Kimi was there but now they are back to their old habits. Thus, I think they need a solid driver that can take points from the biggest rivals and can deliver when something happens to the no. 1, yet who is willing at the same time to play second fiddle. And I don’t think Kubica is this kind of a driver. I think he wouldn’t agree to be no 2. So no matter how great the pair ALO-KUB would be (and I have no doubt about them being both competitive and interesting to watch together), I don’t think it would suit Ferrari’s way. I think Kubica joining them right now would be risky for both – the team (what if the drivers start fighting each other and we would have McLaren 2007 all over again?) and Kubica (what if he is somehow delegated to be no. 2? disclaimer: this is only theory as I’m sure it would be extremely difficult to make Kubica no. 2). But who knows, maybe Ferrari will take the risk… if that depended on me (;-) ) I would give Massa at least one more year to do better (he blamed the tyres this year, and has great hopes with the new ones, so maybe… + his head injury – another popular explanation of his bad form – might have some impact on him this year so maybe he needs more time to fully recover from it) and if he can’t do it, then I would think about a replacement ;-).

  16. Sven says:

    Ferrari need a fast steady driver alongside Alonso who does not crack under pressure from a strong team mate. Nick Heidfeld would fit the bill.

  17. Steve says:

    James, is Dyer gone? It seems like a big change after one, albeit major, fumble.

  18. Adam Taylor says:

    I cant believe that Mr Montezmolo said that about Massa with his brother stepping into the car at some races, how must Felipe feel about that comment?!? Almost as if they’re trying to push him out of the Ferrari “family”

    1. James Allen says:

      HE said the same about Raikkonen once

      1. Søren Kühle says:

        And Schumacher.. :)

      2. Marybeth says:

        James, When he said it about Raikkonen, Kimi was running as their 2nd driver and Massa the 1st. I do not believe that Schumacher ever ran as their 2nd driver.

      3. James D says:

        He said it about Schumi driving for Mercedes.

      4. DB says:

        I believe he was their 1.5 at a couple of races towards the end of ’99. ¦¬)

  19. Luca says:

    at the end of the day, Massa has a very hard season – coming back from a massive accident, had issues with driving style v’s car/tyre design, a new fast team mate – all things that in isolation would be tricky to deal with let alone together.
    But Massa lost out to Kimi when Kimi joined the team and came back harder and almost pulled it out the bag the following year.

    I hope Massa can come back and drive on par with Alonso (a big ask as Alonso is, love him or hate him, very very quick, make no mistake). But at then end of the day Ferrari need to win, which requires two drivers to score consistently. This year Massa didn’t deliver simple as…

  20. tharris19 says:

    Talking about soap opera drama, Kubica, Alonso and LDM, with SD trying to moderate the madness. I would love to see it, but I won’t hold my breath waiting. Kubica won’t be anybody’s second driver.

    1. Andy C says:

      Just like alain prost at Renault, doesn’t matter how you join the team ;-)

      It’s how you do when you get there.

  21. Søren Kühle says:

    I am sad that Massa had a bad season. And I can’t help thinking that the rollercoaster he had last season has caused him to back down just a little where it mattered.
    1. the accident that could have killed him in an instant, or in the following crash.
    2. becoming a father.
    Near death accidents and parenthood both tend to change the way we think about our lifes, and the risks we’re willing to take.
    It would be very human to be affected by such large events. OK he had a tough season with lots of unlucky happenings outside of his control. But he did’nt really put up a fight. Singapore is a good example.

  22. Peter says:

    Is that the 2000 Ferrari planted to the wall in that top pic?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I think so… or maybe it’s her twin sister!!

    2. Aramis says:

      Guess so, but I wouldnt want to be sitting beneath it all the same.

  23. Aramis says:

    Kubica needs a fast car, watching him around Monaco this year was breathtaking, in a Ferrari he would be something to behold. I’ll be honest, I think he would beat Alonso or at the very least ensure they get the WCC.

    Two strong drivers is fine for Ferrari, not like the Batman and Robin setup worked this year, so I say go for it. Fortune favours the brave.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Amen to that.

      “not like the Batman and Robin setup worked this year”… LOL. You should have commented the wonderful pictures of the Team dressed as Santas!!

