Drivers don’t pay compliments to other drivers or other teams very often. On the face of it, Jarno Trulli seems to think Kimi Raikkonen should start clearing a place on his mantlepiece for the 2008 FIA F1 World Drivers’ Championship trophy:
When you watch Ferrari’s performance on the track your arms drop [in amazement]. They brake where they want but, above all, they accelerate where they want, when I always have to be careful giving power, which is no longer managed by traction control.
But in January Trulli suggested at least one team had found a way to re-create the banned launch control systems:
Having analysed the behaviour on the track both now and in the tests in December, the changes between them are many – and in several cases suspicious.
Traction control and launch control are different systems but both are concerned with reducing wheelspin. Is Trulli suggesting that Ferrari are using an illegal traction control device?
Toyota and Ferrari tested on their own at Bahrain for six days so Trulli will have had plenty of time to take notice of what they were doing.
Last year Ferrari ran away with the first race of the season at Melbourne and Kimi Raikkonen scored a crushing win. But after a change to the rules governing the underside of the car, which Ferrari were believed to be getting around with a flexing floor, their advantage over the rest of the field was lessened.
Is Trulli sending out messages that he thinks Ferrari have gotten too far in front of the rest of the pack and need to be pegged back? Here’s what else he had to say:
In my opinion they are at least half a second faster per lap, even with respect to McLaren. The championship already looks over to me before it has started.
The last time Ferrari and McLaren tested side-by-side was at Valencia three weeks ago, where there was very little to choose between the cars. In the Bahrain test Raikkonen posted a quickest time of 1’30.015, almost a second quicker than Trulli’s 1′30.994.
Which leaves two questions: are Ferrari really that far ahead of everyone else? And is Trulli trying to nobble them?
Photo copyright: Ferrari S.p.A.
More on 2008 F1 testing
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 1: Circuit de Catalunya
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 2: Circuit de Catalunya
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 3: Jerez
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 4: Valencia
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 5: Circuit de Catalunya
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 6: Bahrain
- 2008 F1 testing round-up 7: Bahrain
- Video: F1 testing in Valencia (part 1)
- Video: F1 testing in Valencia and Jerez (part 2)
- Video: F1 testing at Barcelona (part 3)
- Video: F1 testing at Bahrain (part 4)