Did Ferrari favour Alonso over Raikkonen? Strategy Analysis from Spanish GP
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Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 May 2014   |  1:52 pm GMT  |  368 comments

The Spanish Grand Prix this year turned on Strategy; the battle for the victory between the two Mercedes drivers centred on two different strategies, as did the impressive recovery drive of Sebastian Vettel from 15th to 4th and the battle between the two Ferrari drivers, which has been the subject of a lot of speculation.

Here we will clear up exactly what was going on in the strategies of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso and why Alonso ended up ahead.


Pre-race considerations

Based on Friday running, it was clear that the difference in performance between the Pirelli medium and hard tyre was around 4/10ths of a second per lap and the tyres were lasting well enough in most cases for the majority of drivers to feel that a two stop strategy was the best way to go.

Simulations showed that two stops was slightly faster for some teams, albeit fairly similar for others. Arguably two stops is less risky with traffic hold ups, however the teams are learning this year with three stops that if you have a new set of tyres and turn up the ERS boost to the maximum with zero fuel saving modes, the gain is over a second a lap. It is relatively easy to overtake, certainly backmarker cars. Sebastian Vettel’s drive was a perfect illustration of that, but he also had some tough overtakes to make.

If a car was not suffering too much degradation, then two stops was fine, as Bottas’ excellent drive for Williams proved.

In the race, eight of the top ten finishers were on two stops.


Rosberg on a different strategy –did it have a chance of working?

The Mercedes was in a league of its own in Spain. Like Bahrain, Rosberg lost the start to Hamilton and was stuck in second place in the early stages. If he did the same strategy as Hamilton he would follow him for 66 laps. He could try to undercut his team mate by stopping a lap earlier, but would be unlikely to be able to make enough of a difference to get the track position.

The preferred option – the Plan B agreed before the race between the Mercedes strategists and the driver – was to switch him to the harder tyre at the first stop and look to attack in the final laps of the race when Hamilton would be on the slower tyre. This increases the pressure on the leader and is more of a psychological challenge, because the gaps are offset and need to be calculated all the time, allowing for the difference between compounds.

It was noticeable in his radio messages with his team about the gap he needed to maintain over Rosberg, that Hamilton sounded quite stressed.

Simulations showed that Rosberg should catch Hamilton with six laps to go, at which point Rosberg would be 0.58s per lap faster. Would it be enough to overtake?

In fact he only caught Hamilton in the final two laps and didn’t really have a chance to attack. This was partly due to being slightly less effective in clearing slower cars (Button and Kobayashi in particular) than Hamilton, who was also able to maintain the gap in at the higher end of the desired range. He was asked to keep the gap at 5 seconds, Rosberg told to get it down to around 2 seconds.

Against that, Hamilton’s stops were both slower than Rosberg’s. His combined time in the pit lane was 46.54 seconds, while Rosberg’s was 44.56 seconds.

Like Bahrain Mercedes gave Rosberg a fair chance to challenge, after he had lost out in qualifying and the race and he said afterwards that he was happy with the strategy he was given. Another time he will know the details he needs to work on to give himself the best shot at beating his team mate.


Red Bull – Vettel getting the hang of 2014 cars

One thing was crystal clear from Barcelona: Sebastian Vettel is now getting up to speed with the handling of the 2014 cars, whose weaker back end due to reduced downforce, gave him little confidence at the start of the year. His recovery drive from 15th place on a three stop strategy was the drive of the day and the strategy relied on him passing a lot of cars.

The key to his 3 stop plan was that, while slower on paper, it offered the chance to have a bigger pace differential at key points of the race. If he had done two stops he would have struggled to make headway.

It was clear what his plan was from Lap 12, when he made an aggressive early stop and then he was able to run in clear air at times at a high pace as well as to turn up engine and ERS and pass cars relatively easily. He was held up by Massa and Grosjean, but neither was able to hold him for long.

He was fortunate however to finish fourth rather than sixth and this was down to Ferrari making a mistake on the final stop with Alonso.

