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Behind Raikkonen’s struggles in first Grand Prix
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Mar 2014   |  4:54 pm GMT  |  232 comments

It wasn’t a great weekend in Melbourne for Ferrari and particularly for new recruit Kimi Raikkonen, who trailed his team mate Alonso all weekend and ended up seventh in the race, 25 seconds behind the Spaniard.

Raikkonen had a number of problems, with team boss Stefano Domenicali admitting on Sunday night,”We have to give Kimi a car that is better suited to his style.”

Today the Finn has identified difficulties with the new brake-by-wire system, an electronic system on the rear brakes, which compensates for instability when the energy is harvested from the rear axle under braking, as one of the main culprits,

“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.”

Raikkonen also suffered more than his team mate from the front left tyre graining which hit most cars in the second stint.

Ferrari’s engineering number two Pat Fry added,”On both cars we suffered problems of an electrical nature, especially Kimi’s; he was not able to extract all the power.” This can be confirmed by looking at the speed trap times; Raikkonen was 8th overall with 298.4km/h, however Alonso was 4th on 304.5km/h, ahead of race winner Nico Rosberg.

A story emerging in Germany in the last few days has suggested that the Ferrari engine is somewhat heavier than the opposition and the indications from Melbourne were that it isn’t quite as efficient in terms of fuel consumption. If so they were fortunate that the race was one racing lap shorter than planned due to the aborted start and then the cars also saved fuel behind the safety car for three laps.

“I would have liked to have started the season with a podium or a win, but this is what we have at the moment and we shouldn’t kid ourselves that it’s its going to be a quick fix to put everything right,” Alonso said to the Spanish media after the race. “We have to improve the performance because I wasn’t able to pass Hulkenberg on the straight with DRS, even though we had more pace.”

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I understand that this discussion is long and boring but I’d like to say this; I regard Alonso as one of the best drivers on the grid, able to make something out of nothing and Australia was one of his great drives, however this does not mean Kimi is bad. Granted, he was poor in that race, however we as fans have very little information on the state of his car, maybe the setup was awful, maybe the brake by wire is faulty ect. we all know Kimi is a good driver, better than the Vettels, Alonsos and Hamiltons of this world is hard to say, but one weekend does not damage his reputation in my eyes.


@Yago – Fact- Kimis car had several issues – not just electrical- either by the team or Kimis own design. Fernando had one issue- rest of your posturing is irrelevant isnt it..

As Kimi even suggested it may take a while before they are resolved- only then will we know his true pace. So I stand by what I said- he did a tremendous job in a car that was very poor- the same would be said for anyone driving an ill handling ,underpowered car finishing 7th from 11th and passing cars on track whether its Max Chilton or Nico Roseberg or even Fernando Alonso himself. Lets just hope for all fans sake we see the team sort them out sooner rather than later so we can see a real fight at the front.


Let’s see what happens!

For what we have seen in Melbourne, at the next race both Mercedes may not finish the race and the RBR may not get in the points, once they begin using the fuel flow sensor as the others teams do following FIA rules.


I just don’t rate him.

Quick when he can put it together, but that’s rare. His qualifying record is abysmal. Much like Alonso doesn’t like the pressure of having to put it all together at the death in Q3.

Unprofessional in his approach, rude to the media and fans, not a team player let alone a team leader, basically in it only for the money, zero charisma (sorry — mumbling and being rude just means you are socially stunted)

Ferrari must be masochists. Dumping Schumacher in 2006 (Schumacher would have won 2007 and 2008 convincingly), signing up Kimi for $50m a year only for him to be beaten by Massa, letting Alonso rubbish the car for season after season, resigning an uncompetitive Massa year after year just to placate Alonso’s fragile ego. And after that they still decide the solution is throwing $20m a season at the oldest and most unprofessional driver on the grid

Kimi could never win a championship despite all those seasons driving a Newey engineered McLaren. Kimi instead had to rely on Hamilton gifting the last two races of 2007 to his rivals. Also, had to rely on Massa moving over for Kimi and gifting him the lead in that final race of 2007.

Beaten handily by Grosjean in the second half of last year.

Massa ended his first foray at Ferrari.

If Ferrari had any sense they would have signed up Hulkenberg last year.


Kimi competed in 2003 for WDC in a B-spec car and lost by 2 points. He lost in 2005 due to reliability issues. He is amongst the top-15 drivers of all time according to various statistics. If you think he is bad, then nothing good can be said about the rest of the grid (except one or two).

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Reliability issues like Nurburgring? When he could not settle for second place, and bag the points? At that time i was not an Alo fan, and i consider it very stupid what Kimi did. That counts as a car failure? Statisticly yes, but in my opinion it was a driver error!


You are wrong on so many fronts, that I do not even start trying to explain you why.

Alan from Toronto, Canada

@German Samurai: Please remember that Michael didn’t win the WDC for Ferrari in both 2005 and 2006, so I can’t see how he could have convincingly won the WDC in both 2007 and 2008. Also, before you rubbish Kimi please try recall how he transformed the Lotus into a race-winning car in 2012 and 2013.

And get your fact straight first: like what James said Michael had decided to retire, not get dumped by Ferrari.


In 2005 the Ferrari package wasn’t capable of winning races and 2006 he dominated the last half of the season. Renault had an illegal mass damper in the first half of the season.

His drive at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix especially was one of the finest of his career. All the elements and variables of the race conspired against him that day and he still won. Japan he was cruising to victory before his engine blew up. Then in Brazil got a puncture in the opening lap and still managed to finish 4th.

Schumacher dominated Massa in 2006. Raikkonen was only slightly better than Massa in 2007. Massa also had worse reliability than Raikkonen which slightly skewed the 16 point points difference between the two (10 points for a win then). Massa had to gift the final race to Raikkonen too, which further exaggerated the difference). Massa was faster than Raikkonen in 2008 and 2009 up until the Hungary accident.

Considering that Schumacher dominated Massa, I conclude that Schumacher would have easily won both championships since Kimi only had a slight edge on Massa in 2007 and Massa was faster than Kimi in 2008.

In 2003 the McLaren was a great car. If Schumacher had the equivalent of the McLaren that year (or Williams) and Kimi or Montoya had the Ferrari, then Schumacher would have won the championship. In my opinion.

2005 he drove better than Alonso in my opinion. He did make errors such as badly flat spotting his tyres at the German Grand Prix (ultimately tyre burst) and in his final qualifying lap for the Brazilian Grand Prix he made a bad lock up in the first corner. Both contributed to him not winning the championship in addition to having a car more fragile that the Renault.


Schumacher retired in 2006. He wasn’t dumped. He was pushed into making a decision, when he wasn’t sure whether and how long to commit, but there is no way he was “dumped”


It’s only my opinion but I think Schumacher was ultimately pushed out of Ferrari for Raikkonen. I think Schumacher’s mind was made up for him. Only my opinion. Everyone went along with Schumacher saying the time to leave was right in order for him not to lose face. Only my opinion. Could be wrong…or not.

Ferrari seemed head over heels in love with Raikkonen throwing $50 million a season at him to move to Ferrari. Only my opinion.


I would like to add one more point. Not sure if other’s have mentioned this before.

As of right now, Alonso has Kimi’s old crew even Andrea Stella!

Could this be a contributing factor as in we know how good Kimi was with a car that the team refused to develop as they were concentrating on the next season at the second half of the 2009 season. Could it be, that crew and that group of engineers can help him better, since they’ve worked before?


A long time ago during his McLaren years Kimi said, “This sport changes all the time. You have to adapt to these changes and if you can’t, you should probably not be in this sport anymore”

So I guess he knows what he knows what to do! 😛

Last time around Chris Dyer and him worked together in getting the Ferrari to his liking. I guess he has to go back to that mode again. Sit down with Allison. And get to work. I am sure he will.

Michael Spitale

Oddly though for all his trouble he would have finished right behind Alonso even though he started 6 places behind if not for the safety car. In the States they went away during the safety car and when it came back on Kimi was 8th instead of 6th.

With that said, Kimi clearly needs to get more comfortable in the car and pick up at least 2 to 3 tenths on Alonso to make it close.


I thought seeing KR being hit by KK at the start. Wonder if it explains anything.


If ferrari engine is too heavy surely they are dead in water as design changes are not permitted unless reliability, that true?


Wow, if all the “speculation” about Ferrari’s problems are true, I’m amazed they can even keep up with the safety car, never mind get a car in the top 5. I mean, with a heavier engine, weaker aero, thirstier engine, less than half ERS power, poor traction, poor brakes, shouldn’t they just be competing between themselves and Sauber at the back with Marussia? /sarcasm


From a safety standpoint, wouldn’t not being able to tell if your rear brakes are biting properly (due to the absence of hydraulic feedback) be a bit of a red flag? These guys are arguably the best drivers in the world and even they are having issues getting comfortable with the system.


