Alonso: more potential in Ferrari F14 T than shown in Australia
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  27 Mar 2014   |  11:21 am GMT  |  104 comments

Fernando Alonso believes there is plenty more to come from Ferrari’s F14 T, despite a less a muted start to the season in Australia.

Following a fourth-place finish in Melbourne, more than 35 seconds adrift of winner Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, Alonso bemoaned a lack of performance, adding the team “needs to improve”.

Speaking today in the Sepang paddock today, however, Alonso, when asked if he had revised his opinion following time to digest the Melbourne race, the two-time champion admitted that while it feels like a repeat of the team’s troubled early races of the past few seasons, there is plenty of scope to improve F14 T.

“It’s not been a perfect start. It seems like a repetition of the last couple of years, but these are different rules and a different rate of development,” he said. “The hope is perfectly there.

“We have more potential than what we saw in Australia,” he added. “We need to put everything in place and have a better weekend. We also understand we need to improve, especially with the Mercedes seeming so strong. But the team has the facilities and the talent to do a very good job. We should be strong and we will do better, I’m pretty sure.”

Kimi Raikkonen, though was less optimistic, saying that Ferrari’s position in the pecking order was as the team finished in Melbourne.

“I think we are more or less where we finished in Australia.” Said the Finn. “Every circuit is different and obviously it is very hot and humid here, with slightly different tyres. I have no idea, even from the past years it was very difficult to say race to race and with the new rules it will still be hard to say. Hopefully we can get a slightly better feeling and overall have a bit more experience on how everything will run.”

Raikkonen’s opening weekend of the championship was hampered by handling issues, which Ferrari later put down to the Finn having difficulty with F1’s new brake-by-wire system.

Today, though, the Finn denied the new technology was to blame for his problems in Malaysia.

“I don’t know where that came from, it’s not the issue and there is nothing wrong with the system,” Raikkonen said. “Somebody asked me about it after the race and I said it’s no issue, so it’s not true. It is mainly just set-up and getting the car as I like it to run. We are making some new stuff for me and hopefully when we get those it will be easier and I’ll get some more feeling in the front end. It’s not been the ideal start, but it’s going to be a long year and I’m sure we can keep progressing.”

Referencing Raikkonen’s issues, Alonso said he was unsure of what the problem was but that if he had a “better adaptation” he would be happy to provide it to the Finn.

“I’ve only had a few tests and one race with Kimi, so I don’t know exactly what is the problem with him,” said Alonso. “I have enough to concentrate on on my side but if I have a better adaptation, I am here to help the team and if they have more difficulties hopefully they will improve quickly and in races where I have difficulty I can learn from them as quickly as possible.”

Finally, asked for his opinion of the new era of F1 having had two weeks to reflect on the experience of the first race of the season, Alonso confessed that he would not be able to give a ‘correct’ answer.

“It’s a very uncomfortable matter to speak about,” he said. “If I say I like this Formula One I will be criticised because this is not anymore Formula One for most of the fans. If I say I don’t like this Formula One fans will be critical because I only like it when I win.

“It’s the same with our performance. If you say you are more or less happy with fourth place in the race in Australia because you finished the race, then you are not motivated anymore and not hungry for success. If you say you want to win and we don’t have the performance, you are criticising the team, so it’s very difficult when you have the microphone to talk about anything in this difficult contest.

“We need to give it a little bit more time,” he said. “I understand the disappointment of the Australian race from the fans point of view, because the race was not as we thought. There was a lot of talk before the race about how exciting this new Formula One would be, how many cars would finish, maybe zero, all of this. When 15 cars finished and there were not that many problems people were not maybe expecting that. So we need to give a little bit more time. Maybe here we’ll have a fantastic race, a fantastic show.”

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I hope kimi wins the title this year and also the next and not just because he is my favourite driver but also I want everyone to shut the F (ernando) up


Bmw M4 6 cylinder turbo charged!!!


I said in this web that Fernando reported electrical problems. After investigations Ferrari found the issue: Ferrari had software problem early in Australian Grand Prix.


Sounds like Alonso thinks the Fin can’t drive the new car.

James do they get along?

David in Sydney

Alonso will certainly get along with Kimi if it looks like he’ll be struggling with the Ferrari all year…


He’ll want Kimi as close to him as possible which I eventually expect Kimi to be.

Firstly so that Ferrari fully focus on improving the car for for them both, not divert development attention to getting it more driveable just for Kimi.

Secondly, assuming they can develop and compete with the Mercs engined cars and Bulls, he’ll need kimi to take points from his rivals. Something Massa failed to do in recent years.