As we shall see, the Spaniard had been switched onto a three stop plan and was running ahead of Vettel on lap 51; both of them having one more stop to make.

At this point, Ferrari should have pitted Alonso to cover an undercut from Vettel, but Red Bull pitted the German first on lap 52 and he undercut Alonso, taking the position away from him. He also cleared Raikkonen, who was two stopping, in the same move. This allowed Vettel on fresh tyres to catch Bottas and gain another position before the end.

Had Alonso covered Vettel’s final stop, by stopping on lap 51 or 52, they would have been on the same strategy, albeit with Vettel on fresh tyres and it would have been hard for Vettel to pass him. After all, Alonso had comfortably held Vettel behind him for 14 laps before Vettel’s final stop.


Ferrari – did they give Alonso the advantage over Raikkonen?

By far the most talked about subject after the race was the strategy moves at Ferrari, which led to Fernando Alonso beating his team mate Kimi Raikkonen to the finish, despite qualifying and racing behind him for much of the race.

So did Ferrari give Alonso the better strategy, as some people are claiming?

The first point to make is that 3 stops was not faster than two. Both drivers started the race planning to stop twice, what happened was that Alonso had higher tyre degradation in the second stint and converted to a three stop at that point.

The contentious question is why did Alonso get to make the first stop on lap 16, one lap before Raikkonen? Normally the prerogative lies with the lead car. There are two explanations for this.

One is that Ferrari was trying to get Alonso ahead with a classic under cut, but if that was the case he did not pull it off. Another explanation, Ferrari’s explanation, is that he pitted first because he was under threat from Massa, who had pitted aggressively on lap 15 and they had to cover that stop with Alonso. This worked and so Raikkonen and Alonso remained ahead of the Brazilian into the second stint. The optimum stop lap was 18, so Raikkonen was the closest to that with his stop on lap 17.

According to the team, Alonso then suffered greater tyre degradation in the second stint than Raikkonen and they wanted Alonso to cover Vettel, who was clearly three stopping, so the team switched him to three stops. Raikkonen was informed of this via radio.


The lap times don’t really show the degradation difference clearly; they are quite similar with Alonso sitting between two and three seconds behind the Finn from laps 17 to 35. But clearly he felt he was losing performance with another seven or eight laps to go to the second stop. The degradation for Raikkonen towards the end of the second stint was damaging for his race effort and opened the door for Alonso to close and pass in the end (see Race History Graph below).

Again the timing of Alonso’s second stop was set by the gap back to Massa, who was clearly three-stopping. Alonso pitted on lap 35 and stayed ahead of his former team mate.

Even allowing for the difference in tyre use, Alonso had slightly better underlying pace than Raikkonen and this meant that the gap between them was only five seconds after Alonso’s final stop, with the Spaniard now back on medium tyres, albeit used ones.

Approaching that third stop, Ferrari also had an eye on Vettel who was just behind Alonso by this stage, however they made a mistake in not covering him, as they had done Massa earlier in the race. (see separate section)

In the final stint, Alonso cruised up to Raikkonen quite quickly, stayed behind for five laps and then passed him.

Raikkonen said afterwards that two stops was the wrong strategy for him, because he was unable to push at the end and because he struggled all race with low grip and poor traction causing degradation.

He was very frustrated, partly because of the way the strategies worked out, but mainly because he was lapped by the winner and he and Alonso were so far off the pace with little sign of a recovery. It is going to be a very long season for the two Ferrari drivers.

Did Ferrari deliberately favour Alonso? It’s not clear that they did. The moves they made were certainly done with others like Massa and Vettel in mind, as Alonso was vulnerable to both.

Bottas’ race shows that two stops should work out better, but Raikkonen’s tyre degradation was worse than expected, as was Alonso’s.

But something was done to overcome that in Alonso’s case and not in Raikkonen’s. Draw conclusions from that as you will.


The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen, with help and input from several of the leading teams’ F1 Strategists, from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan and from Pirelli.

