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 Ferrari.com 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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