Well enough


Lesson for Ferrari’s PR department #1, stop making up stuff Kimi didn’t say, such as with the brake by wire system:

“Kimi” said,

“I’ve been in this game for quite a while now,” Raikkonen told the website, “And I can say this is definitely not the first time that I’ve gone through a difficult first race weekend. We identified some general problems which we have to tackle in Maranello and there are other aspects linked to the set-up on my car to do with the brake-by-wire system. Getting this device working correctly is definitely something that contributes to the general feeling from the car, because it has a great effect on corner entry. Having said that, the F14 T improved right through Friday and Saturday and not getting into Q3 was not down to the competitiveness of the car.”

The real Kimi said:

“I don’t know where that came from, it’s not the issue and there is nothing wrong with the system …I said it’s no issue, so it’s not true.”

Lesson #2 for Ferrari’s PR department – If you’re making up something Kimi said, try to do it in ten words or less.

On Alonso’s optimism, perhaps he is correct. If the monsoon is big enough, Ferrari are the only team with the nose to plough through the water allowing grip to the tyres and a dead-cert. 1-2 finish 😉


“Lesson #2 for Ferrari’s PR department – If you’re making up something Kimi said, try to do it in ten words or less”

And throw in a mumble or two 😉


Kimi says words of more than one syllable?


I guess mumble is technically two syllables 🙂


I think this team needs a strong leader. There is nobody driving it. Open your wallet to Brawn


craig sounds correct..i will be watching for and waiting for this merc dule as alo sweeps past them

if rb play political games it could free up newey

braun could come back for a few years

but I think alo is out anyway..


They should never have let Aldo Costa go. Look at the Mercedes he has designed!


The gossiping talks about electrical nuisance, faulty telemetry, brakes, set-up, and a power unit 15kg heavier than elsewhere down the pit lane. One thing is sure: Alonso only made up a fraction of a second on Hulkenberg during the pit stop and lost quite a few on Jenson…


Fernando don’t fool yourself, Ferrari are a terrible team and have been for a long time. They had a winning stretch by basically buying the championship winning Benetton team and spending more than anyone else. They had to buy every key figure. As long as Domenicali is heading the team they will be third best. Stefano needs to pull his head out from where the sun don’t shine and smell the proverbial roses. There’s a reason why the subway never runs on time in Italy..


Sure, with a fully working wind tunnel and in season testing later on in the season, the Ferrari has a good chance of a good improvement as the season progresses which will be good for the fans as we shall have more competition.

However, championship wise, it would appear that it is all over because Alonso’s path to glory has been an ability to get a huge lead in the first half of the season then through consistency maintaining the gap in the second half >>> in other words Alonso doesn’t do well coming from behind championship wise.

Regards Kimi, I guess due to the fact that he was locking up into corners, people must have assumed he was struggling with the new brake system but now that it has been confirmed that it’s a set up issue, I reckon the iceman isn’t worse off as feared and thus a solution isn’t far off.

Nice to see Alonso willing to help out Kimi come to grips with the new car but this fact can interpreted by some fans such as myself that Alonso is totally not worried about Kimi for if he was, he wouldn’t accept to share his setup.

Overall, just like the fans, it would appear that the drivers too aren’t entirely happy with the new F1 especially the ones that aren’t very competitive for if you’re happy about something, it’s very difficult to hide it for it would show all over your face.

Tommy Karamintzas

I read all the time that teams will catch up with Mercedes after 3-4-5 races…..How can you say that?? Do you think that Mercedes is a sitting duck? An easy target?? If other teams can find 1.5 secs per lap, then surely Mercedes can do it too!! Very difficult year for everybody. I would be MEGA-SURPRISED if Mercedes stays behind in the development race!


I have no doubt Mercedes will improve during the year, but the theory is that the closer and closer to get to the limit of performance the harder and harder it is to find more gains.

I’d be surprised if RBR, McLaren and hopefully Williams and Ferrari too aren’t mixing it with the Mercs before years end 🙂


This season could go three ways.

It could be a repeat of 2002 and 2004 when Ferrari had a massive advantage and just booted their opposition’s faces in all year.

Or, it could be like 2005 and 2006 when Renault/Enstone [sic] started off with an advantage, but gradually was reeled in by a determined opponent, although Renault’s early season form was enough to deliver both titles.

Or it could be like 1999 when McLaren started off with the fastest car, but dropped the constructors title into the willing arms of a rival thanks to a combination of poor reliability, driver errors and tactical blunders.


Yes Random – as dear old Murray would say “Anything can happen in F1 and it usually does!”

