Two races in and still no points on the board for Ferrari. Of course they can point to the effort put in to win last year’s title and to the row over the two step diffusers which Brawn, Toyota and Williams have, but the fact of the matter is that both of these races have offered opportunities for Ferrari and McLaren to score points but they haven’t taken those chances.
In two normal dry races, maybe the diffuser three would have had an advantage, but these last two races have given the non diffuser teams opportunities, in Melbourne the two safety cars levelled the playing field, in Sepang it was the rain.
But what will worry team boss Stefano Domanicali the most is the decision making process has been poor.
In qualifying the track was ramping up very quickly, I tweeted on it from early in the session, it was as plain as the what-nots on a dog and yet they thought Massa would be safe on a modest lap and he was caught out. Today the decision to switch Kimi onto full wet tyres when the track was bone dry at the time was totally insane.
Reliability has been a concern too for Ferrari, Raikkonen had anothert KERS related problem this afternoon, on top of the issues in Australia.
Domenicali had a hard edge in his voice when he spoke this evening in Sepang, he said, “It’s not a positive weekend, the second in a row and this is not good at all. We have to react immediately People have to take responsibility for things, from a performance point of view and from a management point of view, This is not acceptable and I do not accept it.”
As for who decided to put Kimi on wet tyres on a dry track Domenicali said, “I don’t want to say , because we need to discuss it internally. But I can tell you why we did it, which is that we knew a big storm was coming and we felt a few spots of rain, so because of this, one plus one, that was the decision.”
The rain came 6 minutes later…..
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had been on the phone to poor Stefano. “He is not happy, this is normal in his position, I’m not happy either.”
So where do they go from here?
“From a performance point of view, we need to make sure that we can bring something to China. On the aero side we know what we need to make the difference. We need more downforce. We also need to see why on Friday our car on soft cars with lots of fuel was very competitive, but with other tyres was very difficult. So the car is very sensitive to fuel load and tyres. On the management we need to improve because this is something we cannot accept for the future.
Meanwhile a totally hacked off Kimi Raikkonen, was even more mono-syllabic than usual his theme; “We made completely wrong tyre choices.”
His assessment of the first two races; “In the first race I made a mistake so we lost some points, here we made completely the wrong tyre choices.”
It’s still only early days and Ferrari had some blank weekends the last two years and still won championships. But they have to get on the scoreboard in China and hope that Jenson Button hits trouble, otherwise he could be 20 or 30 points clear by the time we get back to Europe next month.