Race History Graph, courtesy of Williams Martini Racing

The zero line is the lap time of an imaginary car doing the winner’s average lap speed every lap. It is intended to show the gaps between car performance.

Note the end of Raikkonen’s second stint, the tyre degradation compared to another car, eg Bottas, doing the same two stop strategy. This is where Raikkonen’s race was compromised.

Williams have had tyre degradation problems in the early races, but Bottas’ result of 5th showed that they are getting on top of these issues. If Ferrari had covered Vettel at the final stop, Bottas would have finished fourth, a great effort.

[Click on graph to enlarge]

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1

interesting..so there is a possibility that more than one driver can start from pitlane in one race…this will add up to already existing battle for WCC..good times ahead!!

2

yes Kimi is improving. Ferrari is dropping the ball with strategy calls, along with a myriad other problems. They seem to be well aware of their tyre degradation. Fernando won last year at Spain with 3 stop strategy if memory serves. Why not simply three stop both cars? Alonso is a great driver, but not one of my favorites due to his shady past and his diva attitude. Kimi is the polar opposite. Shuns the media and is a no nonsense racer. We’ve seen marked improvement from Kimi’s side of the garage at Spain and IMHO I think that will ccntinue. Ferrari’s problems are not their drivers, they are both quick and are WDC-WCC drivers. THeir big problems are design and engineering. It took Schumi to turn them around.

Has anyone heard any more news about MS? Seems its been a while since anything was given to the media.

3

If Ferrari used the same energy and creativity to develop their car that they use to oppress their second driver, championships would be pouring in from doors and windows.

4

I meant #2 driver, not second driver.

5

By other nick “Luis Pastilla”, aren’t you?

6

#2 Luis Pastilla……sorry second Luis Pastilla

7

Nope. I’m new here.

8

I am not interested in conspiracy theories. I am giving Ferrari the benefit of the doubt with this one.

But one thing you can’t deny! Kimi is improving! We’re gonna see some class act races from the Finn for sure in the future 🙂

I am a Kimi fan, but this ain’t a silly fan-boy comment! But to think Kimi is gonna finish every race behind Alonso with a 50 second gap is stupid, to say the least!! Nobody is gonna wipe the floor here with anybody! They are both evenly matched and talented drivers. Some people here have to open their eyes to it instead of pointlessly bashing the driver they are not supporting!

9

James, if I may, before we leave this page and move on …

Could you please clear up the issue with how many sets of tyres were available to Kimi for his last stint?

According to Pirelli he had a new set of hards available, but was given a used set. Why would that happen?

10

I have a sheet from one of the teams saying 0 primes (hards) and 0 options for RAI

1 prime and 0 options for ALO

11

1 Race into the season hardly kimi held the track position over alonso. All of a sudden kimi fans start the bandwagons and jump with statements like kimi is faster. However if we take a closer look at the lap times or average race lap kimi was not faster at all. He just had the track position advantage over alonso. Fernando will be back next race with a bang and will put kimi on the backfoot like he did in the first four races.

Well what to say about the F14T? This car is a terminal disaster for 2014. Williams RBR and even lotus are easily fastest than the Ferrari truck

12

A very knowledgeable gentlemen will shed some light in the link below:-

http://m.youtube.com/watch?sns=tw&v=fIMPE8VcjVo

14

That was before Barcelona and even then he predicted Kimi would catch him AND he was right!- now its ON!

15

Will kimi request renumeration this year or will he use the “I race for free” leverage to entice another team to take a punt on him?

