Ferrari bids farewell to unloved F2012 car
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Dec 2012   |  10:13 am GMT  |  205 comments

Ferrari’s traditional end of season sign-off, the Ferrari World Finals, has been the scene of some triumphant scenes in the last decade, but not today.

Over 15,000 Ferrari fans are in Valencia to see the last rounds of Ferrari’s own racing series and to see a demonstration run of the F1 car.

Fernando Alonso will attend the event, but there is not much to celebrate after the team missed the drivers’ title by 3 points, having enjoyed an advantage of over 40 points after the summer break. He will drive the unloved F2012 car for the last time.

Next season he will drive car number 3 in the world championship, with Felipe Massa in car 4, according to the FIA entry list published yesterday. (NB Close inspection of the list shows that the HRT team has not entered next year’s championship, so there will be just 22 cars)

The team can draw many positives from the 2012 season on one level: they beat McLaren in both drivers’ and constructors’ championships despite having a demonstrably slower car all year.

But they finished second in both championships and know that the driver’s title was within their grasp; with better work from the technical department and better luck at the start of the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix, they could have won it.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali has not attended the event in Valencia, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Domenicali was at an event in Madrid on Friday and explained the background to Ferrari asking the FIA for clarification on Sebastian Vettel’s overtake on Jean-Eric Vergne in Brazil, which sent scaremongering headlines around the world last week of a threat to Vettel’s title.

Bernie Ecclestone has described the episode as a “joke” and there are some suggestions in the Gazzetta dello Sport this weekend that relations between Ferrari and Alonso have possibly been “frayed” a bit by the episode, which originated in Spain,

“It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet,” said Domenicali. “We had no intention of belittling the merit of the title winner, but it was right to have the matter completely cleared up. The FIA has replied and we have noted their answer and now consider the matter to be closed.”

“In the championship that’s just ended, we definitely had the best driver, the best reliability and a level of excellence when it comes to the work on the pit wall and during the pit stops. What was lacking was the car, despite the fact we staged a recovery after the very complicated start. We also lacked a bit of luck, especially with the incidents at Spa and Suzuka. That’s why I’d give Ferrari a 7.”

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo spoke to the team in Maranello at the end of last week, trying to rally them after a season of coming second.

“There were at least two cars, the McLaren and the Red Bull, that were better than ours,” he said.”Therefore having managed to get ahead of at least one of them in the Constructors’ and keeping Fernando in the fight right to the end, was very significant and I wish to thank you for that.”

He asked every employee to raise their game, “by a millimetre” in order to guarantee that they build a car capable of winning from the first round in 2013.

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1

MOVE OVER FERNANDO, FELIPE IS FASTER THAN YOU!

Dear James, I think my comments in relation to Felipe Massa being as quick or quicker than his teammate Fernando Alonso in 2012 have been unequivocally proved correct!? I hope your commentary will reflect these matters in a more objective way in future. Look forward to your response. Yrs RM

2

My 2012 Driver Rankings

1. F. Alonso

2. K. Raikkonen

3. S. Vettel

4. P. Maldonado

5. L. Hamilton

6. D. Ricciardo

7. P. de la Rosa

8. P. di Resta

9. H. Kovalainen

10. T. Glock

11. M. Schumacher

12. S. Perez

13. R. Grosjean

14. K. Kobayashi

15. N. Rosberg

16. C. Pic

17. V. Petrov

18. N. Hulkenberg

19. N. Karthikeyan

20. J-E. Vergne

21. J. Button

22. B. Senna

23. M. Webber

24. F. Massa

25. J. d’Ambrosio.

3

[mod]
Enough is way too much. The season is over, definitely more than enough about how the F2012 was a bad car.
By race pace, it may have been the highest placing car on average over the entire season, admittedly, it would have ranked lower on single lap pace, but that’s just the way it goes in this ‘sport’.

4

Ferrari had a few problems this year – the car being one of them, at least the beginning of the season. But it came good at the end – enough to both drivers felt confident with it. The bigger problem remains. The team is a far cry from the Schumacher/Brawn/Todt/Bryne days. It felt like they were looking for excuses during the last few races.

5

Hey Tim,

I agree – excuses are lame.

Tim (The Genuine Article)

6

Didn’t realise there is only one person called Tim in the world.

I guess it’s unusual name 🙂

7

Part of knowing how to win is knowing how to lose. Ferrari appeared to lack knowledge of both this season.

9

It can’t understand this indulgence in self praise by Domenicali and Montezemolo. Isn’t building a competitive car part of their job of running an F1 team, something at which they have been failing quite frequently last few years. It is not like they were randomly alloted a car like it happens when you go to your local kart track.