The biggest effect on the championship this year will be the Big Man in the Sky, because rain affected races will mean slower lap teams and cooler temperatures, which provided the drivers can keep it on the black stuff, will be kinder to fuel consumption and the thermal discharge properties of the cars.

On the other hand, if it is a red hot European summer as it was in 2003, then the engineers and mechanics will literally be sweating over-time to stop their engines/PUs from melting.

Over to you upstairs………


Soooo…what you’re saying is anything could happen 🙂


I beg to differ:





Please see comment #19, Bayan, 4:28pm…

Rob in Victoria BC.

Off topic l’m afraid James, but when is this year’s 1st podcast?


No plans at present

rob in victoria bc

A shame. Will be missed.


I would have thought that at this stage Ferrari would love to be in the position they were this time last season, having then arguably the best car on the grid!


I think Ferrari are where Kimi says they are. He seems a more reliable source than Fernando. What a shock!



I thought the same.


Same excuses as always. You need to put a brave face in front of sponsors, fans and media…reality is, Ferrari lost it. LDM was pushing strongly to reduce the importance of aero as he could not get Newey working for Ferrari and nobody else could beat him and so he pushed towards the engine. So what is LDM going to say now? Ferrari cannot produce a winning engine? I enjoyed a comments that I saw sometime ago on this blog – LDM will now push towards new rules where the win is going to be dictated by having a car painted in red. Maybe this is the only chance for Ferrari to win really.


After just one race which is not a typical circuit, and with technical issues clouding the pace of most teams…. Legend.


even if that happened, i bet someone would find a loophole blatantly omitted by SF and be more successful at doing the paint-job.


Think that was me. Yeah it’s already started, every year of red bull dominance LdM has said, this reliance on aero is outrageous – we are building cars not aeroplanes!’ And now it’s reduced aero and engine reliant it’s, ‘these silly engines are ridiculous and hurt the fans feelings!’ They got rid of double diffusers and blown diffusers mostly at their indignance – I’ve felt bad for them before but now they need to put up or shut up. And that’s being incredibly fair I think. Eventually LdM is going to have to demand that the Ferrari veto is extended to race results as well.

Although if LdM cared about the poor fans feelings he had an opportunity to veto the double points nonsense and didn’t – so it’s all cheap talk.


Well, this isn’t exactly the type of engine Ferrari is used to racing with, is it.

I need a little more time to decide on this new formula. It may seem slow, but basically I don’t like it. I’m just giving it a chance in case I’m wrong.


Certainly Ferrari have not started at par with the Merc.

I think after 3-4 races we will see where everybody is + hopefully with the steep learning curve many teams will have change to catch up the leader fairly quickly.


““It’s a very uncomfortable matter to speak about,” he said. “If I say I like this Formula One I will be criticised because this is not anymore Formula One for most of the fans. If I say I don’t like this Formula One fans will be critical because I only like it when I win”

Alonso have just nailed it, very well put by our Colossus of the F1

This confirms neither pilot (Notably alonso)cannot crticize the Ferrari team even if they turn up for any season with sub-standard car and failed to develop the car through out the season. What a charade?

Alonso, please consider your options seriously come the season denouement, the current Ferrari team does not have the talent nor worthiness to have you in their team.

Otherwise WDC 3 will just go down as a mere dream


C’mon fellow Tifosi let’s have a bit of hope as we haven’t got anything else. We all know F1 can change quickly.

With the possibility of rain this weekend I’m confident we will get a good result.


Nowadays with Ferrari, a podium is a great result.


Wait and see, many teams had technical issues at Melbourne and things will take a few races to settle down.


This sounds like the same Ferrari we knew before Michael Schumacher joined and turned them around. Too many different opinions, no strong leadership, playing catchup all year long, and generally have no clue how to fix the problems.

Make no mistakes, its not the drivers to blame. I think Alonso’s performance the last few years in those Ferrari “trucks” have more than justified why he is considered as the best driver of his generation. And i’m sure Kimi will overcome his setup issues too. The trouble is, neither of the drivers are capable of getting the team to make the changes which can take them to the top. How many more chances does Domenicalli deserves ? What has Pat Fry done that justifies his place in the team ? And Nicholas Tombazis should be relegated to design the new Maserati SUV since he has ample experience designing cars that drive like trucks !


+1 mate with only the emphasis on Domenicali being the major hurdle in Ferrari team. It seem’s Ferrari’s idea of an all Italian team need’s to be dropped…


Sounds like the Ferrari PR department had a word with him!


Sounds like FOM PR department has to have a word with Vettel.

Here is what he said when asked about new sound of F1.

“It’s s**t,” said the Red Bull driver.