James, sorry, this is off-topic. Do you have anything to say following Mateschitz’s (in Jerez) and now Honer’s comments about Renault? I just can’t believe what sort of bad looser they are. They win 8 titles with Renault and then on the first occasion they shoot them down. So incredible! Just can’t believe it!


bit offtopic,

Yesterday in a an article about turbocharged cars I have seen a picture of current Ferrari next to a picture of McLaren MP4/2.

unbelievable how terrible this year’s cars look!

if you were looking in 1987 at the McLaren MP4/2 you simply had to be in awe, now what are? disgusted, or we don’t care?

It’s funny how hard the sport tries to lose all of it’s appeal, and can’t really get why we fans keep following it…


Nice one. Well spotted. 🙂


James i cannot understand all these excuses that were thrown simply to defend kimi from poor weekend, Ferrari stated they had issues with both car in the race and the car in general is simply dismal. Yet Alonso has once again out-performed the team and team-mate

Here also Ferrari have more problems with the pace of car in general yet they state they need to provide a car which is suited to kimi’s driving style, Given the rule changes in 2014. it is the pilots who need to adjust and adapt to the new style? Alonso did this on race weekend whereas kimi failed?


They have different driving styles Alonso likes understeer Kimi oversteer, besides Alonso is with Ferrari for three years in a row etc. etc. Give Kimi some time he has a knew team and car every two years, new race engineer, too.


It would be more accurate to say: Alonso can handle understeer better than Kimi. But Alonso can handle anything, that’s the reality.


Neither Alonso likes understeer nor Kimi likes oversteer. Those are cliches, and are wrong.

In the case of Alonso, it comes from the years at Renault, in the way he drove to get the maximum of that car. People misunderstood the situation, thinking he likes understeer, when he was just compensating. There are some articles from people with knowledge about this. He actually is amazing at dealing with loose rear ends.

In the case of Kimi, he needs a strong front end, that’s true, but that does not necessarily mean oversteer. The difference with Alonso is that Alonso can make a light front end work, whereas Kimi can’t. Remember Felipe had troubles with Ferraris front end particularly in 2010 also.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Please man, give some links to those articles. I read somwhere here, on JAonF1 a interesting comment from autoumn about Alo driving style, and how a lot of people think he prefers cars with understeer. I’m not able to find it now :-S


Well peter

yes kimi needs time to adapt himself to drive F14T which i do not disagree, Yet given the rule changes for 2014 every pilot needs to be flexible and have to adjust thier driving style as per the new formulae. This evens out the competiton and 2014 is new territory for all the 22 pilots not just kimi

My point is Alonso have certainly changed his driving style compared to 2013 and got the result in a difficult F 14 T, whereas kimi failed to adapt to the new regulations rather than the car better. This clearly reflected the performance differential between the two in albert park

Alonso is versatile and a fable

Adrian Newey Jnr

At least he’s:

1. getting paid and

2. he’s not driving a Lotus!


Please read below on Toni Vilander`s take on Kimi`s issues and different driving styles compared to Alonso:

MTV Sport’s F1 expert Toni Vilander [24 Hours of Le Mans winner and a close friend of Kimi’s] explains the setup problems Ferrari is having with Kimi Raikkonen.

The car’s tendency to push has been causing problems for Raikkonen.

“They’re looking for better settings for the front end. They’re trying to improve the turning of the car and the issues with the locking up of the inside wheel. Kimi is having problems with braking and the fact that the car pushes quite heavily. The front end is weak and Kimi’s isn’t able to get a proper feel of it.”

Teammate Fernando Alonso’s setup is completely different.

“Kimi’s use of the steering wheel and the timing of the braking and the gear change are different. Kimi changes gear fairly late and he keeps a slight pressure on the brake all the way to the middle of a curve. This requires a responsive steering and an inside wheel that doesn’t lock up.”

“Fernando turns fast and rough. For him it’s ok that the car pushes and you’ll be able to force the car inside a curve”, Vilander compares the different driving styles.


To me, this year will all be about the rate of development. And one must believe that Ferrari are favorably placed here (finally) after years of wind tunnel work not co-relating with the results on the track.

With James Allison for the last couple of years, we have seen the Lotus improving during the year (as long as the funds keep flowing). You can expect the funds to flow at Ferrari too.

Of course if Ferrari do not get it right this year, I feel there will be personnel changes right at the top. James Allison holds the key to Ferrari development this year and the fortunes of SD for next year.


My question is, how come Ferrari, with all those resources, fail for yet another year to produce a winning car?

They haven’t managed to do so for a decade now…

Jose Sanchez kowalsky

James that picture of kimi you used, do not be mean. The fact that the Ferrari sound like a lawn mower, doesn’t mean its one.




We are reading way to much way to early…. Give F1 till Spain to really sort itself out…. it is but natural that all are at sea given the massive overhaul in technological front in 2014… The saving grace for Kimi is that atleast he and the team has managed to identify the problems and know exactly which direction to work in…. Unlike Sebastian Vettel and Redbull who are scratching their head going WTF.


Is this new “brake by wire” system that “…compensates for instability when the energy is harvested from the rear axle under braking..” be seen as a form of traction control? Any thoughts?

Also the car would be expected to be suited to ALO driving style since ALO would have spent a lot more time in the simulator and assisting with the development in the car last year than RAI. RAI was only allowed to start working at Ferrari at the start of December and by that point a lot of design work would have already been put in place. It will take a lot of time for the development of the car to come towards RAI.


It’s undoubtedly a driver aid, not really traction control. However, computers are controlling how much battery/motor assistance there is out of corners, and that is traction control of a sort.



It is interesting that nobody has stressed that issue apart from Jason.

“Also the car would be expected to be suited to ALO driving style since ALO would have spent a lot more time in the simulator and assisting with the development in the car last year than RAI.”

Please notice that Ferrari had the same issues with the graining last year. Furthermore MAS was struggling more with it than ALO (due to different driving styles), which leads to the conclusion:

1. The Ferrari engineers aren’t able to learn from previous seasons (less likely).

2. ALO driving style is not appropriate for creating winning car. That will explain not winning WDC and WCC by Ferrari since 2007.

I am interesting to hear your opinion.


Oh God… Your conclusion 2 is amazing. Poor Alonso, even from outside the team he had influence on Ferrari’s car development… And it gets even worse now, because it’s Alonsos’s fault that Kimi is not given a winning car. If only Ferrari have had a driver with good development skills… Poor Alonso?? Poor Ferrari!! With such a driver it is impossible for any engineer to make a winning car! No fault on the engineers no… the fault is on the driver…

Seriously guys, stop thinking so much, your brains are going to collapse! It is funny to read some conclusions though…


These are very good points -I definitely think there is an issue with how Fernando develops or sets up a car. Sure the team has to build a decent one to start with , but it never seems to go forward as much as the other teams and drivers and the point of Massa- I was thinking the same – especially Monaco last year where both cars were behaving badly at places where most dont !!


@ elie

You can have the resentment against our legend Alonso as and when ever you like yet you can stomach the fact Alonso wiped the floor with kimi on race weekend 1

You will continue to see the same pattern and brace yourself to post more comments in favour of kimi and against Alonso

Kimi simply could not deal with it and kimi himself confessed the fact despite the issues he could have performed a bit better, so stop the excuses like steering wheel, understeer, car-setup, car is tripe and issues with car, Alonso favoured by ferrari

I repeat this Alonso is fable and inscribed all around the globe for the special talents and skills which he possess

Fernando "150%" Alonso

I hope you’r joking! quote: “ALO driving style is not appropriate for creating winning car.” What about renault ’05 and ’06 and the ’07 McLaren? Give this guy almoust the fastest car, not the fastest, look at the 2012 championship, and he will win it for you!


Traction control only affects acceleration, brake-by-wire only affects deceleration.

I suppose it could be used to create a kind of ABS (which I’m pretty sure would be illegal) but what F1 team would ever do that?


F1 teams deliberately cheating? Surely not! Oh, hang on a minute………..court case pending…..

Scuderia McLaren

It’s just race 1.

Raikkonen historically always seems to take a small while to get the car into a zone where he is comfortable with the steering and braking feed back.

I think 2-3 races he’ll be sorting it out.

Fact is Raikkonen is a Points harvester. When he’s not comfortable, he still gets good pts. When he is comfortable, he’s a winner without peer. fact is it’s points that count at the end of the day, that’s the talent Ferrari want.

Based on that, he’s not as far behind his teammate as say Hamilton for example. Yes I know LH beat Rosberg to pole etc. But Raikkonen has an extraordinary ability to 1) avoid first corner incidents, 2) keep an undrivable car on the island and still bring home good pts 3) win when he’s comfortable and 4) make unusual strategies work.

All those factors, this year in particular, will make raikkonen’s pts tally keep moving forward. We all saw what happened in 2013 when Alonso got frazzled or in 2011 when Hamilton lost his marbles somewhere.