I have no doubt why they went about getting a “clarification”. It was very obvious to anymore who spent a few minutes the footage that the pass was legal. I think it was done to milk it to whatever extent possible to perpetuate ambiguity about Vettel’s championship and try and put an asterisk next to it in people’s minds, especially the casual fans’.

10

More of a concern than the yellow flag fiasco for me was that it demonstrated the Toro Rosso moving over for Vettel and this can’t be right.

The fact that Red Bull have this ‘sponsorship’ arrangement does give them a slight advantage in some scenarios as other teams are not allowed to own other teams.

In both races where Vettel has had to some from the back it means that a big percentage of the reasonably competitive midfield cars don’t pose the same problem as they would for a Mclaren, or a Ferrari.

I am not a Ferrari fan by the way but a Mclaren fan who likes to watch wheel to wheel racing rather than politics.

11

I like wheel to wheel racing also but to be fair to the Toro Rosso drivers they were never really racing Vettel, better to let him go and concentrate on your rivals. There is no point fighting the inevitable, risking a spin and accelerated tire wear for no gain. I was more disappointed by MS, he had nothing to lose by racing Vettel and I would have thought he would have relished the last opportunity to race his countryman.

12

But to use that logic you may as well say that everyone who is not in the chance of a podium may as well always let the top runners through as they are not technically racing them… My point is that when Toro Rosso come up against a Ferrari, or a Mclaren they would, and do fight hard against them, which is clearly not the case with the Red Bull cars and thus is a slight advantage in certain circumstances.

I don’t doubt that there are no ‘orders’ for them not to fight but it is clearly understood that it is not good for their careers to fight against a Red Bull that is challenging for a win or title. For precisely this reason in other sports there are rules around owning more than one team, in order to protect the integrity of the sport.

Unfortunately, as Fireman was I think, ironically pointing out, F1 is so expensive and the sport is so desperate for as many ‘competitive’ cars as possible that FIA turn a blind eye to the Red Bull arrangement.

13

Maybe they should make F1 more expensive so Mateschitz wouldn’t be able to own two teams.

14

In regards the entry list. Why is Rosberg 9 and Hamilton 10? I thought as Hamilton scored more points then Rosberg he would be entitled to the lowest numbered car?

15

Rosberg had contract at Mercedes before Hamilton, so Rosberg gets lower number. This is how it’s always gone.

16

Why is 13 not used as a car number? The entry list goes from 12 to 14, skipping 13.

17

Because 13 brings bad luck. Or so they say.

18

I will make it very plain and simple for the Alonso and Ferrari lovers- who was actually quicker than Fernando in the last few races ? – i will even say it for you – Felipe !Don’t forget also that Felipes car did not have all the upgrades that Fernandos had since Singapore – he was one or two steps behind on parts but was easily Fernandos match during the race. I’ve never doubted Fernando had a great year and even rate him among the top 4 on the grid. But all those still rating him better than Sennas & Prost& Schumachers must surely wake up now & smell the roses.

As for that Ferrari- well many cars were slow over a single lap but were quick over a race- that included Lotus and Sauber & actually the Ferrari was always the best of these 3 in race trim Always!..evidenced by how much ground even Felipe made before he “understood” the tyres in the first part of the year. I never once rated it outside 3rd place and Im for once pleased that Domencali confirmed it. Still Ferrari out performed Mclaren and at least matched Red Bull operationally & strategically to finish 2nd in a 3 rd placed car. By that standard I would say Kimi and Lotus did an equal job by finishing 3rd in the drivers with a car was 4 th and we all be left wondering where they would have been had the crash test dummy stayed on track- probably ahead of Ferrari !

19

Actually I recall reading somewhere that Alonso took the new bits off in the last 2 races and that it was only Massa racing with upgrades, so not sure where you get the “Alonso got all the upgrades and Mass didn’t ..” story from? Can you perhaps enlighten me cause I could be wrong..Thakns

20

I’m not here to teach people about F1 you need to watch every race get news feeds from the f1live timing app and get all the tv previews that highlight this for you . As well as this fantastic site with heaps of info.Also you look at the f1 website news section it will summarise bits for you. Fernando always had first pic on development parts as he was fighting for the championship ( makes sense) especially since Singapore and sure he did take some things off for Interlagos – by which time both drivers had a similar car but at every race before Fernando had new bits on his car ahead of Felipe.

21

No one argues that Felipe closed out the last few races faster than Fernando. Felipe’s speed was obvious. But you are overlooking two things. One is that there are many factors that account for Fernando not being quite as quick as Felipe at the end of the season, and two that over the entire season, Fernando outdrove Felipe especially when the car was at its worst.

22

I didn’t overlook anything and Im well aware no one drives perfectly all year. But Ferrari and Alonso will have you believe Fernando was perfect and I’m just saying this is simply not the case– other drivers had a fantastic year and had their teams done as good a job as Ferrari did, they would have won the championship- Mclaren for one springs to mind.