16

@Kartrace- you & 3 others here would never understand it even if someone told you a thousand times :- Money in F1 changes everything. Fernando comes with massive support from Santander and its huge target Spanish and latin American market (& Good luck to him for that)- No other driver in F1 has that level of support. It is why Ferrari signed Fernando in the first place. It fitted perfectly for him and Felipe in fact. It is well documented that Fernando had already negotiated a contract with Ferrari in April 2008- at the time Kimi was leading the WDC and had a contract till end of 2009. But what do you think hundreds of millions of dollars and the opportunity to take Mclarens then major sponsor away from them led too…(common sense please)

When Kimi returned to F1 he was not nervous and he has not been nervous for 2 years in fact he has made every driver and every critic nervous because only he regularly took it to the podium when even so called experts didnt give him a hope. Despite this very raw new 2014 formula and only 4 races – he never once panicked and stated many times he just need a bit of time to sort things out- & hes just done that- hes already quicker than Fernando-so I would suggest its only Fernando that is starting to panic otherwise why else would his fuel flow be illegal level and he still got beaten on Sat.Failed undercut and to catch Kimi, team strategy was the only way he could beat Kimi- from a racers point of view it was a very low act from Ferrari again and a sign of a very desperate driver- fighting for 6th place. Because after just 4 races it shows he is not so unbeatable.. as he has made many foolish people believe.

Kimi is not a talker – hes a doer- its not for everyone and even I wish he would sometimes say more, but then again his english is not so strong and the media find it easier to twist things around.

There is no disppointment for Ldm because with Kimi challenging Fernando it makes the whole team push forward, and it also tells Fernando that you cannot enjoy unconditional no1 status if you discredit the Ferrari name and the last Ferrari F1 champ did Not need unconditional no1 status.and despite being fired by the team never once discredited the Ferrari name- hes an honourable man.

17

Everyone sees only what suits once convictions and prejudice. Kimi in my view got lots and lots to prove before this motorsport world. So far not much has been seen only his very abrupt nature. Why some people adore rude personalities it is beyond me. As the driver he is struggling and he is getting more and more nervous. Alonso lasted much, much longer, whole 3 seasons at the team which since 2008 didn’t have a proper leadership, then he became inpatient and opened up for which I supported him 100%. Schumacher was in a different world he hat three best possible people at the helm who did everything for him, so no comparison at all. Ferrari failed Alonso and fans 4 to long. Why they brought back Kimi is beyond common sense and only LDM knows the reason. I just wonder which one of two are bigger disappointment to him, F14T or Kimi ?

18

Telemetry is the mane of the game. When they notice certain technical aspects they react accordingly. There is also a situation and development on the track which urges team to cover other drivers. From the beginning of 4014 Raikkonen looked worst then if he was a rookie… then he ask questions after the race. What’s the use of it. No one told him about radio communication as yet ?

19

Ahhmm..Because you heard every radio communication and had access to every bit of telemtry did you..Honestly people have no common sense if any driver had Prior knowledge of a driver undercutting him– do you honestly think they wouldnt have done something about it if they were allowed to do so???… Do people think Raikkonen spent hours after the race trying to get to who made the decisions and blasting tem without asking what was going on on track– you got rocks in your head..

20

When it comes to being rude it is clear that Kimi got adequately rude followers, thanks for your explanation and showing the real colors…

The bottom line is that he decided to get paid therefore free willingly he joined Ferrari. In this case he is un employee who will have to follow what suits the team and its politics. Otherwise he must establish his own team using his own finances to have everything his way. Firstly he must start driving and stop moaning and complaining. After winning in 2007 he was hardly any match for Massa.

21

So you had a chance of reading his Ferrari contract, that is what you claim. That man was just happen to be on the same path at the same time going opposite direction, he wasn’t even going for Kimi. I walked paddock many times and yes there is sometime people do bump each other but not violently pushing each other. Other guy was much bigger what would happen if he responded back ? You know the stick got two ends, so no excuse for such violent. If I was his team boss I would give him financial ticked for what he did. BTW he is a public figure who is not representing only himself but the whole team by wearing that branded driver suit with all partners of that tam to. Very immature and rude, no matter what you say.

At the beginning of the last century Sir. Winston Churchill was at the building site of the railway somewhere in Eastern Transvaal. He was interviewing the civil engineer in charge of that building site ( at that time Churchill was a South African correspondent for the British press ). Local native walked past those two who were standing at the site and greeted them “Good day sir”. Churchill touched his hat, nodded in acknowledgment, and replied back with “good day”. Site master was utterly surprised and asked Churchill why he greeted that man ? The explanation given was “Not an ordinary labor is going to undo my etiquettes “. BTW courtesy cost nothing….

