How Kimi Raikkonen has overtaken Felipe Massa as fastest Ferrari driver

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen has been faster than Felipe Massa in recent races
Kimi Raikkonen has been faster than Felipe Massa in recent races

Ferrari’s Shanghai switch provoked the usual debate over team orders – but it also signified a development that could have a crucial bearing on the outcome of the world championship:

Kimi Raikkonen is now the faster of the two Ferrari drivers.

Do you agree? Is this good or bad for Felipe Massa? Here’s what I think, share your ideas below.

In my Chinese Grand Prix predictions I wrote:

I?m getting an impression that Kimi Raikkonen has become the quicker of the two drivers once again. In a recent interview he said that at Spa he had gone back to an earlier setup configuration and it had improved his pace.

He was quicker than Massa at Spa (but crashed) and was very quick late in the race at Monza. At Singapore he was reeling in Massa and Hamilton when the safety car came out, then at Fuji he out-qualified Massa for the first time since the British Grand Prix.

That trend continued at Shanghai. Raikkonen out-qualified Massa again, this time with one lap’s less fuel on board. In the race, he was consistently quicker until having to yield (see the Chinese Grand Prix analysis for more information).

Has Raikkonen improved or is Massa struggling?

Why has this happened? Perhaps it’s the changes that he made at Spa. Perhaps the pressure of the championship is beginning to unsettle Massa.

This is a situation Massa hasn’t been in since he won the Formula 3000 Euro Series in 2001 – and that was a championship he won emphatically with six wins in eight races, sparing him a down-to-the-wire nail-biter like this.

Hamilton on the other hand was in the same situation last year, and won the GP2 championship at the final event in 2006.

What does this mean for the championship?

Obviously, if Massa’s not getting the most out of his car, then it makes it all the harder for him to take the fight to Hamilton.

As we saw in Shanghai Massa can expect Raikkonen to yield positions when he needs to. But he can’t expect Raikkonen to fight as hard as he would for his own title. Remember Michael Schumacher coming up short at Suzuka in 1999 when chasing Mika Hakkinen for Eddie Irvine’s benefit?

If Raikkonen proves the quicker of the two at Interlagos, how should Ferrari exploit that? Put him light on fuel to take the lead and contain Hamilton’s pace? Or fuel him up and try to out-fox Hamilton in the pit stops?

Or will Massa reverse the trend at Interlagos, where he has always been strong? He put his Sauber fourth on the grid there in 2004, won in 2006, and under normal circumstances would have won there once more last year.

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44 comments on “How Kimi Raikkonen has overtaken Felipe Massa as fastest Ferrari driver”

  1. Very interesting analysis. When I was watching the Chinese GP, I remember thinking the whole time that if someone, any other driver had managed to get between the two Ferraris, (leaving Kimi and Massa running in 2nd and 4th place respectively) the whole strategy would be ruined because they wouldn’t be able to make the switch. Interlagos could be very interesting if the Ferraris start (or come out of the first lap) with a outside car between them.

    I don’t think this is the result of pressure getting to Massa, and if it is, I don’t think that will affect him in Brazil. He seems very comfortable on that track.

  2. stevepCambsUK
    21st October 2008, 13:22

    i think hes more confident since ferrari provided a new chasis for him a few races back

  3. To be honest I’ve always thought Kimi to be the faster; by his own admissions he’s had a bad year and this year’s car isn’t something that’s suited him all that well (though you’d wonder why Ferrari wouldn’t build a car specifically for their own World Champion).

  4. Although Massa has been very quick at his home track, if Kimi truly is faster it’s going to be tough to let Massa get past without looking like it’s team orders…which of course are not legal…ha ha.

  5. I think Massa will be back on form in Brazil – as has been stated many times he loves that track.

    For me McLaren’s best strategy for Lewis would be to Short fuel him for the first stint to give him the best shot at pole (and get the softer tyre out of the way) and then make him run long 2 and 3 stints, stay out of trouble and hope for a safty car if they want the win. Or even a 3 stop strategy, but that could backfire if a safety car came out at the wrong time. They should also light fuel Heikki, get him on the front row with Lewis and use him to hold up the Ferrari’s while Lewis builds a buffer just to be sure…

  6. I wonder whether Kimi has to use the settings that Massa uses for the race, or is allowed to decide himself. It does appear that when he has the car beneath him, he can get the performance in and leave Massa standing.
    But what about all those fastest laps at the end of the races all through the season, and then leaving Massa behind in China and having to slow down to let him pass?
    I think Kimi is out for victory himself, but with a nod to ‘team orders’ to allow Massa in front if he is able to.
    As long as the other teams are able to outqualify either of the Ferraris in Brazil, they won’t be able to get a decent strategy together for the race, and so will lose points….