23

I love the fact that Ferrari considers the energy drink company as their competitor.

Remember, this team came in the form of Stewart GP, then Jaguar, finally Red Bull Racing. Compared to Mclaren, Williams and Ferrari; RBR is the youngest team.

F2012 may be rubbish in quali but there are a lot of strengths in that car.

1. The start where both Massa and Alonso are able to easily overtake many cars because F2012 is probably the fastest at the start.

2. The race pace is also quite good.

3. The wet race pace is probably the best.

4. Finally, the reliability of the car is immaculate.

Perhaps Ferrari should focus their budget on more performance than reliability next year.. lol.

24

Alonso was strong in the wet earlier in the season. In Brazil he was terrible in the wet. He was lucky with the Hulk/Ham incident, otherwise he would’ve finished 5th or 6th.

25

He was strong due to perfectly executed strategy, I don’t recall a single race where Alonso was fast in wet compare to some rain specialists. He was fast during British GP qualifying, that he must get credit for.

26

Vettel lost at least 50 points to Alonso due to reliability and Hamilton a great deal more.

The Ferrari reliability was worth at least two race wins where the main competitors did not score. That people is a huge advantage and when you add that to the reasonable race pace you end up with a car that was capable of winning this championship. Clearly the failing was in the qualifying. I do not know why a car with a race pace in the top two or three all too often found itself near the bottom of Q3 on Saturdays. That is a question for Ferrari and Alonso. I find it strange that Ferrari fans believe Alonso can consistently outdrive the car in the race that lasts for 60-70 laps but can’t actually string two or three fast laps together for qualifying. I would expect that this would be a simple task for such a Legend. For all of you Ferrari fans who find it convenient to blame the car, I counted at least four separate occasions where Massa posted fastest lap during the Brazilian race.

Not a bad effort in a truck!

27

That Ferrari must really be a dog…considering Alonso brings ‘6/10ths’ to the car.

28

That’s about the margin from Massa to Alonso on the starting grid. Nice catch!

29

Luca is right in many ways – they were lucky to do so well in the championship – and they were also lucky to have Alonso who managed to perform so well

30

Do you people reckon how things appeared and what statistics say about WDC winners at Interlagos – of the year’s final race? that’s the fact that before SV it was only 2 drivers from 6 that won WDC being favorite and having points advantage by arriving there. So, statistics was clearly vs driver with points advantage.

Why? because of immense pressing to driver and team, that is the source mistakes for the driver and miscalculations for the team. remember Ham in 2007 and 2008, in 07 he lost and in 08 he barely won by 1 point being faster than FM, the same was in 2010 with Alo at finale.

Therefore one can’t compare same driver with the advantage and disadvantage of the points at the finale race.

I believe if at Interlagos SV had same number or less points than FA he would drive offensive racing (same at Abu Dhabi 2010) and ultimately finish in front of ALO, that’s the psychology when driver and team think they got nothing to loose.

That’s point that SV fought not only vs FA but vs statistics as well.

Even it’s possible to calculate and figure out most dangerous advantage range at finale for the leader 🙂

31

And I agree with other comments here – Ferrari seem to always come across as sore losers and un-graceful winners.

32

except for Felipe Massa! most gentlemanly behaviour ever seen in sport, when he lost to Lewis in Brazil way back when!

33

Sometimes dominecalli really does take the biscuit! Ok so Alonso did not win but I think you would be hard pushed to say he was unlucky!?!? At the beginning of the season everyone was tripping each other up and he picked up the pieces. No,one can deny he is quick but he has a very good ally in Massa. One could argue about some of the things they got Up to but that has to be deamed an advantage that a lot of the other drivers do not have. With all this in mind I really believe they were very LUCKY to get 2nd place.

34

Massa was not even racing the first half of the season, he was not helping Alonso in any way.

Second half – I fully agree, he did help.

But, Vettel has 3 drivers to help him!!!!!!

35

‘Vettel has 3 drivers to help him!!!!!!’

Do you seriously think Webber helps Vettel the same way that Massa helps Alonso?

36

For what it’s worth I was in Valencia today and both Alonso and Massa were driving 2009 F1 cars not the F2012.

37

Monti says Red Bull and McLaren were better than Ferrari. I totally disagree. Reliability wise Ferrari was the best and that is why they are 2nd on the championship.

Whenever Red Bull or McLaren had technical problems, it was Ferrari who benefitted most. It has nothing to do with a Ferrari driver doing a better job this season but Red Bull and McLaren doing a bad job.

Ferrari were on pole this year. You can’t get pole without a good car just as you can’t win without a good car.

38

The possible rift between Alonso and Ferrari is interesting. I understand that the whole flag-gate scandal was stirred by Alonso’s management.