22

Yes he did join Ferrari. He signed a contract which was made clear he was was an equal driver. Ferrari knows it Fernando knows and Kimi knows it- the whole world knows it. So when Ferrari act outside the contract that commitment is broken. Look we all know sometimes there are other reasons they do what they do. But that does not mean ANYONE would not be rightly angry about it. What do you think Fernando would have been like if the situation was reversed… Exactly. ! Put the shoe on the other foot for a change!

Kimi is a far better team player than Fernando is and as far whingeing goes even Ross Brawn said Kimi was always correct not to bag the team or the car in public- very much like MS before him in that he did bag the team publically. Domenicali and even Montezemolo have always said Raikkonen was always very correct with how he worked with the team, but we all know that was exactly what Fernando didnt do last year ( even though I understand his frustration). Kimi rightly questioned what everyone including the team were supposed to do Nothing else!

I dont know what your point is of the Spanish video but honestly some media have no brains fancy walking straight into a guy with a mic in hand!- no excuse me, no Kimi – nothing just walk right up & stick the thing is his face whilst he was going elsewhere- you want to talk rude.. Why dont you see that.

24

Sorry 2014

25

I cannot believe some of the comments being posted.

On paper the 2 stop was faster but fact is quite a few drivers suffer,ed graining on the harder compound – when Rosberg complained during his 2nd stint I thought oh ooh Hamilton’s in trouble but he survived.

With Vettels pace both cars should have been put on a 3 stop. There was no way they could hold off the Red Bull, they may have even caught Bottas with Vettel chasing (at the very least Kimi would’nt have been lapped) they had track position!

Some need to understand the teams prime target is the constructor title the WDC is a bonus – swapping driver position at the cost of potential points is stupid.

Seriously who in their right mind would want Alonso in their team. The disruption he causes brings more harm than good.

26
kenneth chapman

@ thompson…there you are again…i offered up my presence to you some time back as you were asking other posters to deliver me a message from you.

what was that message? i am still here and you can talk to me in the first person?

27

James, thank you for the photo at the top.

My fingers are crossed that Kimi will quietly continue to make that car work more to his liking.

My only regret [maybe concern is better word] is that he may be so far in front of Alo in the races that we never have this debate again 🙂

28

Do you think the car’s to Alonso’s liking? It looks like it’s sort of a disaster in almost every area.

29

of course a disaster considering the amount of money spent on it

30

old days Mirandi or current Caterhams could do a similarly good job in creating a crap car with a lot less money =)

31
Luis Pastilla

Took me a while

I think the word I was looking for is ..”fear”

please forgive, English is not first language.

32

It also may be worth noting that so far this season ALO has been outqualified by RAI in every dry qualifying session.

33

Does that mean that Kimi is not fast enough on a wet track?

34

For the last couple of years Kimi hasn’t been able to warm up tyres properly in the wet. His last good performance on a wet track was back in 2007, at Fuji, as far as I remember

35

Dear James,

I found your analysis good but not great, although of course I appreciate your work and effort with strategists (not forgetting UBS). Underneath are some things which I would like to read in your next analysis.

First, your analysis lacks a table covering length of stints and compounds used by all drivers.

The tyre strategies for each driver in Spanish GP:

Driver Start Pos. Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4

1. Lewis Hamilton 1 Med(18) Med(25) Hard(23)

2. Nico Rosberg 2 Med(21) Hard(24) Med(21)

3. Daniel Ricciardo 3 Med(14) Med(31) Hard(21)

4. Sebastian Vettel 15 Med(12) Hard(21) Med(19) Med(14)

5. Valtteri Bottas 4 Med(20) Med(25) Hard(21)

6. Fernando Alonso 7 Med(16) Med(19) Hard(18) Med(13)

7. Kimi Raikkonen 6 Med(17) Med(26) Hard(22)

8. Romain Grosjean 4 Med(15) Med(19) Hard(31)

9. Sergio Perez 11 Med(18) Hard(19) Med(28)

10. Nico Hulkenberg 10 Med(17) Med(19) Hard(29)

11. Jenson Button 8 Med(17) Med(19) Hard(29)

12. Kevin Magnussen 14 Med(19) Med(22) Hard(24)

13. Felipe Massa 9 Med(15) Med(13) Hard(18) Hard(19)

14. Daniil Kvyat 12 Med(18) Med(18) Hard(17) Med(12)

15. Pastor Maldonado 21 Med(15) Med(22) Hard(28)

16. Esteban Gutierrez 13 Med(18) Med(18) Hard(16) Med(13)

17. Adrian Sutil 16 Med(17) Med(18) Hard(30)

18. Jules Bianchi 18 Med(21) Med(20) Hard(23)

19. Max Chilton 17 Med(17) Med(14) Med(11) Hard(22)

20. Marcus Ericsson 19 Med(18) Med(22) Hard(24)

NC Kamui Kobayashi 20 Med(23) Med(11)

NC Jean-Eric Vergne 22 Hard(16) Med(8)

You could also add how long each driver’s pit stops took. But it would be even more important to add how many and what kinds of tyres each driver had at his disposal (including their usage).

Second, your analysis should cover general information about weather. I mean by it, information about weather and track temperatures during the race and difference between practice, qualifying and event weather conditions. It should be in “Pre-race considerations”.

Considering above I drove several conclusions about last Sunday’s race. Generally, a 3-stop strategy was better than a 2-stop one during the race. I think it was caused by the track and weather temperatures. Of course it is not that simple, because different cars have different tyres degradations. But generally I think it is true.

You wrote –“In the race, eight of the top ten finishers were on two stops”. But the only gains in positions in top ten resulted from this 2 (VET, ALO). If a tyre was not suffering too much degradation, then two stops were fine, as Bottas’ excellent drive for Williams proved. Not true cause BOT lost position to VET, so lost one position in reference to starting position.

Also having long, last stint on hards damaged driver efforts. Especially if it was a very long stint (HUL vs PER, BUT, SUT). Lotus is worth mentioning as it continues last years effort to minimize tyre usage. And finally, MAS could be higher if his last two stints where not on hards. Even RIC had longer stint on med than on hard compound. That is why HAM was not happy with his strategy, but if you are leader then a conservative strategy probably is ok.

So finally, RAI vs ALO. It looks to me like RAI had the worst strategy. I don’t know whose idea that was and looks as if it was not RAIs. I also don’t buy your explanation that at first stint ALO was undercutting MAS, because ALO was very close to passing RAI right after the pit stop. So your explanation that ALO was a buffer between RAI and MAS is completely invalid, because if everything had gone according to Ferrari’s plan after the first pit RAI would have assumed the role of buffer behind ALO and MAS. Therefore RAI should under cut MAS first.

“He (VET) was fortunate however to finish fourth rather than sixth and this was down to Ferrari making a mistake on the final stop with Alonso.” I think you should add “with Alonso and Raikkonen”.

I am looking forward to your thoughts,

36

thinktank You nailed it, I couldn’t put it better myself. Even at the end, why couldn’t they attempt to cover Vettel with both drivers by converting both drivers to three stoppers?

37
kenneth chapman

ferrari have always stressed the point that their first priority is ferrari, the team. given that that is a publicly stated policy then faced with any decision that would favour one driver over the other they would maximise the team result.

it so happens that alonso is ahead in the points, has been with the team the longest and as such is de facto number one then there is no argument.if kimi can outdrive alonso in a one on one scenario then he will be looked on in a totally different light.it is up to kimi to do this. i simply didn’t see kimi outdrive alonso at barca.

38

Nailed it

39

However great racing driver he is, Alonso will always carry the tag of someone who loves and actively seeks preferential treatment. Did Frerrari favour him over Kimi in Barcelona last week? Difficult to say for sure but I suspect they did.

