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Montezemolo takes early leave as Bahrain thriller exposes Ferrari weaknesses
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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Apr 2014   |  5:54 am GMT  |  506 comments

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo left the circuit with 12 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix still to go, missing the final sprint finish after the safety car, but having taken in enough to know that his team is once again in trouble.

The new hybrid turbo era has not dawned well for Ferrari, with Montezemolo forced to admit that, “To see this Ferrari is painful.”

Earlier the president had called F1 “Formula Boredom” and complained that the fuel regulations were incomprehensible and made for dull racing, where the drivers were forced to trundle around like taxi drivers.

Few would support those sentiments after Sunday’s race, a thrilling pageant of motorsport, which sprung up after two admittedly less than exciting races in Australia and Malaysia.

Was Bahrain a one off or will the new hybrid turbo formula spawn other races of this quality? Time will tell.

There was plenty of overtaking as teams went for different strategies, used the ERS in increasingly imaginative ways to attack and pass, the DRS was a powerful tool but by no means the only way to overtake and the conditions played to the strengths and weaknesses of different teams in terms of tyre degradation. It added up to a cocktail of racing which was hard to resist.

But the painful truth for Ferrari was that they were not at the races this weekend. Bahrain exposed the weaknesses of the Ferrari which are, lack of traction out of low speed corners, lack of top speed at the end of the straight and high tyre degradation.


It meant that the two world champion drivers Alonso and Raikkonen trailed home in 9th and 10th places, unable to compete with the Force Indias, Red Bulls and Williams cars.

The budget Force India outfit moved into second place in the Constructors’ Championship and its driver Nico Hulkenberg now lies third behind the Mercedes pair in the Drivers Championship.

Ferrari is the fifth team in the pecking order at the moment, although Alonso doggedly hangs on in the Drivers’ table in fourth place, largely through others not taking full advantage of their competitive situation, such as the Williams drivers, for example and the misfortunes of Ricciardo prior to yesterday’s race.

“I don’t like seeing Ferrari in this condition,” said an angry Montezemolo to the Italian media as he left. “The engine people at the factory need to work to make a big leap forward in quality. I didn’t expect much from this race, but I did expect a bit more than this. To see a Ferrari this slow on the straights is very painful.”

Montezemolo had travelled to Bahrain to meet with Bernie Ecclestone and with FIA president Jean Todt to discuss changes he would like to make to the rules, to improve the show.

But Todt was adamant that, apart from working on raising the decibel level of the sound, there would be no changes.

“This is not a banana republic, where someone turns up and says, ‘Let’s change.’ IF you want changes, it has to be done through the regulatory framework,” he said after the meeting.

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506 comments

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1

On the basis of what was on display at Bahrain, hardly anything needs to change in F1. Only, if the decibels can be somewhat raised ( I do not consider this a must do). I make the following observations.

1. Mercedes have done the best job and by a BIG margin over all the other teams with the new set of regulations. It would be a travesty to punish them for getting things so very right.

2. The fastest qualifying lap was less than a second off last year's pole time. The fastest race lap was within a tenth of last year's fastest race lap. Accounting for the DRS changes in Qualifying and the night time race ( Assuming cooler conditions aids faster times), one can easily conclude that the 2014 cars were within 1 second of last year cars (at least in Bahrain, where teams have extensively tested). This is the third race of a new set of regulations as compared to 2013 which was the 5th year of the last set of regulations. The cars looked seriously fast down the straights. It would be fair to expect the cars to be as fast as 2013, everywhere by the end of this season.

3. Thanks to the late safety car, we were treated to a 10 lap sprint race at the end. It was amply clear that there are 2 racing categories now. Mercedes and the rest. There was no holding back Mercedes and both the drivers were well and truly unleashed. Given that fuel conservation was no longer a worry, it is a given that all cars on the track were unleashed for these 10 laps. The W05 has a margin of 2+ seconds at its peak over the rest of the cars. The rest of the teams have a LOT of catching up to do.

The race yesterday was an excellent sporting spectacle and surely the best Bahrain race to date. There were dazzling performances right down through the field. Lewis and Nico gave us a masterclass of fair, combative and close racing with both not giving an inch extra or an inch less to each other. Just Superb!

It is up to the other teams to catch up now.

2

Its worth thinking that the cars are around 1 seconds slower due to the tyres too. Its worth saying with the lower downforce places like Monaco and Singapore will probably still be slower, Bahrain is a track that flatters the engine power where is Monaco and Singapore don't rather the aero and mechanical grip

3

I think those in F1 who were critical of the current regs were perhaps a bit eager to get their soundbites out in Bahrain, but equally those who are now slapping their selves on the back are also a bit too bloody eager.

We've had one good race this year. Malaysia was dreadful, whilst Australia only had some merit thanks to some rain on the Saturday with cars out of position, otherwise that might have proven pretty damn dull too.

F1 in Rude Health? Not on the basis of 1 race no.

My instinct says that LDM will be proven right over the next two or three races, and there will be much egg on faces for certain people in the media who were quick to throw his comments back at him.

4
Richard Jackson

Honestly though, the restart and subsequent period of actual flat out racing after the safety car is what provided the excitement.

That period is what Formula One used to be, pure racing...

5

@Richard Jackson

The race I was watching had me gripped from the start. Loads of hard fought action well before the safety car came out.

Formula 1 is what it always has been, a middle distance race with periods of strategic calls, conservation & flat out racing. It's never been a sprint series..in fact the races used to be a lot longer.

6

I was traveling this weekend, so only watched the race this evening. It was the best race I've watched for some years.

My enjoyment of the battles between Nico and Lewis, the at times 4 car battles between the Williams and Force India teammates, and watching Dan battle his way past Seb and through the field, was only surpassed by watching LDM turn away from the action as Fernando exclaims "it's too slow!"

It looks like the F14T (or perhaps I should use the alternative designation, the T4X1) is yet another midfield car with little chance of challenging for podiums this year.

If Mercedes keep allowing their drivers to race, then I'm OK with a dominant team this season. At least it beats the single driver favoured Red Bull and Ferrari years.

7
Jean-Christophe

If Rosberg had been in front he would have probably set a faster time as he had the faster tyres. Hamilton held him up.

But on the other hand did the fastest race lap last year set while pushing flat out?

A caveat to the 2+ seconds of the Mercedes is that they were on fresh tyres while the others' were 6-7 laps older. This car is still a beast. Designed by a guy fired by Ferrari

8

++ Well said.

No fuel flow meter failures; Monty has joined Manishevitz taking leave of the place; MaClaren, "under new management" has been declining since pre-race testing and it's possible that FIA will consider letting the cars make more noise.

Oh, and by the way, there was racing aplenty. So far, so good.

9

I agree it was one of the most exciting races in a long time.

10

Apparently, Merc has places it's turbo and air compressors on either side of the engine, which is incredibly novel and improves packaging greatly. They decided this 3 years ago, and have optimized their chassis this year for it. The other Merc teams still benefit, but not as much as they only found out about the packaging once they signed their contracts - very late in some cases (Williams).

It's an advantage that can't be copied with homologated engine rules.

The resulting two tier F1 is fine with me. As long as Nico and Ham can keep the front race interesting, the following bunch will do their part.

11
Clarks4WheelDrift

What I'd like to know is this.

The split turbo 'amazing solution' may explain why the merc is better than Ferrari and Renault but...

If the split turbo is on all merc engines, so they all benefit from the cooler air compressor, less turbo lag through less pipework, slimmer side profiles and rear ends, better centre of gravity via gearbox closer to engine etc. What the heck is giving Mercedes a 2.5s per lap advantage over the other Merc engine cars.

Ok they had knew about it from the start but 2.5s! Have they got far better ers systems and deployment. Are they providing a seriously b-spec engine or b-spec software to go with it?

The only thing that has come close to competing with Mercedes has been Massa's start at Bahrain!

12

I wonder if they are taking turbine heat and blowing the rear diffuser with it. Since the turbine is seperated from the compressor, it wouldn't be too hard to duct outside air aroound the turbine and get it hot enuff to do that. It ain't exhaust, so those rules wouldn't bark.

13

To ignore Timmay's negativity and give an actual answer.

Aerodynamics, the only other team with similar cornering speeds are Red Bull and they have a weaker engine.

Also a lot can come from having good harvesting systems this year, if they work well the braking can be better and give drivers confidence in the car under braking and turn-in.

Then when you considering packaging of everything there is possibility of smaller gearboxes packed in a more novel way or some other component arrangement.

Sure having quality drivers who push each other helps but McLaren realistically don't look much better than last year and are flattered by the engine, Williams the same. In the wet the Williams lack of downforce is apparent.

As a passing comment Hulkenberg confirmed he has ballast in the car and is under the weight limit without it. (A blessing for him as he loves his food :p )

14

I two believe that Mercedes are sat on something as well. I remember Hamilton being interviewed and was asked why he said that this is the best car he's ever driven and he had a very smug smile and gave a stock answer about a great team or something but I could tell that he was biting his tung. I believe Mercedes have found the 'magic bullet'. It is possible that red bull have as well but there PU is holding them back because they have a serious advantage over the other Renault team's. I have no idea what it could be though....

15

Weaksauce Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, a 2 race old rookie, an overweight Hulk, & Felipe Massa piloting the other Merc cars might have something to do with their less stellar performance. Frankly all of those drivers are exstatic to come 3rd these days

16

the only thing should be changed is MONTEZEMOLO - he should step down as anything to do with F1

17

Montezemolo just signs the checks. If anyone should be fired, its Stefano Dominicali. Last year Ferrari won a Drivers championship, was 2007, with Kimi. Dominicali gets hired in 2008, and they haven't won anything since.

The problem seems very clear.

18

You are correct, Montezemolo not only signs the cheques he also makes decisions.

Therefor before signing the cheques he has to make a big and important decision - that is firing Stefano Domenicali who has done notting for Scuderia Ferrari, after all he is the chairman.

19

WOW!

For the normally quiet and non-existent-in-public Jean Todt to make a statement "This is not a banana republic", he must be all hot under the collar after meeting with Montezemelo.

20

Montezemolo is unbelievable.

When Ferrari had a dominant car, they weren't complaining... they were moving Massa out the way to let Schumi win early on in the season.

Luca, take a look at Merc... look at the spectacle they've created, the way they let their drivers race. This is what you stole from F1 for years. So please don't lecture us about boredom - Ferrari are the most boring team on the planet, they've done more to ruin F1 than any other team.

21

In response to your response, I already covered the Germany 2010 incident which, let's face it, HAD to happen as Alonso had a chance at the title whereas Felipe didn't and he admitted that he was struggling using the harder compound tyre. Alonso was the driver to bet on.

You mention 2002 and I give you that. It was unncessary.

22

Well said Purple Helmet. My sentiments exactly.

23

Totally agree +1

24

+1!

"Montezemolo had travelled to Bahrain to meet with Bernie Ecclestone and with FIA president Jean Todt to discuss changes he would like to make to the rules, to improve the show."

To improve the show. Hee hee. Makes me laugh.

Not really. Makes me friggin' sick.

25
BritishRacingGreen

Yet without them F1 is nothing, they're the oldest, most successful team in F1 and love them or loath them, they've stuck with the sport through thick and thin, the only manafacturer to do so, they could very easily leave F1 for sports cars and then when a massive portion of the sports fan base goes so will a lot of other things, Ferrari is Formula 1 and Formula 1 is Ferrari.

26

I know Italy would care, but I would not. Formula-1 has seen great teams come and go, like Tyrrell, Brabham and Lotus (the original). Whole companies like Toyota, Maserati and Honda came and went. The sport is, and always will be, greater than any single team.

27

+1000 stevemalta

Always confused me why people think one team is bigger than the sport. I think Ferrari need F! far more than F1 needs Ferrari.

28

F1 can survive without Ferrari.....just one of 12 teams fighting for position in the middle order.

Was it LDM who once said that it is no longer about garagistas? (referring to the smaller teams)....F1 has moved on and it is no longer just about Ferrari

29

Typical red fan rucbbish!! So what you're saying is that they should be entitled to change the rules when it suits them because they are "special"??? Pffffft, bollocks!!!

Well done to JT for putting LdM and the reds in thier place!! At least with JT in charge the FIA has some semblence of decency as opposed to the MM era.

30

Exactly well said.

31

Why are you so sure formula 1 needs ferrari?

32

" moving Massa out the way to let Schumi win early on in the season." You obviously were not watching the formula one we were all watching, research what happened at sepang 2006

33

EXCELLENT COMMENT, KAL!

34

When did Massa ever get ahead of Schumacher? And even when he did, he was allowed to stay there..look at Turkey 2006! It made sense from a championship perspective to switch them round but Ferrari didn't. It's worth remembering that when Ferrari employed team orders, the 2nd driver was NO WHERE near the lead driver for almost the whole season. There are very few occasions when they have employed team orders, and the most recent ones (Germany 2010, USA 2012) made sense given that their driver needed the points against stronger rivals.

No need to moan just because you don't like Ferrari!

35

Ah yes, of course if was Barrichello was was famously given team orders to throw the 2002 Austrian GP, just the 6th race of the season. Schumacher was already 21 points clear of 2nd place championship rival Montoya - in an era of 10 points for a win. And of course, Barrichello had given up his 2nd place to Schumacher at the very same track a year earlier in similar circumstances.

Massa's most high-profile incident was moving over for Alonso.

Ferrari's boring race manipulations are so routine, it's rather hard to remember which number 2 was moving over for which number 1.

Regardless, my point stands. Ferrari have a long and ignoble history of ruining the sport, and things are much better now they're a mid pack team of little consequence.

36

Well said Mr. Parmar!

37
Michael Powell

Luca is a poor motivator. You can't go around shouting at people and expect the best out of them. Not in this generation. Time for him to bow out.

38

Well said!

40

Mr Purple,how sad is to read your coment Sir. Undoubtedly you don't know your facts,so you addressed with a lot of P+++ and hot air instead.Let me toss some hard facts at you.

Fact.since 1962 to 1982 the late Colin Chapman was the most innovating Man and his Lotus team bar none in F1,since then and to date Ferrari has been most prolific innovator in F1,which include most notable a traction control and semi-automatic Trasmission,you are very quick to sweep them under the carpet.If you are a true grit a F1 fan?,a gut feeling will tell you Champions don't die easily

41

Goggomobil,

You seem to have completely missed the point with your 'facts'.

Mr Purple never accused Ferrari of not being an innovator. He's just stating the fact that Ferrari for many years has run a 1 driver team, which, when the cards were stacked in their favour (Special Bridgestone tyres, unlimited testing, rules bent in their favour etc.), meant that the racing was VERY boring.

LdM is now complaining that the racing is boring...and it blatantly isn't.

This is called 'Sour Grapes'.

Mercedes showed a lot of courage letting their two drivers race like that, F1 fans love it & LdM needs to take note of that...not the fact that 83% of Ferrari fans don't like the new face of F1 (what a surprize!?).

42

+100000

43

Well well said. A dominant car is only boring with team orders and or massively unmatched drivers. This 1988 and MP4-4!

This season will be a great season for F1 and thats from a Mclaren fan just wanting to watch great racing!

44

It was embarrassing and sad to see Ferrari's in a poor state. What is the issue with the Ferrari's? Why can't they develop a car with so many resources? I feel bad for Alonso as he has wasted so many years at Ferrari - every year being declined the championship due to the poor car.

Being a long time Ferrari fan, I am tired of losing so may races and yesterday race was just painful to watch Ferrari.

45

I Believe that Alonso is part of the problem.

He has never been able to develop a great car, given the huge resources;

The great drivers worked with their team to produce great cars.

46

@ K5enny

"I Believe that Alonso is part of the problem" - What a charade

Do you know what you talk about? Without alonso and his exertion Ferrari would have finished P4 or P5 in WCC standings for the last 5 seasons. Ferrari have simply produced ropey cars ever since 2009 to this point. Still Alonso drove very well and his performances were sublime and consummate.

Ferrari have enough budgets and personnel in technical crew. Yet if they still cannot come up with quickest package. why the heck they have a team and engineers who are so dumb and stylized?

Ferrari team is not competent enough and their only saviour for the team for the last 5 season's is Alonso. The way massa drove and the current struggles which kimi have suggest the Ferrari car is not just poor it is also difficult to drive

The resentment people have here towards Alonso is unbelivable

47

@ ManOnWheels "Formula-1 is 70% engineering, 20% strategy and 10% driver".

So when said "man who did it now driving a Williams" was in the same car as Alonso, got his backside handed to him?

48

we will find out the results this season at the end of the season.

49

My I just remind you that without Alonso Ferrari have almost clinched the WDC title by a hair's width? With the man who did it now driving a Williams?

No, you can't make this a driver thing. Formula-1 is 70% engineering, 20% strategy and 10% driver.

50

Yeah, it's all Alonso's fault Ferrari are nowhere!!

Really??

51

Schumacher would stop complaining and concentrate all his force on car development. Fernando is way too political.

52

I think Renault's and Red Bull's troubles in pre-season testing masked a lot of Ferrari's shortcomings; both of them seem to have got on top of their reliability worries, and frankly I think the Renault seems the marginally better engine now of the two.

53

Ferrari did beat the other car with the same engine, the Marussia driven by Max Chilton....... by 3 places !

54

Being a fan of F1, I am glad the Ferrari car once again is pants. Because I really don't want to be treated to an even more embarrassing spectacle of them ordering Raikonnen, an F1 champ, out of the way to give extra points to Alonso.

55

Don't worry Raikonnen will be nowhere in the points race with that car and destroyed by Alonso with or without team orders. Your feelings won't change this outcome.

56

Being a long time Ferrari fan, I am tired of seeing Ferrari losing so may races and yesterday's race was just painful to watch Ferrari. **

57

If you look up the phrase 'serial underperformer' in the English-Italian dictionary you see a picture of Stefano Dominicali.

58

Ferrari should fire the whole lot,start with Dmenicali, Fry. And Tombies,and start fresh,include Marmorini.

