Kimi Raikkonen will not have favourite engineer in Ferrari transfer
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Oct 2013   |  8:46 am GMT  |  134 comments

Kimi Raikkonen will not be accompanied by his long time engineer Mark Slade, when he makes his transfer to Ferrari next year, according to reports in Italy.

Slade worked closely with Raikkonen during his McLaren years and was hired by Lotus when the Finn made his dramatic comeback last season.

But in the intervening years, when Raikkonen was at Ferrari, he worked first with Michael Schumacher’s engineer Chris Dyer, with whom he won the 2007 world championship and then with Andrea Stella, who is now joined at the hip with Fernando Alonso.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport today, “Ferrari has no intention of hiring Mark Slade to bring him to Maranello as engineer to the “Iceman”. The Finn will be asked to work with another engineer, chosen by team principal Stefano Domenicali, as the Alonso-Stella partnership is unbreakable.”

The paper hints that Domenicali is likely to choose either Giuliano Slavi or Antonio Spagnolo, who work currently as chassis engineers for Massa and Alonso respectively. Ferrari wants to promote from within and promote Italians.

Massa’s engineer Rob Smedley is expected to return to the UK, most likely with Williams, although McLaren has hinted at some eye catching technical appointments and Smedley would work well in the liaison between wind tunnel/design departments and track operations. He is highly regarded by McLaren’s increasingly influential Sporting Director Sam Michael and it would be an exciting place to work, with Honda from 2015 onwards.

Engineers say that Raikkonen is easy to work with, although he does not like working on the simulators. Ferrari has Pedro de la Rosa for that and he is likely to be a pivotal figure in Ferrari next season. He has already done a significant amount of work on the 2014 car and told this website that drivers will have to perfect a new artform in throttle techniques next season to manage the fuel consumption. Instead of 150kg of fuel for a 300km race, as it is currently, next season, drivers will have only 100kg.

Sebastian Vettel spoke about this yesterday on an Infiniti sponsor day in Yokohama, “Qualifying will not change but what worries me more is the race, after having done quite a few simulations,” he said. “Because with a 100kg fuel limit you have to be very careful with the throttle.

“I hope that we will be able to push to the limit for the whole race, because this is our job..”

To hear JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan discuss how drivers will have to change their styles in 2014, as well as insight from Mercedes’ engine boss Andy Cowell on the 2014 turbo engines listen to our latestJA on F1 Podcast

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cant believe it, nursing fuel loads now, when are going to be able to watch the top 22 drivers in the world go racing flat out and not for a ‘sunday drive’ ?


Kimi and Slade not together a bit sad… but then again Kimi needs an Italian engineer, to bridge the cold finnish culture and warm italian environment… (me stereotypical thinks)

On the throttle situation for next year. Kimi is said to be very disciplined with managing tyre spinning during his driving due to his good throttle control. sure he can get on top of it.

But the big question is, is this the end of one of Red Bull biggest assets: fuel thirsty engine maps and off-throttle blowing (or how its called)



Big concerns it wont be competitive i really hope the field is not massively spread out and drivers can push

So many variables – new aero / new engine / increased torque / new tyres / fuel management / ERS / reliability increase demand….. Bit worried it could end up with no wheel to wheel action


VET ‘s already thinking about next year races, wow, Lewis seems 2 be right about VET’s dedication. Only goodness knows what’s in his mind in terms of his F1 goals))


James these comments about the changes in throttle use for 2014 are intriguing. We have often heard that a major part of Vettel’s success is how early he can get on the throttle fully, and also how he takes advantage of the RB9 exhaust effects on rear grip. A concern for the new 2014 engines is the high torque: mainly that drivers will have to be more subtle on exit to avoid power oversteer. Also the new high central exhaust may limit what RBR can do for rear downforce.

Any thougths that all this could affect Vettel more than any of the other drivers?



Any news about Sebastian’s Red Bull Car will be checked by FIA in coming races(because TC sound was heard only in Vettel’s Car in Singapore GP)

I heard they are using a Secret method to work their TC system from KERS.

Will FIA will investigate about this and tell everyone what’s going on?


For many years car manufacturers have claimed that they use Formula One as a testing ground for new developments. I think that since we are all now using smaller displacement engines, mostly turbo charged, the new engine rules actually reflect a more realistic approach to see what those small engines can endure, how they perform under extreme conditions and if they do not, how to improve them. I look forward to next year.


It would have been good for Kimi to have Mark Slade he has worked with Kimi for a long time, he knows what Kimi wants and he understand him. I just hope Ferrari isn’t repeating the same mistakes, I hope they atleast listen to Kimi this time.


Too many Italians at Ferrari. They’re dream is for an Italian team principal to win the championship alongside an Italian driver.

Alas there are no top Italian drivers, so a swarthy southern European who could pass for an Italian will do!

I believe Lauda blamed it on the “spaghetti culture” a few years back.


I think it would be better if he had his own person there in Ferrari. Let’s face it, if Kimi is fast Alonso will straight off be asking the team to slow him down as he has in the past.

Kimi needs an engineer he can trust, not a junior Ferrari guy not daring to rock the boat


…. And Ferrari and Kimi Partnership begins with a mistake…. Must hire Mark Slade for Kimi if they want to truly exploit the true potential of our iceman.