40

sounded stressed on the radio?

it is not by those who move confidently that the race is won…..it is so often won by those who move deliberately, almost tremblingly!

41

Yes Ferrari did favor Alonso as it’s Spain’s GP and Santander too. How could Nando be behind Kimi as Ferrari car was a piece of **** so as to save Nando’s ego, no?

Only curiosity is why didn’t Kimi request for a 3 stop strategy as his tires were falling off just like Alonso’s. Originally they were supposed to do 2 stops. That’s baffling unless we missed something.

42

I have watched F1 long enough – I see very uncharacteristic lockups from Kimi, have never seen that; Kimi is not driving anywhere close to his best. And he still managed to come close to the world’s most perfect driver [car optimized around him for five years, to his style]. And beat him in qualifying – after the KERS bump he got?

I don’t care about the who is the better battle – but one thing is sure – Alonso driving beyond the car and being the perfect driver is the biggest farce of recent F1 times. That’s an Alonso – Botin propaganda.

If there is this urge to define him as the best in some way or other – why don’t we call him ‘World’s best paid driver’ and stop at that?

43
Michael Spitale

“But something was done to overcome that in Alonso’s case and not in Raikkonen’s. Draw conclusions from that as you will.”

I love how James ended this… It will keep the debated spirited to say the least.

44

Kimi asked who made the calls…I would like to know that too.

45

Many rumours suggesting tht ferrari are after newey, brawn and bell… If they succeed, it will take a few years to implement thr changes but the thought of these 3 maestro’s working together is ominous to say the least.

46

Too bad th monaco gp is so far away. Another week of bickering

47
Stephen Taylor

James,

Do you think Kimi will race on into next year if he is still getting consistently beaten by Alonso towards the end of the season?

Stephen Taylor

48

At the beginning, when Ricciardo couldn’t get past Bottas and was told to drop back, I was frustrated at the superiority of Mercedes’ engine (and credit to them, they’ve done a great job) advantage impinging on racing. But at the end I felt more optimistic; good to see Renault-engined Red Bull try something different to get around that and the result being that Vettel pulled off some nice overtaking moves. This included the Mercedes-engined Bottas at the end because Seb was on much fresher tyres and, reading this, could combine that with using his ERS.

Didn’t post this earlier but this GP was a slow-burner but ended really excitingly and I like it when this happens. Someone (Eddie Jordan comeback?!) should get Guinness on board as a sponsor – “good things come to those who wait”. Also think that Romain Grosjean edged it for me in the DotD stakes because that Lotus is still far from perfect but he coaxed it through to 8th, having put it 5th on the grid where it really had no right to be. Keep it up Romain!

49

Great report James and the others ;). Thanks.

50

Red chaos…!! They just don’t know from where to start.

51

There’s an article that comes to mind in this situation:

http://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/

People often sympathise with Massa because he was often ordered to make way for Alonso. What’s forgotten is that Kimi was paid not to drive at all to make way for Alonso. In light of that, it’s not at all farfetched to think that Ferrari favoured Alonso in his home race to avoid him being beaten by Kimi in front of their chief sponsors. Would also explain why Kimi was so unhappy afterwards. Would seem to him like it’s all happening again.

52

Hard to judge, there is a couple of inconsistencies in the article you linked. A bit of a conspiracy theory. I think they themselves (Ferrari) didn’t know at the time who would be paired with Alonso from 2010 on. In the early stages of 2008 there was a lot of talk about Alonso-Kimi pairing. Don’t forget Ferrari were on top back then.

Now the picture is completely different. They will (well, it seems they have been) try hard not to lose Alonso as this, in my view, would be a huge blow in terms of image. And image is what counts for sponsors and shareholders. It would also prove Ferrari’s incability to produce a fast car.

Also, I’m not sure if there’s any other top driver available who could fill his shoes at Maranello in 2015.

My gut feeling is a lot will depend on weather they’ll be able to lure Adrian Newey

53

But it does not explain why did Ferrari hire Kimi then. A big hole in your argument.

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