  7. To me it’s no surprise, Kimi has been one of the fastest drivers since he got with Mclaren, he may not be the most consistent. But, he is way faster and way better than Massa.

  8. Kimi vs Massa on both their best days? Kimi wins. Massa has just been the favoured driver the past couple years.

  9. I got a horrible feeling that Hamilton’car is going to fail…I hope not but it coul happened. He has given away some many points that I got the feeling that he is going to be punished.

  10. I feel Massa was struggle in china was a one off thing. He will be back at his best in Brazil. Hes always been great in Brazil.

  11. http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2008/802/598.html

    Up until September’s Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari were struggling with poor traction, caused primarily by the car’s inability to warm its tyres (chiefly the rears) at a quick enough rate, especially in cool or wet conditions. This put the F2008 at a disadvantage in terms of acceleration, especially when compared with McLaren’s MP4-23. At the recent Singapore race, however, the team seemed to have gone a long way towards solving the issue by adopting a softer, more progressive set-up for the rear suspension’s third horizontal damper and its two torsion bars (see yellow arrow and inset). The third damper consists of a tungsten/wolfram (heavy metal) cylinder that rotates inside an outer casing, dissipating the inertia generated by the track’s bumpy surface and kerbs. Better set-up of this device, together with an accurate choice of torsion bars, has dramatically improved the behaviour of the car, especially at the rear. In Japan, this was of particular help to Kimi Raikkonen, who prefers a very stable rear end in his set-up. (Felipe Massa focuses more on the car’s front end.)

    Ferrari seem to have developed their car in such a way that aids Kimi and not Felipe; as shown in the link above. Both are known to have very different styles and preferences about their demands from the car. For eg:
    Felipe wants more understeer, Kimi more oversteer.

    I don’t understand Ferrari’s logic to give Felipe a handicap this late in the championship fight.

    I think John will be able to explain this development better. Your comments please :-)

  12. Did you notice that Kimi abandoned the shark fin in China whereas Filipe didn’t? This fin stabalises the rear, limiting oversteer (good for Massa’s understeery style, less so for Kimi’s preferred oversteery style). I wonder if Ferrari haven’t dropped a clanger in bringing the shark fin to almost every race in the second half of the season (Kimi has struggled a lot more in the second half than the first), (unintentionally) providing a car whose handling suits Massa better than their world champion.

  13. I think (I hope too) Massa will be very competitive in Brazil and Kimi should not be a problem for him. Anyway pressure’s up and Hamilton’s still favorite to win the championship with, say, a 3rd or 4th at Sao Paulo…

  14. I still think Lewis will be balls out going for the win. He doesn’t seem to know any other way, certainly in the first 2 stints at least.
    It is of course incredibly risky but it’s precisely this which makes him so bloody exciting.
    For pure unadulterated entertainment value I want Massa on pole with Lewis in 2nd. Lewis hunting down Massa with significantly less at stake in attempting an overtake. It would for me and indeed Lewis, be sweet to see him overtake Massa and take the championship on Brazilian soil.

  15. @DG (#6)

    I think you are right about Kimi being out to win. He will try to win and will only let Massa pass if it will make a difference in his c’ship hopes. i.e. if Hamilton is running 6th, or lower then Massa needs to win the race and Kimi will let him pass if he is in a position to do so. If Hamilton is running 5th or higher, it doesn’t matter where Massa finishes, he will lose as long as Hamilton finishes the race. Kimi may let Massa pass even if Lewis is in the top because its racing and anything could happen to where Hamilton all of a sudden drops out and the single position could make a world of difference.

    Also – if Massa is behind Kimi and there is anyone separating the Ferrari’s other than Alonso, Massa will have his work cut out for him.

  16. When you really look at it, Kimi hasn’t been “struggling” for much of the season.

    It was pretty unfortunate that Kimi was rammed out of the Canadian GP and at Monaco he eliminated himself. After that he was still only slightly behind Hamilton and Massa.

    Then he had a few races where indeed his qualification started to go bad. In Germany, Hungary and the European GP he was definitely struggling compared Massa. During the European GP his engine blew. Especially that loss puts him further behind Massa and Hamilton.

    In the other 2 races were he didn’t qualify so well he still managed to score 9 points. So overall that’s not that much damage.

    Then at Spa he claims to be in better form and indeed he’s faster than Massa again. But now apparently he has adopted a high risk strategy to make up for the amount of points he’s trailing.

    Unfortunately even though he’s again clearly faster than Massa, he fails to finish 3 times in a row. Totaling 4 DNF’s in a row is just too much.

    So I’d say it’s not so much that Raikkonen was slower than Massa at all. He just failed to score points too often.

    I created a chart showing how Raikkonen, Hamilton and Massa got to their scores. It shows them going pretty much equal until Raikkonen has his 4 DNF’s in a row starting at the European GP.

    http://arcade.laweb.nl/RoadToFame2008.jpg

    I don’t think Ferrari can do anything to win the driver championship. They can only hope that Hamilton runs into some trouble. If Hamilton has no real problems then I doubt it would matter if Raikkonen wins in front of Massa or the other way around.

    Interlagos is one of those few tracks where Massa really performs well. So he might have some extra speed there. On the other hand Massa doesn’t really deal well with pressure. So it might just as well be that he messes up his qualification (as he seems to have done on the last few races)

  17. It is nothing to do with confidence or form in my opinion. In recent races, since Japan in fact, Ferrari have brought updates which have improved the rear end stability of the car, while sacrificing Massa’s desire for the solid front end. This means Raikonnen has been able to come back to where he was- with the solid rear.

    I think it has been confirmed that next year Ferrari will make Massa Number 2, since Raikonnen has now got 9000k of track testing. Ferrari do not care about the WDC- only the WCC. They are getting ready for a 2009 title assault with Raikonnen.

    I feel bad for Massa in this sense- he has been superb all year, yet Ferrari still seem to be leaning towards Raikonnen.

    But ofcourse, i could be wrong. :P

  18. Keith,

    correction: Kimi has not just recently been faster than Massa. He’s always been faster. His **car** is now as fast, if not faster, than Massa’s. That’s about it. In pure speed, a motivated Kimi is no match for anyone on this grid.

  19. I want to see Kimi, Lewis and Felipe qualify in that order and then watch to see if Lewis will let Massa past.

  20. I was amazed when Massa got he`s drive for Ferrari, to think he will/maybe be a WDC without a win from pole is a scandal ! .

  21. I think Felipe is under a huge pressure. In Monza, in a wet track, he outpaced Kimi again, but could not put himself in a position to win the race and take the championship lead from Lewis. He can´t take risks at the same level than Lewis.

    Ted Kravitz made an interesting insight into the qualifying at Fuji that show how Felipe couldn’t cope with the pressure and trashed his qualifying lap:

    “Felipe screwed up his qualifying lap by driving too hard in the middle sector of the out-lap, thereby taking too much life out of the tyre too early.”

    But something that I can’t understand is why Ferrari never understand what really happens with his car when they are trounced by Lewis/McLaren:

    “The thing that we need to understand, going to Brazil, is why and how this is possible, considering that in Singapore and in Fuji we were really fast, both in the fast laps and in the pace.

    So we need to understand that. For sure, this race was the worst, from the performance side that have had this year in these conditions, together with Germany, and the only point that was common was that it was the same kind of tyres and we need to understand that was enough, but I don’t think so, because for sure on one side, we were complaining that this weekend we hadn’t enough grip to do the performance but also we didn’t have the car handling in the first sector, above all.

    And so we need to work and understand because for sure we cannot be in Brazil fighting – as we said at the beginning of the season – for the titles in the condition where our car is less competitive in these conditions, with such a big gap to our main competitors, to McLaren.”

    (STEFANO DOMENICALLI)

    Stefano has said the same thing after Germany GP.

    I think they really don’t understand entirely their car and how it works in different conditions and Kimi´s lack of technical skills in the set up sector doesn´t help too. This, I think, explain why their drivers are so inconsistent through the year.

    I bet that Michael will be back at the 2009 pre-season to set up the car again.

  22. @Gusto#20

    I was amazed when Massa got he`s drive for Ferrari, to think he will/maybe be a WDC without a win from pole is a scandal ! .

    I’m by no means a fan of boy Massa, but in all fairness he won from pole both in Turkey and in Valencia (which – to rub it in – was in fact a hat trick as he also had the fastest lap).

    Personally I don’t want neither him nor Hamilton to have DC on their CV – I’d like to propose a new cost cutting measure: cancel the remainder of this years championship due to lack of any worthy contenders :)

  23. Keith:

    How is it that everyone already forgot who lapped fastest in Fuji, only one race ago? Felipe was flying in the second and third stints, clocked 3 fastest laps in a row and overtook Button, Heidfeld and Webber twice.

    I agree that Kimi has improved his pace, obviously something related to car development, but you seem way too keen to put Felipe down on this site. The statement that Kimi has “overtaken Massa as Ferrari’s fastest driver” is ludicrous.

    Patrickl:

    “Interlagos is one of those few tracks where Massa really performs well.”

    Few? What about the ‘boring’ races where Felipe just dominated the entire weekend, like Magny-Cours, Bahrein, Turkey, Spain, Valencia and Singapore?

  24. And Becken:

    You make a great point about Ferrari’s management. Let’s face it, they’ve been rubbish this season. Domenicali has brought the worst Ferrari package (and by package I don’t mean just the car. The car is actually not too bad, just very unstable in terms of grip and unable to cope well with anything different than a dry track with hot weather. I mean the pit crew, strategy team, development, etc.) in a decade.

    And yes, the performance in Hockenheim and Shanghai was just shocking by Ferrari standards. And you put it perfectly when you say that all this instability obviously affects the drivers’ performance. For god’s sake, this is the worst Kimi Raikkonen season of his entire career!

  25. 17 – Massa has not been superb all year, his first two races he couldn’t keep the car on the track.

    22 – Felipe did NOT dominate magny cours, Kimi was severely outpacing him before the exhaust problem. Spain? Kimi won the race. Singapore? he was absolutely awful at the back.

  26. Senor Paz,

    Patrickl:

    “Interlagos is one of those few tracks where Massa really performs well.”

    Few? What about the ‘boring’ races where Felipe just dominated the entire weekend, like Magny-Cours, Bahrein, Turkey, Spain, Valencia and Singapore?

    Well, at Spain and Magny Cours Raikkonen was faster and in Singapore he wasn’t very impressive either. Looked more like a light car for his opening stint.

    So that leaves Bahrein, Turkey and Valencia. I’d call that “few” yes.

    To be honest his competitors were pretty close behind him there too. It’s not like he lapped the field or pulled even a substantial gap.

  27. I think the press has been publishing the technicalities the wrong way around, I think Kimi is the one who wants the stable and reactive front end while Felipe is the one who wants the back end of the car to be stable.

    I personally think that one of the reasons why Felipe is or was suddenly looking so good was because Kimi was doing so badly. I’am not trying to take away any credit from Felipe, he himself has stepped up to the plate. But if Kimi was also in the mix then he just wouldn’t have looked so good.

    At the moment the problem isn’t Felipe’s car, he is still using the same kind of components that he used to win at Valencia. Kimi on the otherhand has just gone back to the older configurations used on the car, some sources has mentioned that Kimi’s big problem was that Ferrari introduced a new suspension at the German GP. Kimi just couldn’t get the suspension to work for him, and they also added some updates to the car that made it even more difficult for Kimi to cope with the handling of the car. The F2008 has a very narrow setup window and Kimi couldn’t find a setup within that narrow range that suited him, while using the newer package. Kimi has mentioned in a recent interview that they basically had to rebuilt the car for him by using all the older components of the car. Some of the components go as far back as the beginning of the year. Kimi has reverted back to the old suspension, front wing, some of the older aerodynamics and he has also reverted back to the brakes he used while driving for Mclaren. It took Kimi and Ferrari some time but they have slowly been improving.

    We are only now really starting to see the effects of the improvement, and one of the immediate effects you get is that it now suddenly appears as if Felipe is now much more up against Kimi then he was just a few races ago.

    I think the fact that Kimi is now suddenly almost back up to speed and that the whole of Ferrari’s championship hopes are hanging squarely on Felipe shoulders, is causing him some stress. While that is going on Mclaren are also constantly moving forward.

    From Felipe’s whole demeanor in the last three races one could really see that he is out of sorts, it seems like the pressure is getting to him somewhat.

    However with that being said. Brazil might just exactly be what Felipe is looking for. Everyone knows he is very comfortable and confident at his home race. So the best cure for Felipe’s pressure might very well be his home GP.

  28. