2008 Turkish Grand Prix preview: how can anyone stop Ferrari?

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2008, practice, 470150

Ferrari have a seriously impressive winning streak going at the moment:

Race Kimi Raikkonen Felipe Massa
2007 Chinese Grand Prix 1 3
2007 Brazilian Grand Prix 1 2
2008 Australian Grand Prix 8 DNF
2008 Malaysian Grand Prix 1 DNF
2008 Bahrain Grand Prix 2 1
2008 Spanish Grand Prix 1 2

Their off-colour performance at Melbourne is the only blot in their last half-dozen races. Can anyone stop them in Istanbul?

Ferrari seemed to have a decisive few tenths of a second’s advantage over their closest rivals in Barcelona. In the last two races they’ve had both their drivers at the head of the pack within a couple of laps and dictated the pace of the race from there.

If either of their closest rivals – McLaren and BMW – can hold them back in Istanbul they need to begin on Saturday by getting ahead of them in qualifying.

In order to do that they probably need to run a little lighter on fuel. BMW have tried it a few times and Robert Kubica has looked like the driver best placed to do it.

McLaren on the other hand seem unwilling to run a lighter fuel load in qualifying. They have apparently been struggling with rear tyre wear, and if they ran a shorter first stint their later stints would have to be slightly longer as a result and might be too much for their tyres to take.

And McLaren and BMW now have the added complication of a resurgent Renault and Fernando Alonso, who seem able to get ahead of them (but not necessarily Ferrari), if they run light in qualifying.

It all points towards another one-two for Ferrari at a track where Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have won all three of their previous races. I wouldn’t bet on anyone stopping them this weekend.

2008 Turkish Grand Prix information

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24 comments on 2008 Turkish Grand Prix preview: how can anyone stop Ferrari?

  1. Sri said on 7th May 2008, 8:02

    Amen to a 1-2!

  2. Michael K said on 7th May 2008, 9:02

    No one can stop Ferrari in Istanbul, unless they do it themselves…

  3. Sri said on 7th May 2008, 9:17

    One Macca driver(Flame me, but it is not Kovi) was relatively harder on tyres(well he is still, no signs of improvement on that so far). Perhaps it is the driving style. I can only make an educated guess(some of which is based on what commentators mention during a race).

    Ferrari(Kimi) have been facing a problem with quali and they admit that much. They are spot on, when it comes to the race pace. Also, Kimi, he is not the car wrecker(a lot of press from his Macca days mentioned this) which people thought he was. However, i can’t deny that he may have been a party on occasions, to mercilessly pressing on the throttle, when the engine was choking, only bringing a swifter death.

    BMW have a unique problem. Decent quali speed, with decent race speed. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Not quite. They now have Macca to beat to be best of the rest(and they are not very far from it). They are give or take a bit, at par. They fear losing out entirely if light fuel doesn’t work. So one driver is running light(somewhat) while another runs heavy. Which has been evident in the races so far.

    Can anyone trouble Ferrari? Yes. Answer is BMW, as Ferrari have been saying all along.

  4. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr said on 7th May 2008, 9:25

    I agree keith i dont think anyone will get near ferrari this weekend. intresting to see how well massa does this weekend he wasnt reallly close to kimi in spain.

    i think the closest fight will be between mclaren bmw and alonso for the rest of the points finishes, if renault go light in qualifying again, which i think they will then alonso could be looking at a top 5 finnish. expecting another close fight between hamilton and kubica for the 3rd place.

    my prediction:


    if myu prediction turns out to be true hamilton will have to win in monaco if hes to have any chance of winning the tittle.

  5. Your article is truly impressive! It still remains to be seen if Ferrari have got back their legendary reliability of the early seasons of this millenium. I hope they’ve it sorted out!

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th May 2008, 10:34

    Thanks Sriram!

  7. Sush said on 7th May 2008, 10:59

    I have a feeling Heidfield and Alonso are the ones to look out for this weekend (other than Ferrari)

    McLaren haven’t done any development work since spain, so I’m expecting them to lose a bit of form.

    BMW have to sort the accelerating issues they have had so far or they will be fighting Hamilton and Kovi.

    and of course my heart is hoping Force India do well.

  8. Mani said on 7th May 2008, 13:22

    Nice article Keith! Of course Ferraris remain untouchable at this point of the season; had it not been for Maasa’s error at Malaysia, Spain would have been their third 1-2 in a row. But, it is fair to say, they’re upto a hat-trick 1-2 finish at Istanbul; considering their current form.

    They play well on their aerodynamics, as of now someone is yet to really challenge Ferrari’s performance. It is likely that, the BMWs can do it, when they completely out-perform McLarens or McLarens should find a way by themselves. McLarens – from my point of view – had a very good start for the season, but didn’t capitalize well on it. Not for any specific reason, but they seem not upto the mark. Now rather focusing on troubling Ferraris, they’ve to save themselves from losing to BMWs.

    So, it’ll be the battle between BMWs and McLarens for next couple of races… whoever wins it, will take on Ferraris later this season. If Ferraris can improve their qualifying pace, I think they can comfortably lead the pack till the mid-season.

  9. the limit said on 7th May 2008, 13:55

    No one is going to stop Ferrari in Turkey, the race will be between Raikkonen and Massa. My money is on Raikkonen.

  10. TommyBellingham said on 7th May 2008, 14:49

    Can anyone stop them in Istanbul?


  11. It’s hard to say but no one can beat them. Lewis was the one, (looking back the facts of the four races, including his win), whom came near it, but his mistakes and team mistakes ruined the little point’s margin.

    It will be another boring race with some action at the qualifying (let’s ask to Fernando to do it again!)…

  12. sajonaraman said on 7th May 2008, 16:12


    Ferrari won’t get a 1-2 this time round lads. I can feel it in my bones.

  13. Green Flag said on 7th May 2008, 17:33

    Why would any sane person want to stop Ferrari? I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: there is no finer way to end a Grand Prix weekend than with the playing of the Italian anthem. Forza!

  14. Lady Snowcat said on 7th May 2008, 17:47

    I’d love the Kimster to win but…

    The last time everyone was this certain about Ferrari was before Oz….

  15. Good point Green, and I must to add that the Italian anthem playing in a duo with the Brazilian anthem is a supreme joy ;) FORÇA! (in portuguese!)

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