When did the “re-Italiazation” of Ferrari start ? I guess at the end of 2006. Since then, LdM has let go Schumacher, Todt and Brawn – 3 men responsible for 11 titles that Ferrari won in the 2000s. He also let go Gilles Simon, sent Paolo Martinelli back to the factory, and hired Luca Marmorini to lead the engine development. He then promoted Stefano and has kept him as the team principal despite his glaring shortcomings as a leader. Then tried some band-aid measures by hiring Pat Fry, firing Aldo Costa, hiting Allison. The current day Ferrari reminds me more and more of NY Yankees – too big a brand name, too much money, but very little leadership.



Valentino from montreal

Hehehe ! Very true Zombie ..

Brawn wanted to take over the role of team boss after Jean Todt but Montezemelo thought other-wise …

Back in 2005, Todt wanted to sign Valentino Rossi for the 2007 season partnering Schumacher , but of course Montezemelo was’nt a fan of that idea so he convinced Rossi to forget F1 and Ferrari .. Schumacher saw a lot of potential in Valentino Rossi and was disappointed when he heard the news …

The Spanish Inquisitor

You are right…

Ferrari has a political party structure. All people is thinking in how to maintain his bottom glued to his official seat. LDM is a mediocre, so he needs mediocres all around. No one that can eclipse him. LDN is like Florentino Perez. Ferrari = Real Madrid. Great teams, stupid leaders.


Leave Raikkonen alone, he knows what he is doing.

He doesn’t need an engineer, especially Italian:)


I start to think that a good fitness trainer who is responsible for the weight of the driver might be more important in 2014 than yet another engineer.

In a time where every gramm counts, Vettel got it right: Remove the balls, they are not needed. It are 1-2 milliseconds in qualifying. Drivers won’t be disturbed by these nasty beauties any longer, more time for the simulator 😉


The article implies it is Ferrari who doesn’t want to hire Mr. Slade, but could it just be that he doesn’t want to move to Italy? As far as I remember, that was the reason he didn’t follow Kimi to Ferrari before.


So next year fuel will be limiting factor. Drivers will be again asked to drive to delta time in order to see the finish line.

So it might happen that not the most powerful engine will win, but the most efficient one…


Well since it’s said that the Renault engine is the most efficient of the current generation, that has been the case for the last four seasons.


“McLaren’s increasingly influential Sporting Director Sam Michael” – a deeply worrying quote.


Agree! Like many aspects of F1, influence is how it’s won. Right Bernie?


I will definitely 2nd that..!


next season sounds like another borefest! might as well have an MPG indicator on the dash!


I am afraid of that too!


They want to isolate Kimi so he gets put to second position, smart Ferrari move, let him be disorientated, bad for Kimi.

Why do I have the feeling Kimi’s tile is worth nothing to them and they will please Santander more..


Exactly what I said above.

This is called “excuses in advance” from KIM’s fans.

WHY are KIM’s fans so afraid of Alonso???

Don’t worry. KIM will be beaten, but by a small margin.

By the way: ALO said on AutoSport that KIM is as fast as Massa…. Mind games??? 😎


So you think it does not matter if you do not have your best wingman there?

I post no excuse just the notion of fairness!


Kimi doesn’t give xxxxx about mind games. Let Alonso play on!


So why are they replacing massa now then?


H. You must be mistaken with the chronology of events. RBR hired Ricciardo first before they hired Kimi. How would Alonso go to RBR? You mean they signed Kimi before RBR decided on Ricciardo or Kimi? Hmmm that’s strange.


Thought this would be clearer by now…

They (LdM and Dom) hired KIM as an *ALO* replacement. They thought he would leave to RBR. ALO stayed. So they end up with 03 drivers and 02 seats.

That’s why they are replacing Massa now.


I think they are not afraid of Alonso, but all the politics and odd things that surrounded him since he came in F1, just look his partnership with Santander, the crash gate, the spy gate, the McLaren relationship, that his manager is Flavio and so on, it makes you think.


Isn’t promoting someone on the basis that they’re Italian contrary to EU law?



Just HOW important is the race engineer. The driver has to be quick, and the car good, but it’s the engineer that interprets the info from the driver to MAKE the car good.

So, what makes a good engineer?

Just curious.


Very important, but Ferrari have good engineers and Raikkonen coped well enough last time!


I wonder if this will lead to a more streamlined design that sacrifices downforce for less air resistance? An armchair observer like me would conclude that less resistance usually mean less energy/fuel used to propel the car.


Serious question here:

Will Kimi have to learn Italian to talk with his race engineer?

“Lasciami in pace, so quello che sto facendo…”

Blame Google if I got that wrong 😉


No he doesn’t have to!

Last time when he drove for Ferrari he was asked the same question, he responded saying;

“I didn’t join Ferrari to learn Italian!”


But he will allow the Italians to speak Italian, if they want to.


No, the race engineer will have to lern kimish.


Lol 🙂


Now if Ferrari re-located to Oxforshire ….

They could have not only Mark Slade but also NEWEY, who we hear doesn’t like to live in foreign parts.


I’d say there’s more chance of a man getting pregnant with twins …


I think I’ll let you be the volunteer for that one Phil 🙂





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