But Ferrari would have had access to the full HD onboard footage from Vettel’s car, so did they know all along that the overtake was perfectly legal?

39

Whoever says that Ferrari should not sought clarification knows nothing about racing. This happens ALL the time and basically after all races. Teams are constantly scrutinized. Just because Ferrari’s clarification was sought after numerous rumours doesn’t mean it’s out of place. What if they looked for clarification to silence the rumours?? Ferrari are in no position to offer a press release and say “there was a green flag”. It is the job of the FIA, and that’s why Ferraro approached them.

Alonso’s puncture in Japan was not entirely his fault. You could say even worse of Vettel’s crash at Interlagos, and other contacts, but nobody bothers because the crash didnt terminate his race. Kimi could have simply braked in Japan, which is what he did strongly in Brazil, but Kimi was in for the fight and at that incodent it cost Alonso more than it did Kimi. However, it doesnt matter that Ferrari only had 18 races; i dont know why people keep stressing that.

Also, i dont see why people keep talking about the Ferrari having teammates help eachother when Vettel has people from at least 3 teams gladly moving over. And at times against their will (ask Alguersuari).

Best thing about Ferrari is that they don’t listen to the pseudo-moralists in other teams.

The end.

40

Thank God, there’s common sense here. You could say that internet message boards (including this one) are full of pseudo-moralists too.

41

Scuderia Ferrari punched above their weight this year. Problem is, the car needs to move up to the heavyweight division. I don’t want to read of a “wind tunnel” problem next year. Domenicali is on thin ice (psst, SD, NASA has wind tunnels).

Tim

42

Luck is a funny thing… sometimes people say that Ferrai were unluck to have the belgian and Japanese episodes and without these they WOULD have won the championship. Well thats all very well, but why say that as everyone can say that. Jenson, Lewis and Seb could say that,and if they had not had bad luck then in those races Alonso would not have got the points (or even podiums) that he did get.

So I personally find it a bit strange to claim luck on any side results are what they are… there is no point in looking back and saying if only all the time

43

I think Ferrari is simply crying because they are eating a lot of sour grape.

Calling their competitors lucky is just lame when they should have congratulate, respect and accept that the better (and worthy) team had won.

44

Looks like Ferrari have gone down considerably in fan’s estimation after the Interlagos flag-gate.

45

when one person gets all the luck you will often find someone else getting all the bad luck…and thanks to karma at some point it switches.

Seb had his fair share of luck this season, especially the last few races, having collisions (not all his making) which would have probably ended the races of other drivers had they happened to anyone else.

You are right about not looking back and saying ‘what if’ all the time…but if you look at the record books when folks talk about previous champions they always say “oh well he won, but if xyz didn’t have engine failure who knows what would have happened.”

46

can;t agree more – the Renault alternators issue (nothing to do with RBR) cost Vettel 25 points in Valencia only, and provided Alonso 10 points (finishing 1st instead of 3rd with Grojean also retiring at that race) – that is a 35 points gap..

The whole luck / unluck debate is a waste of time

47

[mod] Everytime an article like this comes out it makes me think that they are sore losers they do not have any respect for their competition. It is very un-sportsmanlike to continue to denegrate the opposition because they think that their driver was better. The better driver is determined on track not through talking to the media.

48

But this is not GP2 where all cars are the same.

What’s wrong with an opinion that one car si better than the other?

49

Could you elaborate on how things got “frayed” between Zo and Ferrari?

Thanks James and, as always, superb writing.

50

I wonder if these reports are just another Red Bull destabilisation effort by Ferrari – i.e. try to get the opposition to focus on you rather than their own game

51

It’s hard to believe they could succeed in destabilizing RBR and Vettel. But we will see.

52

I imagine Ferrari are starting to lose their patience with constantly talking down the quality of their car (belittling the Ferrari brand) in order to talk up the talents of Alonso.

The Ferrari WAS NOT a bad car. It was up their with the Red Bull and Mclaren on race pace for most of the season. It was the best car from a standing start by a mile and it was also the best car in wet conditions. The only drawback was the DRS system which meant they suffered in quali.

I am amazed that a brand as big as Ferrari have been willing to pander to Alonso’s ego for so long.

53

I am also surprised by this. After all, did they not boot Alan Prost out for talking down the brand.

54

I’m not sure, but this is what has been reported in Italy, by Gazzetta. I’ll do independent verification

55

James, do you think it effects Sebs relationship with Ferrari?

56

Don’t teams pay a team franchise fee upon entry? Isn’t that a large amount? I would think potential discount on entry would make HRT assets valuable. After all, its a team that can be on the grid next year.

57

By the way, I’m not talking about the annual fee, I’m talking about the $40M deposit upon entry into the championship to assure the FIA that the team is serious about being in F1.

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