If Kimi can overtake 3 cars & finish 7th in an underpowered ill handling/ braking Ferrari . Just imagine what he can do in a decent car.

He also suffered the double stack in the pits otherwise he would have been right on Alonso tail at the end of the race – from 11th. Because he could not pass the Mclaren TR with the problems he had.


Good old Elie. That’s a fair few positives that you have taken out of your favourite drivers race weekend. You ask “what could he do in a decent car?”. Good question? Can he avoid spinning off on his in lap? Can he get into Q3? Can he avoid costly lock ups under breaking? Can his fans admit his mistakes cost him and not the car? Or are Ferrari are sabotaging Kimi too!!!


Yes , yes, yes , no & no


His stacking cost him 2-3sec at most but he was well over 20sec behind even with the safety car, Raikkonen needs to up his game or he could get embarrased by Alonso.


…did you somehow forget about the 2 cars that jumped him in the pits and did also forget what happens when you follow those cars


But we know what he can do, he is a world champion.


Then imagine what Alonso will do in a decent car if he was 4th in an underpowered ill handling/braking Ferrari without electric enine at the start.


Elie seriously, I sometimes don’t know if we are watching the same sport.

First, Raikkonen was miles away from Alonso’s pace, no way he would have finished on “Alonso tail”.

Second, if Kimi did a great job in an “underpowered ill handling/braking Ferrari”, what words would you use to describe Alonso’s performance? I think you wouldn’t find the words in the dictionary then…

Both drivers have the same problems under braking, if you look at Alonso’s driving closely you will find out he is having difficulties too. It is not like Kimi’s Ferrari is ill handling while Alonso’s is not. The thing is Alonso can cope with it much better than Kimi does. However, with enough time I expect Kimi to catch up and be a bit closer.


Both Fry & Domenicali both said they had many more issues with Kimis car than they did with Fernando.To his credit Fernando qualified 5 but he did not have to pass anyone on track. Nor did he get stuck behind Vergne because of the double stack – so he had absolutely no chance of being on Fernandos pace- of that you are right!


Your arguments are meaningless. If you were an Alonso fan you would say:

Alonso (by his own words) was loosing near 1.5 sec a lap behind Hulkenberg. Multiply that by the number of laps he was behind, and remove from the equation the safety car period (which did a reset on the differences), and the difference between Alonso and Kimi would have been 20 sec bigger…

Notice the previous is not the reality, because Kimi did have traffic also and had to wait for Alonso in the pits. Plus he had electrical problems during a more extended period of time. The previous would be a biased view, similar as yours but on the other side.

Fact: independently on the electrical problems and traffic, In Melbourne Kimi was way off Alonso pace. If you don’t see it, you are blind.

But of course, this could change in Malaysia. I am just unbiasedly analyzing the relative performance of the two in Australia, and notice I am not making any judgement on who is a better driver or who I like more. This are just the numbers.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Right on Alonso tail? Naaa, maybe on Rosberg’s tail 😉

kenneth chapman

all weekend raikonnen did not look comfortable and his driving was,IMO, extremely ragged by comparison.

i also seem to think that raikonnens style does not entirely suit these new cars quite as well as others. whilst they appear to be quite ‘skittish’ it apparently needs a smooth hand and a different style to get the best out of them, at the moment.

i must say though, i have never been a raikonnen fan and i have always believed that his reputation has been overblown. his WDC was hardly a ringing endorsement of domination.

whilst some of his rally experience will help him muscle the car at times he will need to adapt if he is to be successful. then again i might just be blowing smoke….


A little bit weird an article talking about Kimi’s problems instead of Ferrari problems.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

+1000 Give those guys a proper car!


I know people write these things on the driver’s behalf , but every press release attributed to Raikkonen sounds so far removed from how he actually speaks… it’s like they’re not even trying.


The last sentence would have read. “Now I’m off to have a sh#t”


Those words don’t read like they came out of Räikkönen’s mouth at all!


It doesn’t sound good for Kimi, the gap between him and Alonso was just way too high. Its granted that he’s the new guy, but this year, the technology is so new to everyone else that it really can’t count for that much.

If Ferrari’s engine is truly heavier and less efficient than Merc and Renault, then at some point this season they are in real danger of becoming a midfield team. All it would take would be for Force India and Red Bull to get their act together.


FI maybe but RBR is already ahead of Ferrari.

I can’t believe with all their resources and expertise ferrari has produced a PU like this, also this car itself doesn’t look all that great either, on the chassis side alone RBR, Williams and of course Merc have produced a better car, as a package Ferrari are on par with FI unless its just because Hulkenberg is that good, Perez was outclassed and Ferrari are also behind Mclaren overall too, they’re barely ahead of the Renault powered STR, maybe the Ferrari PU is the real dud and not Renault, just look at Sauber!?! Invisible all race at Melbourne.


Hmm, Ferrari are off the pace, again. Raikkonen may improve but Alonso appears fed up already. If the car doesn’t improve soon then Alonso could be saying bye bye Ferrari and hello Mclaren, with Button going the other way, maybe.


Yep, agree with everything except the Button to Ferrari bit – don’t see him there personally. Domenicali’s days are numbered me thinks.


I highly doubt that nowdays Ferrari would go for a [mod]driver like button. He’s 2nd tier and at the end of his career. If say for example JB hadn’t been destroyed by Fisico back in the Benetton days then MAYBE he might have had a chance at driving for ferrari back THEN. He didn’t.


Bit of nonsense about Button there, Jenson had the measure of Hamilton over a season as well as Barrichello and anyone else BAR Honda threw at him, 2001 was a dodgy year I admit but in the end he overcame Fisichella, Jenson is a better driver than most if he is 2nd tier then so is Hamilton.


Agree, Jenson was a thoroughly deserving WDC – I mean in 2009 he had 6 wins en route to WDC. Michael in 2003 WDC – 6 wins. Kimi in 2007 – 6 wins. Lewis in 2008 – 5 wins. Seb in 2010 and 2012 – 5 wins. Jenson is in pretty good company, yes?


One year with a washed out overage Barrichello and winning while driving a car that had a far wider gap compared to the competition than this years Merc had in Melbourne, inevitably wins a championship and oh dear look at the British media at work doing what they do best, brainwashing everyone, and now voila, Button is a F1 legend. Laughable but true. Like I said, button is 2nd tier, and Hamilton hasn’t been mentally a part of F1 in years, since his championship season actually. At least his now active boss in McLaren sees him for what he is. 🙂


Oh dear.. With Red Bull on the brink of coming good, and Merc being where the are, this I feel is going to be yet another disappointing year for team red. Another year of fifth place finishes for Alonso and he’ll walk for sure. Kimi might stay on next year but will likely retire after that. Then a new dawn will likely begin at Ferrari where the team adopts their old formula by putting a champion (Vettel) together with a number two and work towards a long term plan of bringing the team back to champion status, like they did with Sxhumi. By then Vettel may have 5 titles and will likely welcome the challenge of reviving Ferrari even if he does not win as much to begin with. Who knows, Newey may even join him. One thing is for sure I think, Domenicali won’t be arround by then..


Good theory, but I doubt Newey will accept the leash Ferrari want to hang around his neck, Newey enjoys his freedom at RBR and I’m sure he’s getting paid by the bucket load, also I think Seb will only go to Ferrari if they’re not going through a phase like they did in the early to mid 90’s, Seb could easily join Mclaren Honda or maybe even Mercedes if Hamilton or Rosberg fails miserably this year. As for Dominiecali well I don’t see why he gets so much bashing, its not as if people like him, Horner or Toto Wolff can make the PU and aero better.


People like Horner and Domenicali run the team, they are responsible ultimately in making sure that the right people are on the PU, aero, etc. If the aero guys fail it’s just as much on the boss as it is on the guys in that department. Just look at Whitmarsh. Hear you about Newey, you may be right, but I think Ferraris slump may very well be why he ends up there. He may look at it like, well I’ve got all of these championships, hold most of the F1 records, I know I can keep doing this at Red Bull, why not go to Ferrari and go down in history as someone who turned the F1 glamour team around? Exactly what Schumi did after Beneton.


Maybe Bernie will give Ferrari a longer DRS zone to help them!!


I agree, maybe the entire lap would be enough for them…..


Going from one car to another always gives a few problems, as Lewis showed at the start of last season. It’s not surprising that Kimi is a few places behind Fernando in race one.

But even with a technical limitation, Kimi still got to the same level we might have expected last year from Filippi, a very experienced Ferrari driver.

If the electronic braking is the main problem at the moment, this is easily solved, much more so than with an older mechanical arrangement. In fact, it can probably be adjusted by remote control from the pits to allow for a different bias as the fuel load declines. Even the pedal feel can be altered.