59

No, you'll see a picture of Luca di Montezemolo.

60

Being a long time Ferrari fan, I am tired of seeing Ferrari losing so may races and yesterday race was just painful to watch Ferrari. **

61
Peter Scandlyn

How do you imagine Piero feels?

62

Actually I was surprised to see Luca in the paddock for I understand as a tradition Ferrari presidents do not like attending the race in a bid to wad off misfortune >>> a tradition dating back to Enzo.

Anyway it true, it's painful seeing the Ferrari struggling for a fight that doesn't include Ferrari isn't really the same because with Ferrari around, you know you're fighting history, heritage and lots of money and thus more satisfied.

The thing that surprised me most is the fact that Ferrari were hard on their tyres, this being the same Ferrari that was so gentle on it's rubber last season so something must have gone wrong in the design process.

Lets see what progress the team can make after this week's testing but one can only assume that Ferrari will always suffer in some way or the other till unlimited testing and favourable rules get back on the books.

63

When the car is slow the drivers will wrestle it a lot harder trying to make up time in the corners and will cook the tires that way. Not to mention late braking often to defend their position.

64

@ j

Oh, that explains it then.

65

I don't think Hamilton/Rosberg will care when they win the world title that Ferrari was nothing more than a speck in their rear view mirrors.

66

Also was surprised to see Luca on race day as heard the same thing and only ever seen him on the Saturday.

I'm thinking we will never see him at the race again if he has any superstition at all.

67

I think the Ferrari Tyre issue is they aren't working them hard enough to get them into/keep them in their preferred operating temperature window. Therefore the tyres are not gripping as much and are sliding which is causing the damage (rather than simply wearing out too quickly)

68

You know that friction causes heat, don't you?

69

heat is only produced when friction is overcome.

70

friction also gives grip.

71

@ Ed

Interesting.

72

Enzo might not have attended the race in the first place, but I wonder - if he had decided to attend a race would he have stuck around to see it through?

73

@ Random 79

To be honest, I don't know much about Enzo but I would like to think he would stick around till the finish because the team was his baby.

74

I don't know much about him either, but I tend to think you're right.

75

Being a long time Ferrari fan, I am tired of seeing Ferrari losing so may races and yesterday's race was just painful to watch Ferrari.

76

Dear LDM, please make Ferrari taxis faster and focus on your own team. I am a forever Ferrari fan, but it hurts to watch how you let the talent of Alonso and Kimi go wasted

77

Dare I say it, but perhaps the problems of Ferrari go back to the testing ban introduced from 2009? I say that because the British kit car teams invested heavily in CFD, mathematical analysis and simulation software to design and develop their cars in the wake (no pun intended!) of a testing ban. Ferrari it seems, lacks the CFD knowledge of the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.

Of course, this theory could be a load of old tosh, but is it a coincidence that since testing in-season has been restricted Ferrari have never won the constructors title? I can say with complete confidence that I find it unlikely 2014 Ferrari will have their named etched on the constructors cup.

Ferrari haven't had a dry weather pole position since Singapore 2010. Very telling.

78

The great team Michael, Brawn and Todt brought back from the doldrums is well and truly gone. They don't seem to know where to go with their cars for years now, always producing cars with inherent problems. They need big changes, it isn't working. I can't see how it's going to get any better this year with them being so far behind. The new car that their great drivers are blessed with driving looks truly awful from looking at the onboard footage. And the worst engine. How ironic the great Enzo Ferrari once claimed, "Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines."

79

If u read the LDM interview this month's F1 Racing mag, he's ranting on about needing to spend millions on CFD and wind tunnel upgrades and a simulator while their private test track lays empty and unused. I guess he's forgot that these are the very same new generation R&D tools that are helping Ferrari to develop their road cars more efficiently while increasing their profit margin. So why on earth is he complaining? Granted it's all very emotional and romantic to burn rubber and fuel on ur private test track and make a lot of noise to keep the fans and tourists happy while keeping the locals annoyed. However we're into the digital age now it's all about eking out the last bytes of performance without burning 1 extra drop of fossil fuel or making a whole closet full of highly detailed carbon fibre model cars for the wind tunnel.

80

Haha banana republic!

Todt, your the man!

Maybe Stefano final year in the red team.

Even maybe Alonso last year, he's probably flying off to McLaren/FI/Williams next year.

81

Mclaren

82

Ronspeak would rather shoot himself in the head before employing Alonso a second time. Remember he sacked him!!!!

84

Bahrain exposed Ferrari's:

- Poor mechanical grip.

- Poor top speed.

- High tyre wear.

- High fuel consumption.

- Poor aerodynamic grip.

They're be better off bringing the F126C for China. Heads should roll.

85

Ouch and you forgot mentioning LDM big mouth as well and lack of style. He is the biggest embarrassment to Ferrari.

86
Tornillo Amarillo

Agreed, this is a intergalactic Red Hole attracting all bad things in a single year... but I like Raikonnen, you will see it if Magnum keeps his distance.

87

Couldn't agree more. This year is a write off. Take the pain now, make the changes, and rebuild. Allison joined late last year, right? So chassis should be better next year right off the bat, assuming no political power play shenanigans back at the factory.

Real question is, should LdM step away from F1 oversight as well, or consider a more general retirement? He has failed to motivate his F1 management, and I would say his tolerance for a serially middling team is a stain on his otherwise illustrious career. Sometimes you need to step aside to let the next generation carry the flames of passion.

88

Fantastic race. This is the race I wanted to see in Melbourne but was robbed of Hamilton. Let me tell you the noise controversy is just that. At Melbourne the sound was different but the speed was the same.

89

Fantastic race! Ferrari need to work harder. Going to be a long season for Ferrari, and their fans(I am one). Just stop moaning and get on with it. Glad I've already got my Silverstone tickets, it's going to sell out very quick.

90

I am a stubborn Ferrari fan, but I could only love the race because for the first time in a long time F1 really stole the emotion that any team or driver usually provides. Yesterday's race was a pure beauty!

91

I also love Ferrari. But is see that F1 has become an economy drive, the drivers can't go flat out as they have to conserve fuel and tyres. I thought F1 was the pinnacle of the sport, bring back the fuel stops and in between race testing for any team. The race only came alive after the safety car.

92

Have you seen the race? It was a lot more flat out racing than what I have seen in the last couple of years

93

Loads of great racing from lights out to the end...are you sure you were on the right channel?

🙂

94

It is no surprise to see Luca turn on his owm people again. I've mentioned for years about this, but I always feel like there is a rule of fear at a Maranello.

They are only a few races away from crisis. I'm my view it should be time for Luca to step aside. Not find another scapegoat.

We've all worked for leaders like him. Happy to turn up and take the plaudits. Quiet exits when things not going well and looking for someone else to blame.

Ferrari have so far failed to adjust to the post endless testing ban, and have not replaced Brawn and Byrne.

95

James, your best guess, will Alonso be at Ferrari next year and if not where will he be?

96

He could go to Williams? Or, if we remember the rumours that 'Vettel has already signed for Ferrari in 2015', he could go to Red Bull. (This is a joke - Vettel would have long since cancelled any Ferrari option he had. Now the Schumacher/Brawn era is over they are slowly reverting to their 1980-1999 inept best.

97

He has nowhere to go

Can't see him wanting to work with Ron again

And will Honda be any good out of the box in year 1?

98

James what do you make the radio message from Alonso to stella. The only thing I want to know is how much faster I am that the saviour of the country. Referring to Mimi.

Just frustration, or something else?

99
Tornillo Amarillo

Pretty sure HAMILTON will be back to McLaren(Honda) in 2016 when the Mercedes contract expires... Nothing more cinematographic image of Lewis coming Home (lot of emotion and TV coverage), being received by Ron Denis and melting each other in a large hug orchestrate by XIX Entertainment... It could be the 3rd Championship, like Senna!!!

100

@ Elie

You sound irrational here and when you talk about Alonso's personality it also reflects the resentment you have towards Alonso, which is very hilarious. In fact none of us know what is Alonso's exact personlaity. Did any of us met Alonso or at least have seen him in personal? NO. Then how we can slate the man?

People should wake up and just confess the fact how well Alonso have done for the Ferrari team with Ropey cars at his disposal time and time again ever since 2010. Ferrari were and still are a mid-table team only Fernando alonso's exertion have saved tthe face of Ferrari team for quite a while now. Ferrari will never ever come good, no matter who they hire for the team. Becuase they have no brains and LDM is so dim-witted

I repeat this, no other pilots in the grid would have done what alonso did for ferrari in the last five seasons. In fairness most drivers would have left the team long time ago. Becuase one can drive for a sub-standard team or car only for a season or two. not all they way through

Alonso please leave this team and take your chances from some other team. You really deserve more WDC's than just 2

The funniest jigsaw in the piece is KImi raikkonen. Lotus provided him much better cars for the last couple of seasons's where he won races and had poduims. Now he has returned to the team who are clearly incompetent. Maybe more MOney and Ice-creams did the trick i believe

101

Murphy's Law - Fernando will leave Ferrari the year that they come good.

102

Yeah right ....you were seeing him eh ?

