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