It seems only a matter of time before a Kimi and Fernando duel is on the cards.


If the story from Germany is true this is bad news for Fernando. I thought he was lacking electrical power which was causing his problem with Hulkenburg but you can now add aero into the mix as well as an overweight and thirsty engine. Mind you Melbourne is a notoriously difficult and narrow track with the offline areas covered in marbles so this result might not be representative. Malaysia with its varied lines through corners and long straights will be a different story. Yet again though we have Fernando 5th on the grid and scrabbling for podiums. He never gets a dominant car.


Really? For the majority of 2006 and 2007 he had the best car, his performances wasn’t dominating though.


McLaren in 2007 wasnt a dominant car, Ferrari was always close and overall slightly ahead. In 2006 the car was dominant the first half of the year, and Alonso dominated it.


Aero is good and I am yet to see a single fact to make me think their engine is thirsty. Weight doesn’t seem to be a problem as their final run on Sunday (when fuel load is low and overweight problem should arise) was on par with McLaren and Red Bull.


The brake by wire is obviously very complicated and mercedes seem to have their system well sorted. I’m sure kimi will be much more comfortable with the car once the software guys sort out the intricacies of the system. I would not right ferrari off after one race as they did show reliability as did all the ferrari powered teams. If ferrari keep up the reliability then they should be well ahead of the renault powered teams by the time they get to Europe and lewis showed us that just because a car is fast it does not mean it will finish races.


I hope you are right. We might see a repeat of 2012 where we have different winners in the first 5 or 6 races but with Alonso consistently scoring good points and possibly even getting some podiums. By then, hopefully Ferrari will have got their act together. They can usually be depended upon to be reliable while although the mercs are fast they may break down on some races. Its clutching at straws but its our only hope in the meantime.


This is off topic a bit but it’s about Ferrari and made me laugh. Somebody purchased a lovely Ferrari 458 from a garage near me in Pangbourne. He bought it on a Friday and wrote it off on the Sunday. His airbag didn’t go off so he phoned Ferrari and their response was ‘Yes it happens with that car sometimes’. Gotta love them Italians!


At least he got to enjoy it on the Saturday 🙂


Lol to both of you 🙂


That Saturday was when it was back in the garage with electrical issues 😉


I know this is slightly off topic, but you’ll enjoy this anyway: type into google search “Formula 1 drivers fatbooth” – and you’ll see why Fernando is struggling a bit in lap time this year!


If ferrari is down on merc when it comes to the engine, what can they do? Engines are homologated, so it is a done deal. I think it will be a bad year for ferrari


Same for the Renault powered teams. Surely chassis improvement cannot compensate for engine blues.

So if Red Bull are found guilty re: fuel flow, then they must have stepped up the flow to compensate for bad engine performance, taking a gamble, which did not pay off. In Malaysia, you’d think they will not be making Q3.


Mercedes, Reanult and Ferrari have already told FIA they want to do some changes at the engine, so probably green light will be given soon. Still, the reliability excuse its always there, and Ferrari does have some electric glitches… 😉


These two true champs should have a better car to make GPs much more fascinating rather than Merc guys runaway race wins a la Red Bull-2013.


3,2,1… And let the conspiracy theorists begin their lament! I bet a few very well known posters will surely say that alo is being favored over rai, and I have not read any comments thus far… But that sentence “we need to give kimi a car that suits his style better” will be more than enough. We’ll be seeing plenty of this all season.


As a Kimi fan I’m not that stressed. He has a talent for getting up to speed after a few races. If the Ferrari’s potential is reflected in the way Kimi drove it for the first 3 laps then I’m happy.

We all know that he’s not the same Saturday driver who put the Mclaren on pole at Monaco in 2005, and if you develop a car away from his natural talents (as in 2008) then he’ll lose his edge. But generally if a team focuses their attention on giving him what he wants, he’s pretty damn good.

There’s a reason that Ferrari wanted him back, and I expect them to make every effort to give him a car that suits his style. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Let’s wait for a few more races, shall we?


Very well put!

I was really happy with first few laps as well… in fact, initially, thought Kimi and Alonso are going to fight.. but then that never happened.


I think the two drivers who will be punished this year for two reasons are Raikkonen & Hamilton. Kimi for not being a “Latino”, at Ferarri & Lewis as a non German at Mercedes. The two could play the Massa/Webber role in the coming days.


Implying that Italy and Spain are Latin nations… you happen to be from the US?


Would you explain to us why the countries in the extension from south of USA to Ushuaia are called Latin America? Including Brazil…

Could be their common language? That language that is spanish and portuguese? Originated from the Latin? From Rome empire?


@Gaz Boy: Yes, a grand prix in the jungle could be awesome. I think Ecclestone already thought about this. For the worldcup 2014, they already have scheduled some matchs in Manaus, capital of Amazonas state. Why not a grand prix? lol

PS: There’s no flights from Georgetown to Sao Paulo, but if there was, it would be a 5-6 hours trip.


RE JSpeed: it’s alright, I knew you were being ironic – my comment was for people who don’t understand irony/sarcasm/wit – people from a country in the New World that is supposedly English speaking in other words……….

PS What about a second grand prix in South America, around the streets of Georgetown in Guyana? It’s an English speaking country, and a short-ish flight from Sau Paulo, so it could be tagged on before the Brazilian grand prix. The Formula 1 rumble in the jungle?


@ Gaz Boy

I was ironic in my comment, but I think that I didn’t hit the point.

In other words, the countries in south of USA are the Latin America because their language, spanish and portuguese, apart the smalls enclaves in the middle.

Have said that, they are “Latinos” because the origin of their european language (latin), not their native language as tupi, guarani, quechua and etc…


Colonisation by Spain/Portugal I think.

Apart from the Guyana’s – colonised by Dutch, French and British.

And don’t forget the Falklands Islands – still part of the United kingdom!


+1, LOL.

But you can say they are both Southern European Mediterranean nations of fairly similar temperaments and cultures.


Spain and Italy ARE latin nations. The original ones actually.


If it was that much of a problem Ferrari would have hired Fisichella and Merc would have hired Sutil or Hulkenberg.

You don’t spend millions to hire two of the best drivers in F1 just to sideline them based on a ridiculous bias.


Actually Merc would be better off hiring Hulkenberg than their pairing, its clear the Hulk is a class driver and more than likely would blow Rosberg away to the moon and back, he’s making Perez (and all of his other team mates) look like Max Chilton.


I have no doubt that Hulk is a top driver, but are you that sure he’d blow away the guy that just blew away the whole field by 20 odd seconds?


Tealeaf, agree about Hulky – he is a class act. Why he has been overlooked by the “big four” teams is mystifying, but perhaps if he keeps performing like he had been doing these last couple of years a contract from a top team may be signed by Hulky this summer – nothing less than he deserves. The guy is WDC material – no doubt about it.


Agree – although Ferrari’s chassis/aero department at the minute are doing this best to undermine their drivers…………..

Still, early days and all that, but yet again Ferrari cannot match those cars made in the Oxon/Bucks/Northamptons area………..if they can’t do it when there is a major regulation change, when can they? Or I am being overly negative to our friends from Maranello?


No Gaz they you are spot on. What are they doing?! Maybe James Allison will start to have an effect the longer he is there because the rest of them care clearly lost


Yes it’s true what they say, you should never go back to an ex girlfriend for you usually end up having the same problems as before.

For sure, the new rules don’t appear to favour the drivers with soft hands for when you have a new braking system and durable tyres am not sure if Kimi will get on top of his troubles soon.

Regards Ferrari, it’s so weird because I was of the view that their former engines such as the V8 were very efficient and that’s why we never used to hear of the red cars being told to save fuel.

Anyway, it’s a shame Ferrari isn’t fighting at the front for the Railonso battle would have been fascinating.


I don’t know, maybe Kimi will get the better of Alonso in 2015 for Kimi is the driver that dethroned Alonso in 2007.

Yes, we saw the same thing happen with Lewis and Jenson at Mclaren as Jenson was the driver the dethroned Lewis in 2009.


“I don’t know, maybe Kimi will get the better of Alonso in 2015 for Kimi is the driver that dethroned Alonso in 2007” – Joke of the Millennium

There is no way kimi going to get the better of alonso Not in 2014 and never in the near future. There is no match for Alonso’s (Skill) in this planet. It makes me too chuckle a lot because the first race weekend is over and kimi has suffered ignominy in the hands of alonso, yet people here have given far too many excuses in favour of kimi here. Alonso will out kimi to the sword and the end this saga soon.

As far as lewis v/s jenson comparison you kid yourself mate. A new rookie has outdrove jenson all weekend in australia. Lewis have smashed jenson with his outright speed. Think about it ?


@ Krischar

But this is F1 and in a way, it’s just like boxing.

Even the best can get beaten under the right conditions.