103

No I think Ferrari will come good the day he leaves. Not direspecting his driving - just his personality

104

I doubt that Ferrari will be coming good any time soon in this new hybrid-engine era. While Renault is likely to improve over time as they have showed over the past, Ferrari simply do not have the technological know-how in regards to hybrid technology, and Ferrari are always behind RBR in terms of aero.

Alonso made a mistake of leaving McLaren too soon, but also missed an opportunity to drive the title-winning Brawn. Honda is likely to be a better bet than Ferrari's sorry excuses...

105

Lol like maldanado with williams

106

I'm not sure who would go, but if Alonso was on the market would Red Bull not be interested? A Newey car with a an engine presumably more equalised to the Merc would be tempting.

107

Krischar, who's the greatest pilot in the history of F1?

108

@ F1 Interested

"Alonso would probably be defeated by Hulk on pure speed alone" - Are you in dreamland? If so please wake up

Which hulk you talk about? The one who was outpaced by Sergio perez in Bharain? I believe you are kidding yourself, How the heck you can compare a average mid-field pilot with the greatest pilot in the history of F1?

First hulk must outpace perez who was ousted by Mclaren then you can talk about hulk and his speed

109

I can't see Vettel or Riciardo being pushed, but Vettel could leave. Stranger things have happened in the past, and he did make sure his contract ended this year so he'd be in sync with everyone else and have options.

Chances are it'll be the same lineup next year, just saying, it could happen...

110

When does Vettel's contract end at Redbull?

111
Matthew Cheshire

"Who would go"? RB changing their lineup would be a PR disaster. Knifing Vettel if he has a sluggish season or pulling the rug out from beneath Ricciardo after training him and his stellar start.

Alonso is good but there is no guarantee that he would even equal SV or DR in the same car. He has adapted to the new rules well but new tricks are a young man's game. SV and DR are the dream team for Red Bull.

Red Bull made the right choice with Kimi. It would be the same logic with FA.

112

Alonso had made himself available to RBR for this year (remember when his manager paid a visit to Horner?) but they were not interested, neither in him nor in Raikkonen.

Given how Ricciardo is driving at the moment, there is no way RBR would replace him, and I don't see Vettel leaving for another team.

113

Given the current state of affairs he could do well to give VJ a call 🙂

114

Yeah but at least the car might be faster 🙂

115

Alonso would probably be defeated by Hulk on pure speed alone.

116

Hi James,

I have read in numerous places over the years and recently an ex-F1 driver and now commentator/pundit said, Alonso won't give Ron the time of day.

Am I correct in assuming that Ron, for the good of his team and presumably under pressure from Honda, would work with Alonso but the stumbling block would be Alonso, not wanting to work with Ron again?

Just to add, could it be that Ron Dennis did not take the role of team principal, instead saying there was no need for it in modern F1, because he had an eye on the bigger picture and the outside chance of getting Alonso?

I mean no disrespect to Button or his team mate, but surely Mclaren and Honda would jump at the chance of landing Alonso if there was a possibility, no?

117

I don't think this will happen. Even if Fernando made peace with Ron, Boullier, who in my opinion often sounds like a buffoon, has in the past criticised Alonso since he left Renault. I think that is another reason it won't happen. I'd love to see Williams revive and take him, anything is better than rotting away with those Ferrari clowns. I hope Alonso has a performance clause exit in his contract..

118

James, I reckon Fernando would lie on a bed of nails rather than work with Ron Dennis. He still feels cheated of the 2007 WDC and that was 7 years ago, so why would he suddenly cast aside what he feels is an injustice? Just a thought.

119

Ron TS me he would take Alondo back

But I'm not sure the feeling is mutual

I may be wrong

120

James yet you have stated somewhere in the previous articles Ron is till keen on Alonso and would take him back if Alonso wishes?

Also there were some conversation took place and picture has been posted it seems?

What will be better? To stay with a incapable team and earn little more money or Alonso needs to risk and gamble his future somewhere to land the WDC 3? Time is running out though

Finally how the developments process goes on with honda in terms of engines for next season?

121

McLaren is a gamble with the risk around the Honda power-unit, who will have to beat improved versions of the current power-units, as well as McLaren most often behind on aero and reliability since a few years.

I think Alonso will see how the development curve goes at Ferrari this year, and if no improvements are coming from the power-unit, he'll probably take the gamble, as I am sure Honda is far more capable than the Ferrari engine department. I just don't see Ferrari progressing this year or next in this new hybrid-engine era...

122

The picture is from 2007 I believe, no?

123

James,

Maybe if Haas could secure a Mercedes engine deal given that they have the money and Mercedes would be interested in selling more cars in the US (just like Force India will help sales in India), that could tempt him. They could partner him with an American driver and would certainly learn from his experience. He hasn't got much to gain from staying at Ferrari, as I don't see how they are going to beat RBR and the Mercedes-powered teams this year or next.

LDM is really irritated because his brand is getting badly damaged against a more "technologically-advanced" luxury car manufacturer (which is worse than being beaten by a drinks company), and with two world champions driving his cars, he can't even fault his drivers, for whom everybody feels sorry.

124

Losing from Mercedes is no shame at all. Mercedes is a far more bigger company as FIAT. Mercedes does much more then Luxury cars building. They build vans, trucks, super cars and more.

LdM is irritated because things don't go his way enough. He get's the lion share, continuously have been bending the rules and still does not get's his satisfaction.

I would not be surprised if something urgent needs to be fixed on the Ferrari engines real soon. Maybe a devious engine map trick ala Renault with their V8's? Time will tell.

125

I love the "I am being beaten by limousine designers" line you're on... To compete with Newey gives you an excuse for being second best. Fighting it out with McLaren, another exotic sports car company, is noble. But being roundly beaten by a "saloon car" brand, that has to sting (and I really have a higher opinion of Merc than that, in real life - some of their designs are quite nice).

As software continues to eat hardware in so many industries, this makes Ferrari look a little too much like the 20th century throwback retro-vintage car company it has become. I foresee serious marketing problems for Ferrari the car company in 15 years... As the last generation of balding males born before the information age start dying off and donating their antiques to museums.

126

How about Mercedes? I know Merc rate ROS, but FA is another league surely? Would FA fancy another try at Ham?

A real champion with no cars to drive. What a shame for F1!

127

James, there are rumors about Honda wanting to power more than one team, i.e. McLaren, a 2nd-tier new entrant and why not Red Bull who is so unhappy about their PU. Have you got any insight into this?

128

They need to for de element reasons

I could imagine Sauber, for cost reasons as Honda engine will be cheaper I would think

129

I don't know why they can't just accept that they did a bad job, inspite of all the money and focus on that. Enzo Ferrari must be pissed off in his grace.

130

Maybe Alonso should tweak Montezemolos ear for not staying put and facing the humiliating result. And do something about it.

Two of the best drivers on the grid is out because of the car. In Alonsos case that is a painfull further downturn from the former years, where he has lost two drivers championships, because the Ferrari was not even number two.

131
kenneth chapman

as the president of ferrari it must be most difficult to face public scrutiny in these circumstances and despite what some people say about him one has to ask, could you/i do any better?

before everyone rushes in with their hands up consider what ferrari are faced with. when you have done that,then dispassionately,work out what the next step would be? it is no good going backwards and saying what you/i would have done, it is the now that needs sorting.

my mantra is that 'it is never to late' but even if the solution seems to be there how much do you spend to rectify the current situation knowing that in 2015 there will be certain allowable engine upgrades that may go a long way to solving this problem that they have at the moment. to my amateur observation it appears that there are many changes that need to be made and maybe they should just write this season off and concentrate on 2015.

i like to see a competetive ferrari because then i get to see alonso performing at his best. what happens next is anyones guess but if i needed a starting point i would get rid of that ridiculous nose assembly. better to go down looking good than looking ugly!!!

132

It's a nice thought. Take this year off and concentrate on next year but look how that went for McLaren. They are terrible again this year.

The only silver lining to the problems that Ferrari are having is that we are distracted from what's happening at McLaren. Even with the money and the right powertrain McLaren are still a mid-field team at best.

133

@ J

YOur are wrong mate

Yes MClaren may struggle now. Yet i believe thhey will come good soon with improvements and updates in the car. They also have mercedes PU. Mclaren will surely catch up with RBR soon and may even catch up Mercedes towards the end of the season. Whereas Ferrari will never improve no matter how much money they spend or how many people they hire from others. Becuase they do not have brains as a team with the excpetion of the drivers

I am lot more convinced Mclaren will easily outdevelop Ferrari through out the season and may well compete with RBR for the vital second place in WCC

134

McLaren are 3rd in the constructors championship. If it hadn't been for the clutch issue Jenson would have come somewhere between 3rd & 5th. He is quoted as saying that the only positive he takes from the race was that the only team with more pace, though a LOT more pace, were Mercedes.

I would expect McLaren to end the year 2nd or 3rd in the constructors championship (so a bit further up than midfield!)...and I'd guess Ferrari will be very close behind them. Big teams have the resources to solve their problems...unless the car is a complete dog like last years McLaren...even then, that choice was only made because of the massive shift in regulations for this year.