The thought just struck me that itll take longer for fans to get used to the new sound of F1 especially since all the demo cars are last year’s cars using V8s. So you’ll end up with people seeing and hearing demos with screaming V8s and then come to a race only to be dissapointed with the mutes V6s. Interesting.


Quite right. In Melbourne the Aussie V8’s absolutely embarrassed the F1’s in the sound department. Come to think of it, everything did.


Even my kettle boiling was louder


For competitiveness sake, I hope Fernando is right.

Problem is, F1 isn’t about hope, it’s about engineering and driving excellence – and on the engineering front Ferrari are lagging behind.

Still, Fernando, it is early days, and you, out of all the racers out there consistently out-perform the potential of your car, so if it is wet this Sunday you may be able to perform miracles, as you did in 2012.

Jury still out on Kimi – the ultimate enigma, as always.


Just to add, perhaps Ferrari’s saving grace is that if – if – Red Bull get suspended for a couple of races, then that’s 2 cars less to worry about.


In case you haven’t noticed its Mercedes that have rhe fastest car.


…in Australia.


But they’re not the two cars they need to worry about 😉


Not yet Random…………but don’t forget Daniel’s DSQ allowed Ferrari to jump up a place for Fernando and Kimi, which could – could – turn out very useful at the end of the year. Appeal depending of course…………….although can’t see Bull winning that.


Ive been going to f1 for a number of years now but dont think ill bother this year,f1 is all about speed & pain to the ears.BRING back the screeming v1o,AND im not alone on this it will kill the sport

David in Sydney

Up the fuel allowance and allow second exhausts and you’ll hear the V6s scream just as much… honestly these engines are gorgeous tech that can feed into road car engines once reliability is proven.

Leave the engines alone! They don’t sound that bad!



Plus, if you split a V6 in half, you could have the basis for a turbo-compounding-hybrid 3 clyinder engine – in fact, Ford (Europe) and Vauxhall have pioneered 1 litre turbo compounding engine, and Fiat (i.e Ferrari’s little sister) has a 800cc 2 clyinder micro-unit, so if anything F1 is slightly behind the curve ball of the car industry in Europe, Japan and Australasia.


There have been entire decades where the F1 cars didn’t scream like last years V8s. Do we discount all of the years the decibel reading was under a certain level?


Sorry but were have you been,v12 v1o v8 ALL screamed the v10 engine rpm was 21,ooo,the v8 18,ooo,f1 is about the best of the best in terms of engineering & driving,AND speed,NOW its gone green its about saving fuel & tyers and its to quiet ????


I’m going off the decibel readings from TV audio recordings. The sound levels have varied throughout F1 history. I’m saying at which point do you say ‘this is the technically acceptable db level’? If you don’t have a specific answer you are not helping. You’re just saying that you dislike change. Either be specific or deal with it.


Bringing back the V10s will kill the sport. That is because Renault, Honda and at least 3 teams will pull out of the sport as it doesn’t have any relevence to the road-car technology of today. Moving with the times is moving forwards, not backwards.


Why is building a V10 engine irrelevant to road cars? The technology is transferrable. It’s not like any of these V6-turbos are going to be fitted to a road car any time soon.

And continuing on the subject, how is a single seat open wheel aero dependant F1 car relevant to road cars?

The new look F1 is a sop to the greenies that’s all. The turbos are no cheaper than an aspirated V8 or V10 to build.


Sorry squire, disagree.

The customer base of V8 and V10 engines in Western Europe and Japan is less than 1% – and that’s where the major of the car manufacturers are based!

When I think of a V8 I think of Fat Yanks with mullets and beards, wearing a string vest and cowboy hats chomping on cheese-burgers, you know the sort of simple people who if they can’t explain something they say its aliens or they’ve been kidnapped by ailens. (That’s probably the excuse NASCAR and Indycar drivers give if their race hasn’t gone well). See Top Gear Deep South special to see what I’m on about. I don’t think that is the sort of image and customer base European and Japanese manufacturers aspire to – or Europeans and Japanese people come to think of it.

However, a clever and complex V6 turbo hybrid is manna from heaven for the Europeans and Japanese who love the challenge of new technology, which is why Honda is returning next year. Also, you could slice a turbo V6 in half, creating a 3 clyinder turbo engine. And the Europeans and Japanese love small turbo engines.

I’m sorry, but a normally aspirated V8 engine is a simple engine for simple people, and for the majority of people who live on this planet is complete indulgence and a total irrelevance.

I know I’ll get criticised for this post, but I fully stand by the FIA for implementing this new turbo-hybrid technology. F1 has to be relevant to the car industry of the world; the previous V8’s wern’t what so ever (apart from the Yanks).

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