It’s just supposition, but I wonder if Raikkonen is struggling with a car that has mid-corner understeer, something he dislikes intently. It was a similar story in 2008/2009, when the Bridgestone tyres had a sidewall with very flex in it, compared to the Michelin’s with which he raced from 2002-2006.

Raikkonen’s car at Melbourne seemed to be suffering from poor aero balance, where the areodynamic centre of pressure was moving far too forward, causing his front axle to lock. I wonder if this, in combination with the braking issues and stiffer sidewalled tyres is contributing to his struggles.


I don’t know whether it is still true, but back when Fernando was driving the Renault, his driving style was very much tending towards understeer. Watching the in car video, you would see him just whack the steering wheel hard over into the corner as he turned in.

I haven’t seen much in car of him recently, so I don’t know if this feature of his style is quite so pronounced these days. It would not be surprising if the Ferrari has a natural tendency towards understeer, given how long his driving style has been influencing the design direction of Ferrari’s F1 cars.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Dig deeper about Alonso driving style. You will find out interesting things 😉


Well it’s the same for everybody, or almost everybody, it seems, the problems with the power harvesting and braking.

But it is puzzling the report of a heavier Ferrari engine:

If it is so difficult to stay under the maximum weight regulation for the car, then I assumed all cars would effectively be at the maximum weight; so ultimately, does the engine weight really affect speed?

James, perhaps you could clarify some of these points.


It’s very puzzling – I’d understood that the Ferrari engine was going to be lighter than the others because they’d omitted the burst-proof armour shielding around the turbo unit that the rest had installed.

As it’s a safety issue, I’d anticipated a protest against their design choice, but even without it, their engine is apparently too heavy. Hmmm…


I thought that also, Ted Kravitz kept banging on about the Ferrari having the best cooling and not having the heavy heat shield that the others have. If it is heavier, does anyone know how much?


Dean the rules specify a minimum weight if 691kg not maximum. Your car can weight two tonnes- all other things being equal.

The suggestion by Bild is that Ferraris F14T power unit is 11kg heavier which means :-

a) they cannot balance the car with the ballast they have

b) they are already over the 691 kg

Given that Ferrari pushed for the min weight increase you would think they are over the min weight.

10kg in an F1 car can add .5 to 1 sec in an F1 car so you can see how this can be very restrictive to Ferrari.

Given the above, limited power, brake by wire issues- I think Kimi did a great job at Melb. He was the only non merc powered driver overtaking in a dog of a car.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

You keep telling us that he was overtaking, that he went from p 11 to p 7. I have nothing against Kimi, i hope he will do well and take points from the other teams. But is unfair somehow the double standard i sense here. If it was Alonso driving from p 11 to p 7 you would say that he qualified low, hence he just could make up places in the race. If is Kimi who’s making up places, is pure talent.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Well @Elie for me it was a secret. In that case i will try not to lose my time in the future knowing that from the start of the debate you are biased. I’m an Alo fan, but like i said before, i respect Kimi as a driver. I’m glad is 1-0 for my hero, but i know the season is long and i will draw a conclusion only at the end of the year.


@ Fernando “150%” Alonso

” But is unfair somehow the double standard i sense here. If it was Alonso driving from p 11 to p 7 you would say that he qualified low, hence he just could make up places in the race. If is Kimi who’s making up places, is pure talent” – Superb point and good plots mate

I have seen enough of the resentment here against Alonso through different posts/ comments all the time. If Alonso qualifies a tad below in the grid people will jump with bandwagons like Alonso is not a good qualifier whereas if others have a bad weekend they are unlucky and their cars are crap

Kimi did not qualify well because of the pure mistake which he did in fickle weather conditions, again on race day Kimi made far too many mistakes and had too many off track excursions. Ferrari had power and ERS issues with both car, yet alonso showed his mettle and finesse to gain some valuable points for the team. (In my opinion it was Classic Alonso drive and a clear spectacle to watch)


Its no secret I dislike the Spaniard. But when he drives well I say it. I voted him best of 2012 openly but I always purposely downplay him because so many people repeat his 110% , political spin shannanigans, he has fans eating out the palm of his hands ( good luck to him). He is undoubtedly top 4 but thats all I will say. Raikkonen was a cut above everyone including MS several years ago- now they are all about the same. Raikkonens only weakness is that he needs the car exactly to his likeness to be competitive. On the flip side i see this as a great strength because for the a team you know a certain direction will give you a chance of victory – none more evident than at Lotus. Whereas for some reason other greats in the best teams keep heading down a path of failure. I hope for Ferraris sake they give him what he needs because it will mean they both move forward.

dimitar kadrinski

There is no maximum weight, only minimum gross weight in the regulations….


Ferrari really needs to get on the game. Too much pride and history but poor results are not a very convincing combination.


Well Whitmarsh had to go didn’t he. Maybe Domenicali has to be next! (Bring back Jean Todt!!??)


Bring back Ross Brawn


Todt’s too old and out of the loop for too long. But I bet Boullier would have ran to take that job (though I’m not sure he’s THAT good…).


Very worrying for Ferrari and us fans if they only have a mediocre car. Not good. Really hope they can sort it out fast!


I’m sure a bottle of whisky will help Kimi alot.


It was pretty clear Kimi wasn’t as comfortable with his car as Alonso. Hopefully Ferrari can make some changes to give him the confidence he needs. I don’t think this first race shows the true picture of the two drivers’ relative competitiveness.


There is no such concept called a team can give the pilots a car which suits them in F1. Generally if a team produces a new challenger the pilots need to adapt themselves and drive the car in a certain way to get the results

Notably with new regulations in place for 2014. Adaptability becomes pivotal and drivers who cannot cope up with brake by wire system cannot complain or give excuses.

The race weekend clearly reflected the gulf in class between Alonso and Kimi. This will be the pattern as move forward into the season as well. Watch out


Yes there is it’s called ‘set up’

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Set up is just fine tunning. The “major” tunning is building the car. So i think is pretty difficult to completely change a car behavior just thru set up.


Ferrari clearly has a lot more potential.

The web link doesn’t work for me, this does:


F.A.O Snr Luca di Montezemolo



Maranello, Italy

Dear Presidente

you have the two best F1 drivers of the 21st century (so far) per favore per favore provide them with cars that are good enough for them to compete. Grazie.




To Senor Glass c/o Mr James Allen

Dear Phil, I have kicked ass and I have knocked blocks off and the upshot is you will get the fast car you desire for senor Kimster and senor Alonso. Mucho grazie

El Presidente Luca.


Nice one, 😉

El Presidente di Monty


Maranello, Italy

Dear Presidente,

Using a Ferrari 80s V12 and housing the batteries, mgu ers stuff, turbo etc in the spare cylinder housings is clearly a mistake.

The tifosi need Andrea Stella’s ‘Giornata fantastica’ again.

Have you tried magnesium parts?






John Wainwright

Firstly I’ll state that I’m not a huge fan of the Marinello boys but enjoy F1 far more with a competitive field.

When was the last time we were talking about any Ferrari innovation? We have had the McLaren F Duct, all sorts of legal and some not so from Red Bull. We have had Brawn and even Williams in 92-93. Where are the Ferrari innovations? Great driver line ups cannot compete with cars that are up to 1 second a lap quicker. Would love to see Ferrari come up with the goods for the sake of F1 in general.


Semi auto gearbox circa 1989 ? About the last Ferrari innnovation I can think of.


Does having a slippery-dip on the nose count?


Agree 100%

Also why does everyone treat Kimi with kid gloves all the time. I like the guy in the car, but he is as much responsible for his poor performance as the team. It’s always ‘his car that is the problem’: Fact – he was comprehensively beaten on the track by his team mate in the same car. Then others make the excuse that he got less testing time etc etc. He is a highly paid racing driver. It is his job to put in the hours both in testing, at the factory and in the simulator (that we all know he doesn’t like). Perhaps he needs to look at his own preparation more, than blaming everyone around him. Unless he changes he will never win another WC.


Totally agree with you on this one! Alonso fans better brace themselves: for every time he will finish in front of Kimi, the [mod] will always do/say something to discredit him; and to make Kimi look like an unsuspecting victim of some sinister plot that was originally hatched by Alonso. Just the way it was with Massa – many out there still never got it through their heads that Fernando was just that much better.

Kimi is a great driver, but clearly he’s very inconsistent. I am still of the opinion he made “very heavy weather” (to quote Patrick Head on Villenueve winning in ’97) of winning the title in 2007 (although he deserved it): he took much longer to acclimatise to the new-spec Bridgestone tires (relative to say, Alonso, who was also a prominent former Michelin driver) and getting to grips w/ the Ferrari F2007. Plus, in 2008 (and for the majority of 2009), he let Massa get the better of him – regardless of whether Ferrari tinkered with his car or not, a top driver would have never let that sort of thing get to him or let alone allow it to progress further.

I know it’s only been one race, so Kimi has plenty of time to sort things out (and I’m sure he will). But people should give credit where credit is due.


@ Step

“I like the guy in the car, but he is as much responsible for his poor performance as the team. It’s always ‘his car that is the problem’: Fact – he was comprehensively beaten on the track by his team mate in the same car”

Superbly put mate, i could have not explained it any better

seriously given his experience and credence he performed poorly and there should be no excuses. Yet i simply do not understand why this article itself and many people here give too many excuses in favour of kimi. I do not expect this pattern to change at all season. It does not matter whether the car suits him or he finds better setup for him. There is simply no match for alonso in this planet


The brake by wire system is a bit silly.

Why do they have a brake system that does not work independent to the regenerative braking? Why if the KERS unit fails? There will be no brakes from the rear. You may be able to get away at normal driving speed of 50-70mph but at 180mph, it becomes very hard to slow down.

Kimi is not the only one suffered. The lotus and Kobayashi all find it difficult to control the car when slowing down.


By definition regenerative braking is connected to the brakes – you can’t really have one not connected to the other – but if the MGU-K (KERS) fails then that shouldn’t actually affect the brakes; you should still have them, you just wouldn’t get any energy from them.

Kobi’s brake failure was just that – he had no brakes.


Having a brake failure has to got to be the scariest thing a racing driver can experience.

Apart from having to listen to Lewis music collection………….


You’d want to have a brake failure at the first corner if the radio started playing Lewis music collection to escape the pain, misery and suffering……….


What about having a brake failure while listening to Lewis’ music collection?


When MGU-K fails there is still braking to the rear tyres – the hydraulic linkage is still there, so pressing on the brake still makes the rear callipers do some work.

However, when MGU-K is harvesting, and harvesting at different rates during the lap, manually altering the bias becomes impossible so the computers decide how much of the braking is done by the MGU-K and how much by the conventional friction brakes. Should the MGU-K completely fail, all braking is done by the conventional system.

dimitar kadrinski

There is a hydraulic link from the brake pedal to the rear brakes as a back-up if the brake by wire system fails.

It is impossible for the brakes to work independent to the KERS as the KERS is regenerating by braking the car, so it will always be different force from KERS on pressing the brake pedal, due to many factors….


Kimi is not the only one suffered, right. Because Alonso suffered too. Is something from the Ferrari, and the same for both Ferraris. Alonso can cope with it much better than Kimi. It really is as simple at that.


Alonso had more power available to him during the race justified by his way higher top speeds. So no not the same for both of them


‘I think this is going to be probably the last time I argue with you’

I truly hope so


I think this is going to be probably the last time I argue with you.

1) I said Kimi’s electrical problems were worse than Alonso’s, because they lasted for the entire race. Alonso’s were peaked at the first ten laps, and his problems in those laps were much sharper than Kimi’s. But again, for only 10 laps, so generally Kimi’s were worse.

2)However, those electrical problems from Kimi do not account for the pace difference between the two, almost certainly not even for half the difference. The biggest problem for Kimi was graining, that was the reason for most of the difference in time with Alonso. But there was a difference in pure speed also (letting graining aside), as seen in FP3 and qualifying, and some phases of the race.

3)If you read some of my comments, I keep saying that I think Kimi will catch up, however that’s pretty obvious. What I am analyzing here is the first race of the season, and FP1-2-3 have to enter the equation, and they are telling. Kimi was nowhere in FP1-2, and as he already said, he got much better for FP3 and qualy. You don’t even need to listen at his words, because that can be seen by analyzing his pace deficit to Alonso during FP, and how it was reduced from friday to saturday.

I think you take all surrounding Kimi to the personal side. Just try to enjoy, and acknowledge if another driver, Alonso in this case, does a better job than Kimi.


*Im not sure


I’m getting rid of my iphone


Ha I knew this would be ‘yago’ even before I had seen who had posted the reply. Surprise surprise, I was correct. You clearly know more than the Ferrari’s engineers then as they said it was worse on Kimi’s car so I’m so I’m sure where you’re getting your ‘facts’ from.

Talk about ‘analysing’ properly, where are you bothering to compare the speed difference in FP1 of the first race of the season with cars they don’t even understand yet? Try and be patient if you are able to do so, wait a few races till they sort the set-ups out then you can ‘analyse properly’.


Kimi had a lack of power quite constantly through the race, true. But if you think that amounts for the difference in pace you are plain wrong. The pace difference was mainly due to graining on Kimi’s tyres, but that is not an excuse, because that’s a big part of performance always, and is something the drivers manage. In the same conditions, in FP1-2 Kimi was near a second off Alonso’s pace. Then in FP3 he managed to better his setup and was a bit more than 3 tenths off. In qualy, he was slower in the wet, but is hard to tell the exact difference because he encountered traffic that prevented him to make it to Q3. Without question Alonso was plainly faster through the weekend.

Maybe you didn’t know, but Alonso was running the first two laps with ZERO electrical power, and from then to lap ten or so he had to activate electrical power manually on corner exits… This had a much bigger effect that the electrical problems on Kimi’s car, but from lap ten it was mostly ok for Alonso.

I know you are a Kimi fan, but try to analyze things properly, and not distort the reality to mask your hero deficiencies. Kimi is a great driver, we all know, we don’t need people making excuses to mask his bad performances, and telling us the great he is.


That is way, way too articulate for Kimi, and way to descriptive, with too many metaphors. I suppose, he gives an answer in few lines, and then they shape it into something that can be issued as a press release, instead of some barely connected mumbling.


I managed to procure/steal a copy of Kimi’s original unedited press release:

“My brakes didn’t work…they’ll fix it…I’m going to have some ice-cream…’


You forgot to add, “Let’s wait and see.”


I think there might also have been a “for sure” or two, but by then the FISS was on to me so I had to grab what I could and make a quick exit 🙂


BTW Alonso is not so bad to compare with!


So they designed a car that is not suited to Kimi’s style of driving? May be they wanted to first somehow make it run and think of tinkering it for driving styles of drivers. But how come Nico and Lewis get cars straightaway suited to their driving styles? This shows Ferrari are poor in planning.

Also I hope they did not discover that the car needs modifications based on this race. The tests were meant to be exactly for that, so could not they think of these issues then or they already started implementing the changes from then and we are yet to see them come to fruition?

Lastly, the strategy in last race was not even touched upon by anyone from Ferrari: Stefano, James Allison, Pat Fry and the drivers. Why was not undercut tried at least on one car? Some of them in this forum said they were not confident of trying it out due to degradation, but at least one car could have been tried by taking risks. But I know if that gamble had failed or became successful then “equal treatment” of drivers will be lost and there will be a huge cry for one of the drivers from the fans.

I told it elsewhere, that picture above looks like Kimi is furiously mowing the lawn. Must be the most expensive lawn mower in the world.


Your points are very concise and Ferrari will have to take a good long hard look at how they are being managed. The FI4T (FIAT) seems aptly named…. stands for Fix It Again Tony.


I would think that that the car would be designed to suit Alonso’s style. And Nothing wrong in that. Work on this car would have begun pretty much in 2012, when Kimi was nowhere on the radar for a Ferrari Drive. So designing the car with your primary drivers style in mind is not unjustified.

I am glad at this article, because it proves there is huge hope for Kimi once the car gets sorted. I maintain that with similar cars, allowing Alonso and Kimi to both be comfortable, the two will be at level pegging. I don’t expect any one to blow the other away. Interesting times up ahead.


@ Vivek

There is no need to get excited

I am more than 100 % cert that alonso will easily get the better of kimi and there is no way for kimi, despite the excuses were given in his favour by many here.

It’s the car, Steering wheel, set-up, driving style, Ferrari favours alonso, Ferrari failed with strategy – How mufch more and many excuses people have here up on their sleeve?

Get real Alonso is a fable and there is no match for him in this planet


Someone rightly asked the question. What astrology you guys are using in your assessments and in finding excuses for Kimi at such an early stages of the championship? How did you manage seeing that this car was built to suit FA style. That car was first time driwen by Kimi and FA simultaneously on official testing sessions. There is no such thing that you bring back Kimi to Ferrari and yet you allocate to him the car that he could not drive. Simple fact is that he is taking longer then FA to adopt to the new rules. This F14T is a new beast for both of them. Areal footage showed that in the opening laps Alonso was braking far to early in the first corner only to rectify that after few laps, while Kimi never got on top of his game. He was driving like it was his first race in his life. Just accept facts. However we will see how things would develop in the future but this F14T has a long way to walk before it could be taken as a serious championship contender. At best SF could challenge for Constructors Championship. I do not see F14T as a driver Championship winner this year.


Haha damn expensive ride-on mower


Are these problems new or did Ferrari have suffer with the new brake-by-wire system during testing in Jerez and Bahrain?