135

Maybe, but they're still a mid-field team that are sitting 3rd in the constructor's standings 😉

136

Kenneth- Im not a president of Ferrari. But the one thing I do know having managed small teams is that when times are tough - you never ever walk away from your team. Ive copped alot of flack from my peers, colleagues when faced with what seemed impossible challenges. But that flack turned into Respect when you turned things around and your workers happily worked days & nights- because you were there in the trenches with them!- lead by example..

137

The thing is, they had people who could do better and they got rid of them.

138

"could you/i do any better?"

It's a tough job for sure, but yeah - I would at least stick around to watch my drivers cross the finish line.

139
Byron Lamarque

You really can't blame Luca di Montezemolo for embarking on this particular PR campaign. The Ferrari brand has been built on success in F1. If this new Hybrid engine is F1 and Ferrari can't get it right then indeed this new Hybrid F1 must not be F1. It must be something else. Let's say Taxi something or other.

They've got aurguably the very best drivers. Perfect integration between chassis and engine design and manufacturing, a very healthy budget and absolutely no excuse not to buckle down and get this problem fixed. Is it any wonder there is to be no budget cap for the foreseeable future. A tonne of money is about to be spent and it will no doubt advance the technology associated with all things hybrid. Jean Todt may have just taken one small step toward saving the world!

140

Are you aware that the best Ferrari roadcar (La Ferrari) is a hybrid?

141
Byron Lamarque

Thanks Alex,

Very interesting I did not know that about LaFerrari. Wiki claims it's the fastest road-legal car Ferrari has ever produced. This gives me great hope that Ferrari can turn their fortunes around and produce a Hybrid F1 car faster then anything they've ever produced before. That's what fans want someone to challenge for the lead not someone making outlandish claims to the detriment of the sport.

142

"Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines."

--Enzo Ferrari

143

I am by no means a Scuderia historian, but I have been under the impression that Montezemolo was not entirely responsible for Ferrari's turnaround during the Schumi years with Todt and Brawn, and that it is no coincidence that Ferrari's championship run ended with Raikkonen in 2007 after Todt's departure later that year.

There seems to be evidence that while Montezemelo was not the sole architect of Ferrari's success in the 2000's, he has been chiefly responsible for their current woes.

His frequent political grandstanding, the hiring, then firing, then hiring of Ferrari's last WDC Raikkonen, the public spat with Alonso....these strange happenings and more all seem to point to a captain who doesn't have a firm grasp on the ship's rudder.

Montezemolo can whine all he wants about the rules, the team, the drivers etc, but perhaps more than missing downforce or a powerful engine, perhaps Ferrari is missing a leader with a winner's heart.

144

Very good comment Mark Ive been saying this since 2009. The problem with Ferrari stems right from the top and there needs to be a change right at the top- for Ferrari to turn its fortunes around.

Think about it under Todt, Brawn- the Schumacher years were sensational and even with Raikkonen there was a strong bond in the team- even its drivers Kimi and Massa were in a happier place.. As soon as that management left- it was like a black cloud descended over the Scuderia, followed by an equally political albeit impressive wc in Fernando...

145

you've really got it in for Alonso haven't you despite him putting in the incredible perfomances that he has !

146

Krischar, Schumi is considered a legend because he brought success to Ferrari. And Alosno would be too if he could succeed. But until then it's time to wait and see because Alo's career with Ferrari is still in progress.

147

@ elie

hmmm then how come you talk a load of s@# all the time with your meaningless tirades

148

Hes a great driver no doubt- but his political spin, mind games & character ( Samurai, 110%, etc) I find very fake & untrue, probably why hes such a great fit at Ferrari.. I understand alot of this is media driven but he works it too.. I just appreciate very genuine people that dont talk s$&@all the time

149

@ Clyde

Well put mate, nice one indeed

There are quite few people here (Like Elie) and others in the forum who Despise Alonso for nothing. In fairness the people here have no Privileges to gripe about Alonso's personality.

We talk about the performance here and Alonso is the Best out there period.

The resentment people have here towards alonso is far too much and it's for no reason really. If people talk about politics then Schumi should not even be considered as top draw performer. Yet Schumi is considered as legend simply based on his performances.

We cannot compare oranges with apples. There is only (Leo messi) live in this planet. Likewise there in one (Living legend) is present in F1 and it's none other than our King Fernando Alonso.

150

I am gonna have to agree with this.

From what I have read, ousting Schu and Todt (which led to the departure of Brawn and Byrne) was a political move by Montezemolo who feared their influence and power within Ferrari would exceed his own, rendering him redundant in the process.

He may be a shrewd political operator, but that does not make him the right leader for the Scuderia. I have felt for some time now that Ferrari under Montezemolo will not win. I really feel it is time for him to step aside.

151

I think you are right that Todt and Brawn) were starting to look for a promotion. Todt wanted to be Ferrari president (LDM would still have been FIAT president) and Brawn wanted Todt's job. LDM refused the requested promotions, and they had to leave to be replaced by in-house Italians. One ended up at the top of the FIA, the other Team Principal at Honda. Both have been very successful since, but the same can not be said of LDM and his sinking taxi...

152

Ironically, I read that Todt's success as GM of the Racing Division didn't sit well with Montezemolo, and he promoted Todt to CEO of Ferrari, thinking he wouldn't be able to juggle all those responsibilities.

Unfortunately, Todt excelled as CEO, and became a real threat to Montezemolo, who then started scheming to regain control.

He succeeded, but at what price?

153

While I don't agree with the thought of changing the rules simply because mercedes have the best engine or because the noise isn't as loud, Formula 1 is boring this year. When Ferrari dominated in the Schumacher years, it was boring. When Red Bull and Vettel dominated recently, it was boring. Now, with Mercedes so dominating and many of the Mercedes powered teams so strong, it's boring. The races may have some excitement, primarily amongst the Mercedes powered teams as they jockey for position, F1 just hasn't lived up to my expectations in 2014.

With the rule and engine changes for this year, I really had hoped to see the racing much tighter amongst all the teams and no one team dominating. I was relishing the thought of seeing the likes of Vettel, Alonso, Raikonen, Hamilton and a number of other drivers really battling it out because there would be no one dominate team or engine. I think back to the days when racing was tight between Schumacher, Hakinen, Villeneuve and Hill. The Championship often went down to last few races and you were excited to see the wheel to wheel racing. That is what I had hoped for this year.

The rules should change but not to penalize Mercedes but to allow the Renault and Ferrari engines to be improved to close the power gap to Mercedes, so we can really get the chance to see a field with 5 current and former world champions battling it out, making every race count and making the uncertainty of who is to be crowned the 2014 World Champion the real excitement. Right now, only 3 races in and knowing that Hamilton or maybe Rosberg will be Champion, makes each race less exciting and me more likely to lose interest before they even reach Europe.

154

What sport have you been watching. More often than not, just two drivers battle it our for the WDC. In bad year, like 2014, only one driver is on contention. Very rarely are there several teams n cntention at any one time. It is the nature of the beast. Get over it.

155

What sport have YOU been watching? We're only 3 races in and Rosberg is only 10 points ahead of Hamilton. Only 1 driver in contention?? Right we might have a repeat of 1988 where 1 team is head and shoulders above the rest of the field but boy did those 2 guys gave their best shot at winning the race! They were really going for it after the safety car intervention and in doing so pulled clear of 3rd place Perez at 2.4s average a lap!! This IS pure racing!!

156

Tim, I think we are talking at cross purposes. 🙂

What you are saying is exactly what I am saying. It is great to have such good racing and a great battle. I was saying that historically, it is normal for only one team or a couple of drivers to be fighting for the WDC. Dominance is normal in F1.

I thought in your original comment (which contain the 'zzzzz') that you were saying you were bored by 2014 so far. I was saying the opposite. This is far preferable to one team dominance with team orders as per Ferrari and Red Bull.

It is flipin' great.

157

Zzzzz who didn't see Merc dominance coming a full year ago Every Single Bit of News was saying they'd be the team to beat.

158

The advantage Mercedes has is more than just horsepower. Their are other, very large advantages in the turbo packaging, the reduced size of the intercoolers, the lessening of turbo lag, and the ability to move the rear differential forward substantially. THIS is what it takes to be +2 seconds a lap faster than the rest of the field.

And no one else can equal that, without a total redesign of their engine and turbocharger. No one. The other Merc powered teams can make modifications to get some of the advantages, but overall, they started too late in the design process.

This is not like a double diffuser, or Coanda exhaust that is just a bit of carbon fibre work.

It is a fundamental WIN for Mercedes, that will be challenged, but not equalled this year.

My hat is REALLY off to them - and I am a McLaren fan - because the improvements they made have real applications to road cars, starting with sports cars but then likely filtering down the product range. THAT is what F1 is all about, and they hit a grand slam.

And I am also really impressed that the improvement suggestion came from the chassis team, not the engine team!

159
kenneth chapman

@ robert...exactly what part of this current crop of hybrids technology do you think will trickle down to roadcars...that isn't being utilised right now?

are you fully conversant with the hybrid technology being used in world endurance LMP1 racing from the recent past and currently in place?

160
kenneth chapman

@robert...no we don't get sky presentation here bu it have read quite a few articles about the mercedes to know what they appear to have done.

i think that you are somewhat missing the point of my message. the mercedes is in front because, as i understand it, they have come up with a better PU [hybrid solution.]

the turbo is but one item of the hybrid unit. what i have said is simply this, the hybrid units installed in the LMP1 are more likely to either be used or used in part for cross fertilisation into road car applications than anything directly drawn from F1.

yes, the mercedes technology may well be superior ATM but without knowing the full extent of the renault technology as an example it is difficult to compare, if a comparison is possible. my understanding is that the renault is down based not only on a technical component structural flaw but mainly a software issue.

you also seem to have discarded the 'energy store' mass that i referred to as well. as i have said before the hybrid embraces all the components of which the turbo is but one.

161

@kenneth: I don't know if you watched the Sky coverage, but they showed the Merc bodywork overlayed with the Ferrari's. The Merc is _very_ much thinner at the rear, and actually had to have two useless blisters added to make minimum allowable dimensions.

And the reason for that was the shift forward of the diff, which hits the turbo unless you have split it. Merc have much better aero in the rear because of that.

Then add that the compressor is now not getting heated by the turbine, and so the compressed air flowing into the intercoolers is a lot cooler, resulting in smaller intercoolers. Which, as Sky showed, shrinks the sidepods considerably. It also shortens the pipework into the engine, which reduces turbo lag.

Merc may also have a good hybrid unit - as James has written, they built a ERS centre of excellence a while ago, here in the UK. But that alone will not result in 2 seconds a lap. The split turbo has really helped their sidepod and rear aero, making them almost Newey-like.

162
kenneth chapman

@ robert...really! i have driven/owned cars with turbos for many years. they have all been straight fours. i fail to see how this MB design structure could possibly be any better considering where the turbos are located than where they are located at the moment. i drive both audis and mercedes benz.

what you may have missed in your breathless [AMAZING] adoration is that it has been suggested, in some as yet to be clarified areas, that the split turbo arrangement plays only a part of the reason for the mercedes dominance. evidently the 'energy store' has only half the allowable storage capacity resulting in a drop in weight of some 10/15kg which relates to a decent gain in lowering lap times.

F1 is now a hybrid driven series, nothing more and nothing less.

as i said before, hybrids and their corollaries are more evident in current LMP1 racing and from there to roadcars is a current trend. have you ever read the audi statements re their program?

163

It isn't about the hybrid technology. The split turbo is AMAZING. A great design idea, and one that has so many obvious advantages (that I listed above) that it will get adopted by most sports cars and eventually lesser cars. There is no SENSE in combining the turbine and compressor when you can make a carbon fibre shaft to couple them....

And I am afraid I don't follow the other series as much as I should, but I am pretty sure the Merc split turbo is not being used anywhere else...

164

Nice post, Robert!

165

True: the Merc seems to be the best complete package,engine, chassic, aero not to mention a couple of pretty handy drivers backed by a solid team. Other teams may do individual items better but don't have the whole piece.

166

To be honest, the responsibility lies in the FIA and FOM to allow changes year after year. With steady rules the back of the grid teams would have approached by NOW, but no and the lunatics at FiA decided to save the world from 2014 with hybrid power units. LOL. Bahrein now a gp under the floodlights, how many Kw needed for the show? Ridiculous...

167

Todt is a brilliant man to save all this energy,how much this gp under the light cost,and two more gp's are under the lights.Please bring back Mosley, get this [mod] out of running F1.

168

Shhh...you're starting to make sense... 😉

169

I'm sure luca di montezemolo moans every year about something.

170

James,

Do we know if Mr Montezemolo left the circuit in a Toyota Prius taxi?

171

The race was great I have watched it twice already, once in English and then in Spanish,it's a long time since I done that.

On reflection though it was better after the safety car when fuel became not a issue.

To the people who say f1 can't survive without out ferrari, I say it's done pretty much that for a few years now.

172

I agree, the only team talking it up was Mercedes.

Because they know the fans have been critical of the new rules and the most to lose if a change happens.

It was refreshing to see 2 team mates racing each other.

173

This kind of move by LdM just smacks of a calculated publicity stunt. He got heard by more people by leaving early. Frankly, I'm really tired of his BS. The incessant whining and complaining from Ferrari is tiresome.

174
Mekanikal grip

Nail. Hit. Head.

175

Time for some heads to roll?

Wonder how long Alonso will put up with this situation, possible early retirement by the end of the year?

Same with Kimi can't see him going on like this for much longer.

Hulkenberg could finally get his chance to drive for a top team next year?

176

Yep - kick Jenson out and Nico can have a top team car alright.

177

Not sure he will want to move to Ferrari though!

178

Kimi's retiring after his current stint with Ferrari for sure. He himself said that before Sepang 2014.

If Kimi has a car to compete for championship in 2015 then he may extend the contract by one year otherwise he will retire at the end of 2015.

179

"Hulkenberg could finally get his chance to drive for a top team next year?"

But why would he want to?

180

Ferrari is a top team? If Alonso and Kimi are leaving and Ferrari is bad, why would Hulk go there? He is already in a top team now.

181

He is already in the second top team...

182

You seem oblivious to the fact that Ferrari are no longer ‘a top team’.

183

Somehow

the situation looks like the one 50 years ago when classical and proud Ferrari's were being beaten by upstart, but innovative Coswort's. Sad, in a way, but inevitable.

Hybrids are here to stay, this much should be obvious, and Mr. Stefano D. has not been able to put together a team capable of fighting at the top end (again). Likeable as he is, I can't see him leading Ferrari F1 team next year.

They have lost so much ground now, that with the regulations being what they are, it can take them some 3 years at least to catch up!

184

Hahahaha bad sportsman!!!

185

I enjoyed the race but I'm sure if Monty's team was in Mercedes place he wouldn't be complaining at all. In fact I'm sure he would have ordered his number two driver to hand the win to his number one driver.

All that being said, I'm not a fan of the new F1. The engine freeze is ruining the show. The Renault and Ferrari engined teams are seemingly stuck until next season.

186

LOL, you finally got your birthday wish Alonso! Someone else's car -and it's..... A Marussia! Happy birthday, [mod]

187

How could this message pass the mods?? This is really disappointing for the level this website usually provides. And for Gods sake, can somebody tell me where does this kind of people come from? Its like reading a hybrid version of Forest Gump and a water touched gremlin.

188

Apologies it's modded now

189

Wow, you guys sure have delicate sensibilities. There's good reason to [mod] Alonso and Ferrari.
Alonso: Abusing team mates, using the media like a rented mule, cracking gear boxes, blocking team mates in the pits, spygate, crashgate and then trying to get rightful winners of championships disqualified from races.

Ferrari: Also using the media like a rented mule, team orders GALORE, screwing over Massa in nearly every race, generally ruining the sporting side of F1 and turning it into a soap opera/spectacle. And then there' the dea tey hve to earn more money than other teams at the end of the year as well as veto privileges. That's not right at all.

This Mocho guy is obviously a Ferrari fan, a guy who drinks the Kool-Aid and follows the credo of Ferrari and probably thinks they ca never do any wrong. That's fine. But, he should also perhaps whine about the other posters who speak negatively about Alonso/Ferrari as well.

190

As we say in spain, it happens even in the best families. Worst part of the comment has been erased, thanks for the fast reaction.

191

At least its not as bad(yet) as lotus

192
Fernando "150%" Alonso

How on earth this comment went under the moderator radar! I hate to say it James, but this place is not the same as 5 years ago!

193

You must be really proud of yourself. I'm sure Alonso and Ferrari must be losing sleep over your comment, while Kimi has found solace. Congratulations.

194

James is it OK for your site to admit insults from the people that comment? I find it appalling to say the least.

195

Not really - please tone it down

196

The race was great I have watched it twice already, once in English and then in Spanish,it's a long time since I done that.

On reflection though it was better after the safety car when fuel became not a issue.

To the people who say f1 can't survive without out ferrari, I say it's done pretty much that for a few years now.

I understand Luca,s disappointed with his team But I don't think this is the way to motivate them. This guy lives in a different world than most of us and it shows I for one think these changes help f1 be more acceptable in the modern world,I have a solar power business and its hard to lecture people on not changing to green power while being a f1 freak.

197

I am scared to be honest that if Ferrari don't catch up in the next 24 months, they may throw it in. I guess before this action we might first see mass sackings take place. Interesting indeed.

198

They sucked for almost 2 decades through the 80s and 90s and they're still around. They'll still be around

199

Erm, they've been this bad before.

200

I doubt it. For all of his moaning, Ferrari isn't that far off the pace of "the field" (excluding the W05's).

Now, if the other Mercedes powered teams manage to move themselves into the same league as the Factory Mercedes team, then Ferrari can worry, along with Red Bull.

201

It's good that Todt stood up to his former boss. It's something of a shock to see Ferrari and it's two world champion drivers - two of the finest of their generation - struggling so badly.