  24. Marybeth says:

    “Less than a 7 for Felipe Massa. For some reason with have a problem with the brothers of our drivers arriving during the season,” he (LdM) smiled. “It happened with Schumacher, Raikkonen and now Massa. I think Felipe got a bit tired mid-season and went home, sending his brother to drive,” joked the Italian.” LdM ran Kimi as 2nd driver to Massa for 2 years, broke his spirit, called him the brother…but…after Massa was injured & Kimi was made their 1st driver again & after he had pushed Kimi out of Ferrari, Kimi came back with 4 podiums in a row & the only win for Ferrari for the year, all that after they had quit working on the car in July. Kimi could have won the WDC had he been their 1st driver all year, & for 2008. Luca did not suddenly stand up and say what a wonderful job Kimi did for Ferrari, that he showed such spirit & that the real KImi showed up in spite of all of the adversity they had put him through, like trashing his career. Luca boxed Ferrari in a bad corner by running Kimi as their 2nd driver for 2 years & grabbed Santander to get themselves out. I do not see anything funny or to joke & smile about.

    1. David Ryan says:

      There is no way that Kimi – even at the top of his undoubted talent – would have won the championship in 2009 driving the Ferrari F60. It was and remains the worst car the Scuderia has created in the last decade, primarily because its aerodynamic package was compromised by an out-of-date gearbox design and a KERS system which was poorly located and made the car very difficult to drive in race trim. The victory in Spa owed as much to the horsepower boost provided by KERS and Kimi’s form at that circuit as anything else, and certainly does not point to the F60 being in the same league as the Brawn or Red Bull cars of that year. It also fails to explain why Kimi was outscored by 22 points to 10 in the first ten races. Kimi was a deserving champion in 2007, but he went off the boil thereafter and was not the leader Ferrari required, hence why Alonso was hired.

      1. Marybeth says:

        I believe that Ferrari had a vacuum in leadership. Kimi was use to Ron Dennis has the leader & calling the shots. When he got to Ferrari there was not that strong leader. That has now been filled by FA who tells them how long he will race for them & when he will retire and to make the other driver pull over and give up a win so he can look better, if that is the kind of leadership you want.
        @David, I could almost agree with Kimi not winning in the F60, except for his 4 podium finishes in a row after he was made their 1st driver again, & all of this after they had quit working on the F60 & started working on the F10. Kimi could have won the WDC for them in 2010, but that does not seem to be what is most important to Ferrari.

      2. David Ryan says:

        I don’t particularly respect Alonso’s style of leadership or approach to his role in a team – I never said I did, and my comments on the team orders post should make that clear. All that I said was that compared with Kimi he is a driver who wants to integrate himself with the team and build it around him (hence the clashes with Ron Dennis at McLaren). Kimi was always very quick, but he remained fairly aloof at Ferrari and that was not what they needed.

        On the subject of his 2009 performances, four podiums in a row does not a title challenge make – he was still 47 points behind Button by the end of the season and his performances at Singapore and Abu Dhabi were poor. The F60, meanwhile, was too fundamentally compromised a design for the required changes to bring it up to speed to be made – the gearbox, diffuser, floor and rear suspension would all have required a complete redesign and Ferrari simply did not have the resources to do that and design their 2010 car. How Kimi would have performed this year is open to conjecture – personally I don’t believe he would have gelled with the F10′s handling which was more understeer-prone – but in any event he did not rise to the challenge presented by the F60 and that is why he was not retained. I am a Kimi fan and very much wish he had carried on in F1, but at the same time I do not believe his heart was in it anymore and his statements about F1 while in the WRC do seem to confirm that.

      3. Marybeth says:

        @David, We both have our opinions. If Kimi is not in it to win, “his heart not in it anymore”, it would be kind of him to help out Sauber who gave him his chance in F1…? He is probably too young to do that yet. :) Sauber comes off as one of the few decent, upright, straight-forward guys in F1 & he seems to need help right now.
        Do you suppose Luca’s brother is running Ferrari right now…? :)

  25. Chris says:

    I can’t believe they keep Domenicali. He’s hasn’t shown any ability to lead the team. Now Dyer is taking the fall for Abu Dhabi? That’s ridiculous.

  26. shortshighted says:

    I wonder what role Domenicali had in the team because if there was a bad call, it was always some other people’s fault. Does a team manager not have an eye on overall strategies and which opponent to cover, etc. It seems Luca is being extra kind and turning a blind eye on his pick for a team manager who is so obviously underperforming compared to the rest. I suppose, the only good move that he made was to land Alonso.

    As to Alonso having an equally fast driver in the team, it will spell troubles. Senna and Prost readily come to mind and his time in McLaren.

    I wonder if Massa has fully recovered from his injury. I have an impression that he drove differently and did not have the same commitment going through corners. In the past he used to go into corners on the limit of adhesion and made lightning fast corrections which Michael Schumacher used to do as well. What a disappointment that we did not see a worthy driver in Massa challenging Alonso the new comer into the same team.

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