I’d think the Ferrari brake problems were there in testing. It was not so easy to compare how bad they were to the more driveable systems on other cars till they went racing.

It does not bode well at all for a quick fix for Ferrari. If it was just tweaking say software to improve torque acceleration and braking driveability then fine. But it sounds more an more like they have to look at:

1) A thirsty engine, potentially requiring more fuel saving than others.

2) Maybe even a heavier engine than others that is also down on power to the Mercs, Williams, Mclarens, Force Indias.

3) Aero issues, be it the low nose front wing or whole car based on reports of issues getting power down, spinning and squirming into and out of corners. In otherwords a mile from Newey again and problematic for later in the season when Renault improves.

4) Pit strategy problems reacting to undercuts, thinking their car could not finish the race on its final set of tyres, at a track that is tricky to pass on when undercut.(Merc and Williams aside)

5) Software ers acceleration deployment for drivability. (or is it mainly downforce issues)

6) Braking by wire issues, Kimi, and Alonso who braked early for turn 1 and didn’t look confident diving down the inside of anyone on the brakes which is unusual.

7) A nose that would be better on a Dyson…


Sounds pretty gloomy.. but then without Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault would be looking OK.

Ferrari is just unfortunate that there are so many Mercedes powered cars around them.

Hopefully they can find quick wins in the next days / weeks / races.. not having Ferrari in the mix is not a good prospect for 2014. I still don´t fully get the brake-by-wire system.. does someone has an animation video somewhere?


thanks for the useful explanations:

here is my question then…

in the past drivers could feel to what extend the brakes were worn, because the pedal needed to be pressed deeper. Probably there was a more direct feel to what the brakes were doing, albeit inputs transported via hydraulic fluids… but still from driver foot to brakes, and from brakes to driver foot there were inputs flowing back and forth..that is why drivers wear so thin shoes, to be able to feel.

Now half of that input is out of the window… as drivers can only feel the front brakes.

But how do they still feel the rear brakes?

Or am I overstating the amount that drivers can feel with their feet.

I remember in the past seeing graphs of Senna braking vs. other drivers.. or once saw Herbert vs. Schumacher braking and they gave different brake inputs. Is that skill irrelevant? Is there a different way to feel & manage decelleration?

@James: could you please ask an F1 driver on this… you have access to the Gods!



Adaptability is always important in an F1 driver. That is what marks out the good from the great

Jose Sanchez kowalsky

I thought it was spare mental capacity.


I found a couple old videos, but not much use.

The old braking system was a fairly simple mechanical one; you press the brake pedal and you get brakes – easy 🙂

As I understand it this new brake-by-wire system is different. Instead of directly applying the brakes when the pedal is pressed, instead it sends a little signal to a CPU somewhere in the car telling it how much you’re pressing the pedal. Meanwhile the MGU-K is telling the same CPU how much energy it is or will be harnessing from the brake energy, which makes a difference to how the brakes actually respond.

From the two the CPU then works out how much brakes are actually required to give the driver consistent and predictable braking and engages the brakes accordingly.

In theory when everything is talking to each other like it’s supposed to and the system is working properly the driver won’t notice the difference – it should feel like normal braking – but when it’s not in sync and / or not working correctly sometimes the driver will get more or less brakes for the same pedal, which is why in Aus some drivers were locking up badly while at other times they were just plain overshooting the corners.

Hope that helps 🙂


Perhaps Kimi ought to take his chassis to the Top Gear technology centre – the Big Ape and co will sought out his problems for them!

By the way, Lotus Enstone factory is not far from a town called Chipping Norton – home to a certain Jeremy Clarkson. Perhaps Jezza could also help Lotus sort out their troubles?

“POWERRRRRRRRR………(bassy, gravelly Yorkshireman’s voice)….mind you this engine sound is too muted for me…..”


I’m not sure Lotus could afford the expense of a trip to the TGTC, and even if they could they’d break down half way, and even if they didn’t once they got there Hammond would destroy their new motor-home:


I wonder if there is some kind of override system if the computer malfunctions.

I wouldn’t want to be trusting a computer to stop me when I’m braking from 300k!


I think Kamui will give you a great answer to that question 🙂


If the system goes then the hydraulic system for the rear brakes should still work as normal.


Brake by WIre:

When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the hydraulic link is only with the front wheels. For the rear, there is a sensor that measures the pedal travel, and force applied, and uses this to determine the amount of stopping power the driver requires, hold this thought.

Because the car has to charge the batteries (KERS) in order to get the electric boost, they must use engine breaking to spin the crankshaft and generate electricity to charge the battery via the Motor Generator Unit. This is an electric motor/generator attached to the crankshaft that spins the crankshaft faster when the boost is being applied and works in reverse to generate electricity during braking.

When the driver applies the brakes, the brake by wire computer calculates how much real braking force and how much engine braking force is needed to both slow the car as the driver requested, and ensure the batteries are charged properly.

This works almost like ABS, where the computer will cut the disc brake force in and out with increased or reduced engine braking. It must also match the front brakes for the total amount of stopping power, and well as left to right to prevent lock-ups/spins. All while attempting to match what the driver actually wants.

The algorithm that must being designed to figure this out is incredibly complicated with numerous variable and data inputs to take into account. And it must work this all out in only a few hundredths of a second, and then continually modulate the system the entire time the brakes are being applied.

As you can imagine this must feel very strange to the driver. Half the car brakes normally, and the rear, the part that is most important to have stable under braking, is slowed by the combination brakes/KERs charging system.

The braking phase also makes up a huge amount of the difference a driver can make in a lap, and if a driver has no confidence in how his car is going to react and behave when he applies the brakes then he is going to be going much slower than he otherwise would be.

Kimi seems to be struggling with this system more than Fernando at the moment. He struggled with Lotus for a bit too until they got the power steering tuned to his liking, perhaps he is suffering in that department at Ferrari as well?

Mercedes have clearly done the best job with all aspects of the power unit so Ferrari’s BBW system is probably not as good as theirs.


From my first understanding I thought the hydraulics were only connected to the front but thankfully for diver safety they are linked to the rear as well.

The computer programing determines how much braking is done by the ERS-K (KERS) and how much is done via the hydraulics at the rear.

It’s because this requirement can vary between the two the computer program is automatically adjusting the brake bias between the front and rear and it’s this lack of consistency that is making the car unstable and therefore difficult to drive.


Great explanation!

Is the break by wire system team specific, without regulation components by FIA? Or are there limitations imposed on what they can do with it (I know the total amount of ERS is limited)?

Valentino from montreal

I’m not worried for Raikkonen …

It was his first race in a Ferrari since 2009 and it’s normal for him to adjust …

Alonso could breath a sigh of relief , for now.

Raikkonen will get his Ferrari sorted out to his driving requirements , and when that happens you will all see Raikkonen out qualify Alonso and out race him too …


I think Kimi struggles with cars that require aggression and a bit of wringing around. We also saw him struggle in 2008 – to which other drivers that favour attacking, excelled. (Felipe, Lewis, Mark)

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Car is totally new for both drivers, right???

Fernando "150%" Alonso

This cars? For all twenty two 😉


@ Valentino from montreal

“Raikkonen will get his Ferrari sorted out to his driving requirements , and when that happens you will all see Raikkonen out qualify Alonso and out race him too’ – Where? In PS4 or PS3?

Driving requirements? Can you elobrate what a pilot needs other than a car? No team can customize the car for particular driver to get the results. These pilots have been paid huge sums of money and they have enough experience. Kimi simply failed to adapt to the new rules notably break by wire system. Both cars had issues in terms of the power and ERS yet alonso have turned up and performed like a real champion period.

Alonso could breath a sigh of relief , for now? Clear drivel. Alonso have no need to worry about other car in the team. He needs to concentrate more on the mercedes drivers.



Mate, do not waste time. Some fans do not like to see facts, if they do not fit in their believes – no matter how obvious they are, they will yet continue to see what they WANT to see :).


@ Quattro

Yes yes too many excuses in favour of kimi has been given by people here

I cannot believe the amount of resentment people have here against Alonso, despite the spectacle which he produced on race day. Yes i am disappointed alonso was not on the podium or on the top step. Yet given the dismal car Alonso have turned up and performed like a real champ. Not just that Alonso has carried the team on his shoulders for the last five season. Ferrari simply produce crap cars year after year

Alonso should jump to some other team soon, who can provide him a fast package, if not he fastest package. Time is running out thick and fast.


Yep a Mediocre Lotus with an ultra fast front turn in saw him win from 7th last year. Yes the car was good on the tires and he made one less stop. But what people seem to forget is when Alonso was closing on him on crazy.. just 2 laps closer to the end he just set the fastest lap of the race signalling to Alonso that he was just enjoying a Sunday afternoon drive at this point. He finished 12 seconds ahead that day the margin could have been much much bigger if he did not back off.

So a Ferrari with similar front turn in and a good handle on braking…what are we gonna see?

NOTE: This is no warning to Alonso Fans. I am not here for a fight. I am sure, Fernando has it all in him to up his game even further when Kimi comes on strong. This driver pairing can be good for Ferrari after all. 🙂


Kimi won his first race for Ferrari in 2007. If the car is ok he will always be at the front even in a new team. Despite his problems he still passed 3 cars on track and would have been closer to Fernando if he wasnt double stacked. Sometimes these type of diffficulties highlight what a great racer he is. If a total disaster in a slow, problematic car yields 7th from 11th. I cant wait for it to be half good.


And only if FA could pass Heidfeld, Button, Magnusen,Ricardo and Nikko he would’ve won in Melbourne. Get to the grips. Kimi did what he could and those ifs are not counted. Get real guys.


Hulkenberg, my mistake




“Sometimes these type of diffficulties highlight what a great racer he is.”

The guy Failed to get into Q3, CRASHED his car on the INLAP, destroying the nose in the process and later kept committing mistakes during the race – mistakes that lost him positions on the track. His team mate managed Everything he failed achieving, and then some. Yet you, somehow, manage to see something in all this that “highlight what a great racer he is”!

Many times I wonder, exactly what kind of astrology do you use for your driver/race “analysis”? It is really entertaining to read though nonetheless – every time!


Well put Quattro

Kimi failed to reach Q3, where he simply failed to keep the car on track. His spun was a silly mistake due to fickle weather condition.

Later in the race day he had too many off track excursions and he let bottas / TR drivers to easily get past him. Locked up the tyres far too many times. Yet here people consider him as great and classify his drive as thrilling one – what a charade?

Alonso drove a sublime race, despite the power and ERS issues. He adapted very himself to the situation and car. Alonso held off the charge from bottas and made bottas to make contact with walls. Alonso harried and hussled hulkenburg which made him to lock up his tyres far too many times and when Nico finally pitted alonso duly put in couple of quick laps to get ahead of him after the pit-stop. Consummate drive by Alonso


Like he did with Massa, right?


Makes you wonder why Kimi is rated so much higher than Felipe within the sport doesn’t it? But I’m sure you know better than all the team bosses, engineers, mechanics……


Spot on!

Like he did with Massa 2007 and 2008 (first half)


Ah that old chestnut. Forget for the moment that this article talks about how the car must match a driver’s style so they can get the most from it, (Schumi famously admitted Ferrari made a big mistake under his advice to develop the car in a direction that favored Massa), instead merely ponder this: Kimi brings no significant sponsor money to Ferrari, so it would seem clear he has been hired strictly for his driving skill. And who did Ferrari move out of the way so Kimi could have a seat? Massa. I would think the Scuderia know a thing or two about Kimi’s ability vs Massa’s.

unF1nnished business


H.Guderian (ALO fan)

“I would think the Scuderia know a thing or two about Kimi’s ability vs Massa’s”.

Really??? What exactly???

Both took 0.7s from Alonso.


Agreed, get the front end sorted to his liking and then he will have the pace


Kimi could not even do many laps during testing, it seemed Alonso’s car did double the laps of Kimi’s during winter testing due to gremlims. Ferrari must not only resolve their clear lack of pace overall, but also ensure Kimi gets a car suited to his driving style in order to allow the Iceman the ability to attack, which is what he is good at. Another year of Ferrari failure is not acceptable to the tifosi, and Domenicalli in particular needs to get his team’s act together. I am also surprised Kimi has a new race engineer, maybe it would have been best to get Chris Dyer back to Ferrari or bring Mark Slade in, as both of them know Kimi very well.


Hi Karima

How u doing? 😉


As I believe, the winter testing was made with one car, i.e. it was the same car for Alo and Rai and they built car #2 (Kimi’s) afterwards.


If what you say is correct then they deserve the result they got here in Australia, the performance was sub standard and even though I’m a big Kimi fan made him look second rate, after all Fernando was clearly quicker than Kimi all weekend. Kimi will have to lift his game lest he gets the elbow “again”. Luca will have to answer for the blatantly obvious lack of horsepower poor ole Enzo will be rolling in his grave.


I think one testing car is “standard procedure” and build the second chassis/car in the meantime, just to be able to take advantage of “lessons learned” at the testing with #2. Maybe James can help us in this matter.


This is a far cry from Enzo’s team. Domenicalli would have been fired ages ago if Enzo was in charge, this is now a different Ferrari team. It seems they have gotten used to failure, and either Luca does not care anymore or Domenicalli has some kind of iron clad contract which keeps him in his job despite not delivering a world title for several years, making Raikonnen leave to keep Massa, who never won another race since Kimi had left the team in 2009. Then letting go of Costa, Dyer, and several other engineers over the last few years. Not to mention, letting Alonso get to big for his boots. Let’s face it, Domenicalli’s management style has been like Whitmarsh – a total failure.


When Lotus istened to what Kimi was telling them & made the changes he told them that they needed, Lotus went from being a mid-pack car to the front of the grid.


I’m sorry but knowing just how short of words KR can be about anything, there is no way he wrote that post on the Ferrari website – and so the damage limitation begins….


I have noticed since he’s been back at Ferrari he has been a little more talkative. I imagine he realised he’s got to be a bit more friendly with the press if he wants to get paid!

Scuderia McLaren

Say hello to Renato Bisignani Raikkonen.

It’s not necessarily Damage Limitation, more simply putting out a concise message, based on probably Raikkonen’s internal tech issues, to inform the tsifosi.

After Alonso’s four years of self publication of all things Ferrari, LDM clearly wants precise and well worded statements to protect the brand, the team and the driver equally.

I don’t see it as not saying what Raikkonen thinks. He says the car is clearly at fault. I see it more as the Scuderia clearly saying what the issue was with clear verbiage.


he probably only actually said ‘the brakes are s**t, i can’t drive the car right now’ then went to the nearest bar


Nice one


That is probably a lot more accurate


It would seem that way, but maybe Kimi changed a bit. He is now back at Ferrari, he is wiser, with more experience and if he plans to be in F1 for many years to come he must know that he has to play the game.

Btw, check this link showing the sound difference between Melbourne 2013 V8 engines and Melbourne 2014 V6 power units.

Huge difference!


There’s a huge difference in sound in that video but up to a point that sound isn’t the defining element of f1. It’s part of it and one has to wonder whether it really is indispensable. The tech onwards movement will always sacrifice and change elements so the whole can survive. The complaint these last years was that f1 was becoming a farce anyway, so a certain slack should be cut to the new f1. I have noticed a certain type of attitude pooh poohing every thing that happens in the sport but accompanied by near religious following. The negative fan I would call him, that moans that f1 should be the pinnacle of motor sport but adhering fanatically to a certain type of technology that’s dated. It’s openly contradictory… You can’t have your cake and eat it.


“Negative fan” – love the term and the description of it and agree with it 100%.


I did notice that many (most?) of the people in 2013 were wearing the some sort of ear protection gear, while in 2014 there was none (I’ve noticed none). I can argue that in 2014 people on the stands heard more than in 2013. On the TV the new sounds were a nice surprise to me as there is much more of them. I like the whistling sound of what I think are turbos on downshifting.


Maybe Kimi is just not a very good accountant.


Flavio: “Obliging them to drive slowly is contrary to common sense. It’s like introducing a rule that means Ronaldo can only touch the ball ten times in a match.

“Now we have the stars (drivers) forced to behave on the track like accountants.

“If formula one does not change again in the near future, then the audience will be lost. Look at the comments on the internet, in blogs, on Twitter — they did not like the Australian grand prix.

“It was an indecipherable and depressing show.

“This new F1 came too fast with too little testing, so at the very beginning Vettel and Hamilton were missing from the fight. This is unacceptable and now we have chaos.”

Also unhappy with the ‘new’ F1 is the flamboyant MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi.

“I was expecting something different from the new formula one rules, instead I just found it boring,” the Italian is quoted by Tuttosport.

“I think motorcycles and cars should race with the fuel they need, but what is happening now is just an exercise for the engineers,” added Rossi.



Well said,I agree with all you said and also the quote from Rossi

Rampant Haddock

Thanks Rossi, but motor sport has always been an exercise for the engineers.


The difference is actually mind boggling. Having great sound is one thing, but we do know the 2014 are already must faster in a straight line.

We must give credit to F1 technology that the same or even higher speeds are being achieved by the hybrid technology, much more economically. Losing the sound is an unintended fall out of the same. We will get used to it. May be Bernie will soon do something to get the sound outputs adjusted and louder.


Obviously, it’s his pr person


Whether these are Kimi’s own words or not is not important. What is important is this poor result will likely be Raikkonen’s best this year in the ‘Dancing Donkey’ as the car is a dog.


How could anyone with any sort of F1 knowledge make a statement like that after the first race. (unless you know something nobody else does) Get real.

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