For many years it has been unclear whether a great driver can really pull outstanding results from a bad car. I guess this is because the best drivers naturally end up in the best cars over time. This season has turned that status quo on its head. It could be embarrassing times ahead for Ferrari and for Vettel.

I just hope that people have more tolerance for Jenson Button's past performances and appreciation of what he has done when for much of his career he didn't have the best car. On the one occasion that he did he capitalised on it as any driver would do and yet so many people rubbish him for this. Personally I think it's more admirable when a driver who is not the best of his generation gets a WDC. If only the most gifted deserved WDCs then they might as well only field four cars.

202

Jenson is a rent-a-driver scrub who lucked into a world title. End of story

203

What an intelligent and well formed response, well done to you Timmay...

204

DRS is not a tool... it's total garbage. Just wanted to clarify.

205

Did you time travel from back in 2011 to post this?

206

More importantly can he time travel back? 😉

207

Truth is a constant...

208

Like LDM?

209

Apparently flogging a dead horse remains a constant for some as well.

210

Clarified, noted and filed.

211

Yeah, I loved how Nico pulled up behind Lewis on the straight, nailed the DRS, and shot past Lewis into turn one...

Oh wait. That didn't happen.

Maybe that means that DRS is as much of an "assist" as the "Over Take" button on the steering wheel that no one ever complains about... It's useful, but by no means an "I win" button.

It won't necessarily let a slower driver out-perform a faster driver, and sometimes, it won't even help a faster car against a slower car.

It does make up for some of the aerodynamic issues involved in passing another F1 car, though.

212

It must be very painful for Ferrari. Even if they fix the current car, we'll be thinking 'yeah but anyone could catch up with the extra FIA money'. Their problem now is if they threaten to leave, no one will miss them.

213

The FIA is definitely a banana republic... there is no question on that...

215

Patience Todt, your Ferrari will get there.

216

Yes, but 32.5 seconds late 😉

217

Taxi for luca!!!!!

218

Signs of things to come;

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t31.0-8/p720x720/1913272_1509963399230831_568457333335192843_o.jpg

Does Anybody agree that this will last year for SD as Ferrari team principal.

219

Love the pic Lol, LDM has that 'who pinched my but look' and the other guys are looking SO innocent 😉

As an aside, I like SD, I hope he does not end up with Whitmarsh - maybe they could start their own team!

220

Great Pic..But I wonder who is looking at Luca

221

The cameraman.

He's a stern fellow that cameraman 😉

222

Is the cameraman called Christian, Ron or Paddy by any chance?

223

Thank goodness I thought you might say Robert De Niro from the set of meet the fockers

224

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

225

Lol nyce

226

Could be.

I stop short of saying that he deserves it as there is probably many, many reasons why they are not where they should be, but the buck has to stop somewhere and I don't see LDM volunteering 😉

227

Kudos to Todt for calling out Monte's bullshit. F1 is just fine even when Ferrari is not winning, get over it, Luca

228

Montezemolo's face was a picture as he stood in the teams garage and watched others just stream by.

229

James,

Luca was furious after the race and has called for a meeting at Maranello next week.

Can you please give us some insights regarding that and also the outcome

Afterall, its "ANNUAL EAR TWEAKING" festival at Maranello.

230
Stephen Taylor

LDM and Domenicali need to resign. They are dinosaurs thinking Ferrari have a divine right to win.

231

+1.000.000

232

What a conceited, opinionated a$$ Mr. LDM's turned out to be!

... Trying to shift focus from the Scuderia's inability to get its sh** together

... Trying to change rules because SF has produced a 'thirsty' engine that's heavier (a polite way of saying that they've produced a Fiat engine for a F1 car)

... Trying to make this about engine noise, when that is a distant second to car performance ... If say, Marussia were to find a way to make a whisper-silent engine which kicked everyone's ar$e, everyone wd line-up to replicate that

Goodbye Mr. LDM, you were not missed in the last 12 laps while LH & NR were 3 seconds a lap faster than your World Champs who were reduced to being taxi-drivers trundling around in 'thirsty' engines.

Would you like to ask your your 2 World Champ Taxi Drivers whether they'd like to call this "The 2-hr LeMon's Race" ;), or "Formula Boredom"?

233

"If say, Marussia were to find a way to make a whisper-silent engine which kicked everyone’s ar$e, everyone wd line-up to replicate that"

Excellent point.

234

Montezemolo had travelled to Bahrain to meet with Bernie Ecclestone and with FIA president Jean Todt to discuss changes he would like to make to the rules, to improve the show.

Should have stayed in Italy with his engine designers to discuss changes he'd like to make to improve the car...

235

Exactly Nigel..

237

Superb post! Ha ha, Luca, I don't know what the Italian for faecal matter is, but your team are certainly in it!

238

"Cazzo" should do the trick.

239

I thought it was kaka in any language!

240

The Bahrain race was exciting precisely because Mercedes allowed this to happen ie No team orders! If Luca di Montezemolo had his way with Ferrari dominance, team orders by Ferrari would have ensured a very boring race as we have seen so often. Boo to team orders!

So its kind of ironic that we have the same Mr Montezemolo complaining about F1 being boring.

241

I find it hard to picture a scenario (this early in the season) where Alonso or Raikkonen let their team mate through when they are fighting for the win. But I agree that is ironic montezemelo saying it's boring!

242

When Luca stuck his arm out for a taxi at the airport, he was a little surprised when Kimi turned up and asked him to perch on the front wing. Fortunately adding a second passenger didn't affect the car's performance too much, although they were out dragged by several Indian-made road cars on the way to the circuit.

243

LMAO - Priceless image 🙂

244

+1

245

"The engine people at the factory need to work to make a big leap forward in quality"

If there was *ever any doubt that the "engine people" intend to cheat, this should clarify the matter.

246

Step one... break both Ferrari engines in the next race. Spectacular failures with smoke and flames, ideally, get the turbo to shoot a 6 foot jet of flame out the exhaust.

Step two... tell the FIA that the Ferrari engine needs significant changes for reliability purposes.

Step three... launch full scale night-ops against Brixworth factory, remove Mercedes Power Units.

Step Four... tape "Ferrari" across the top of "new power units", submit to FIA for homologation.

247

Monte, for a man who's team is given Force India's budget, just for showing up, you build pretty lousy equipment.

248

Being the 5th best team doesn't feel very good and developing a fast car is so hard without Bridgestone.. There must be something we can do!! Hey Bernie, Jean, Ive got a few rule changes in mind that will get us back on the podium... Can you help a brother out?

249

While I share the sentiment of Luca that the engine needs to sound a lot louder, he should embrace the emerging cutting edge technology.

Its very painful to see Ferrari being so off the pace, come on do a pep talk and motivate the engineering team to do one better!!!

250
The Spanish Inquisitor

Last year the FIA was a banana republic, changing the tire rules ..... The power of Ferrari is less than zero....

251

Ferrari are so poor, it kills me. As much as i want Alonso to stay, i cannot see it. They havent had a good car for years. No way can they make up the deficit this year. They need to sort it out and as an Italian, get rid of the all Italian management, it doesnt work. Painful.

252

James,

Depending on the circuit but to me, yesterday Ferrari was 6th fastest, not 5th !

1) Mercedes

2) Redbull

3) McLaren

4) Force India

5) Williams

6) Ferrari

In fact 3/4/5 can be different, they were close in terms of speed.

LdM has to look at himself and SD I think. It is not just the engine or the chassis that is lacking. The Ferrari engine power/efficiency, mechanical grip, aero, high tyre degradation, it is all at or below average. All these areas are lacking rather than the one.

It feels like something within the organisation is responsible for that....

253

Sorry last sentence :"It feels like something within the organisation is responsible for that…."

Has to be : It feels like the organisation is responsible for that all areas are underperforming.

254

Did he catch a taxi? 😉

Seriously though, what kind of message does that send to the team and fans?

With respect to the Tifosi - who are arguably some of the most dedicated fans in the world - if LDM can't be bothered sticking around for the hard times then why should they?

Shame on you Luca.

255

If he did catch a taxi he would insist on it being an Alfa Romeo or Lancia, and insist on the taxi driver fixing the car when it breaks down.........

Are the tifosi dedicated, or myopic? Don't forget in the 20s they elected some chap called Benito (who was supported by a certain chap called Enzo of Modena incidentally) and then in the early 50s briefly flirted with communism via the Russians, so the Italians are hardly beacons of wisdom and good judgement!

And if you think that is harsh, ask yourself - why did Daniel's mum and dad emigrate to Australia?

256

Coz the Aussies were making better wine than the Italians around that time LOL!!

Mind you the Italians have come back very strongly in that department.

Anyway I digress. Great to see Ferraris being trounced again, like they have been during the 80s and 90s.

257

Indeed.

Mind you, F1 still gives a certain alcoholic product made in France..........ah well, perhaps when Daniel wins first race break open a bottle of Jacob's creek eh?

258

really ?

just try to replicate your 20th century history lesson with the brilliant German minds behind the Mercedes dominance.

259

"Why did Daniel’s mum and dad emigrate to Australia?"

So people would pronounce their name correctly? 😉

260

Did Luca call a cab?

261

I wouldnt be surprised if Jean Todt called it for him. In fact I dont know why he didn't just whistle him a camel ! 🙂

262

James while the race was exciting a large part of that was down to the safety car, not the nature of F1 today. The two races before this were exceedingly dull. I'm not one of the fans who just changes tune because of a safety car... We have to be logical here. Maybe they should promote Maldonado higher up the field and give him free reign... That's the current key to excitement now.

263

The only place they should promote Maldonado is to the nearest exit.

Please Drive Very Safely, Alright?

264

What are you smoking? The race was exciting before the safety car.

265

Disagree

It was great without the safety car and would have been a tight finish

266

How much is the lead of Rosberg and Hamilton to the 3rd car before and after the safety car period?

267

i agree james because the mercs on different strategies was shaping up for a good finnish(still was amazing anyway)and the battle between force india and williams(2 vs 3 stops) would have been just as exciting

268

Thank god there is Jean Todt at the helm of FIA. Everyone seemed to have a good race except Ferrari powered cars... dont blame the new formula.. blame your own people. maybe have a look in the mirror too.

269

Just what is going on at Ferrari? All those resources and they haven't built a winning car for a decade... How can they manage to keep failing year after year?

James, a question on another note. How was it widely known from last year that the Mercedes engine would be so much more powerful that the others, and that the Mercedes works team would be the class of the field? What were the indications to make this a certainty so long before these cars even began to run?

270

Visiting them, chatting to them and seeing how long they had been working on a centre of excellence for ERS tech at Brixworth

271

James if you and others are able to notice all this, what is your personal insight as to why Ferrari and Renault have obviously failed? I mean the Ferrari's struggled to pass anyone even with DRS. I do think this power unit rule has ended up with a similar result as the tyre wars of past, except there is no chance of anyone improving during the season. I hated those tyre war years when one brand had a huge advantage, because ultimately while the cars and their development is cool, I do want to see the best drivers in the world in somewhat comparable equipment.

272

They might argue investment

I'd add very clear focus and long term planning

Merc have been building a centre of excellence at Brixworth on KERS/ERS tech for over six years now

They had the best KERS system and the also make the Merc E Cell electric super car there, so there's a lot going on

273

I understand, but where did you get the information on Ferrari and Renault at the time, to be able to say that.

How did you know that other two are far behind?

Did you visit Viry and Maranello as well and then draw he conclusion, or there's some other source of information, you can't really expose? 🙂

274

Oh and while the race was easily the best of the season, the safety car made a massive difference otherwise same as usual.

275

Boo-freakin-hoo.

276

It was a great race, but a lot had to do with the Mercedes-engine powered teams having a big advantage over the other teams.

Overtaking was very easy for them, Ferrari etc. were sitting ducks even without the DRS.

And we all know a safetycar at the right time brings excitement too, as cars get closer together again.

277

poor monte, where did all that money go? i think they should've stuck with a ferrari instead of the fiat. they could at least be second in a ferrari. fiats are useless nor matter how much cash you throw at it.

278

I'm not even a Ferrari fan, but that's not how you support the troops Montezemolo!!

What sort of message does that send the drivers and team by leaving early, this guy a child! A real leader sticks it out through the good and bad, and there is mostly bad in motor racing.

I feel for Alonso, he has much more to show as does Kimi and this sort of support does them no good.

279

Both drivers should leave early halfway through LDM's next rant - and you know it's coming 😉

280

Great analysis James. Yesterday's race had all things in place that I think fans both old and new want. The two key things were that DRS was an aid but was not so strong that it allowed the opportunity for defensive and counter racing. Secondly and for me most important the tyres. They had the right level of degradation and allowed drivers to race but not ruin their strategies.

The irony in Luca' remarks after this race show how much trouble Ferrari are in. I have no problem with him as he is doing what all F1 teams would and that is to try and create an advantage. As ever though in F1 there is always a simple solution that takes away all problems.......build a faster car!

281
Matthew Cheshire

Not a believer in the captain going down with the ship then. Montezemolo should taking the pain with his team rather than jumping into the first lifeboat....

282

Changing the engine noises would be a knee jerk reaction. They do not need changing. The new engines sound better than the dated V8s.

284

Do Not Give In On The Sound! We are not pimping our motorbike here, are we?

F1 needs to grow up. I wholeheartedly agree with Dennis. We owe it to the next generation.

Thank you Todt for keeping true to your vision.

285

Every dog has its day. It's just not Ferrari's turn.

286
robert christian

someone should tell luca that this season is over for ferrari. and they should start work on next years car and use this years races for testing. after seeing the speed of the mercs no one will get near them

287

Yawn the guy is always crying. Never heard a peep during the Schumi years. He wanted an engine formula. Now he has one.

288

I wonder if Ferrari have a fundamental issue with aero balance? Could be possible that the Ferrari's aero balance is too rearward biased, therefore the front axle zone will be liable to locking and understeer as the downforce generated at the front is not equal to the rear.

As for traction problems, could be problems with the engine mapping, torque delivery etc.

Just supposition, but something is certainly amiss at Maranello.

James Allison, you have joined a team with a huge amount to solve. ASAP.

289

The aero seems great and so does the mechanical traction. It's the PU and the way they use and deliver the ERS which is completely ruining their performance.

290

Ferrari: either superbly brilliant or incredibly rubbish. Looks like the latter for this season if they don't find some improvements.

Remember the old Ferrari cliche "Next year we go for the championship?" Well this year perhaps that's a wise decision!

291

I'm no expert, but I think they'd do better to say "this year we go for the championship".

In related news next year I'm going to be a millionaire.

292

At the rate I'm going it'll be more like one million Vietnamese dongs...

293

AUS dollars, NZ dollars, Euros or £ sterling?

294

Something does need to change or this will simply become a Mercedes formula. The factory Mercedes team won the race, 6 of the top ten were Mercedes powered. If McLaren had managed to build a decent chassis it would probably be 8 out of 10.

Mercedes certainly seem to have found something special; both in the engine that is helping lower teams rise above where they might previously have been expected, and in their factory chassis.

Fortunately RBR/Renault seem to be clawing a bit of ground back but are still over 2 seconds off the pace. Unfortunately Ferrari seem to be dropping ever further behind and I don't think this is good for the sport.

I would love to know what Mercedes have done (as would the engineers at Renault and Ferrari I expect). Any ideas?

295

Well why not?

We've had Formula Williams, Formula McLaren, Formula Ferrari and Formula Red Bull.

So why shouldn't Merc have their time in the sun - and as for how they've done it?

Hard work and ingenuity, fair and square.

296

Please do correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember ever seeing 6 cars using the same engine dominate the top 10 like this. The closest I can think of is when both Williams and Benetton used Renault and even then it was only 4 cars.

297

@ManOnWheels, yep, you have to go back to the era when Ford totally dominated the field to get near to an equivalent situation. However, even when given that, in that era, 4 out of 5 cars were Ford powered they didn't dominate the races in quite the same way, some races were won by Renault or Ferrari.

P.S. That is actually before my time, I didn't really develop an interest in Motorsports until I started riding a motorbike in the late eighties.

298

Remember 1980.

299

I dunno.

Goferet?

300

Yes, it pains to see the Ferrari like this. The continuous points finishing record of Ferrari is under threat, even if both cars finish the race, Both the star world champions may finish below P10 if there are lesser DNF by other teams in the next few races.

🙁

301

Bahrain was the biggest thread for their points score finish. China will see ther first real updates and will provide track characteristics that suit better to their car.

302

@ Mocho_Pikuain

There is not a lot difference between bahrain and china.

On both these track we have enough straights and some corners which require a steady traction out of slow speed corners. We can also see atleast one corner with high speed as well. If anything Ferrari will continue the same poor trend at china too

All the talk about the software updates and improvements will not push Ferrari forward in china, they will scuffle around the track and may score some points nothing else will happen

The post race bahrain talks from Alonso and Pat Fry looked like more of gentle team talk and they even pointed bahrain circuit as reason for their failure which is really hilarious to hear

There is no way out for Ferrari from this downward spiral at least for 2014 & 2015

Maybe they can try in 2016

303

They were 4th in Malasia with Alonso 2 weeks ago. Bahrain provides traction-top speed sections all over the track, while China has just a couple of traction corners followed by short straights and has a good section of high speed corners (where the Ferrari has been beating Williams, Force india and McLaren, and been quite close to the Mercs) including the one that preceeds the long staright, probably the most important factor to think about when working on the set up. They will still lack top speed, but the disadvantage on that matter will be covered by the good downforce they have.

304

Alonso AND Kimi back at MacLaren in 2015?

305

HAHAHAHA!!!! Honestly though- other than Kimi quitting F1 to get drunk on some yacht, what better option each of them have? It will be a roll of the dice to see if Honda can deliver- but i'd put money on it. Alonso will race with the best ride he can get. Kimi- who knows, maybe he'll hang it up again, maybe he won't. I don't see him sticking around in a car good enough for 10th place though... But- will McLaren ditch JB? maybe. Will they ditch KM? I don't think so- but we'll see how his season continues.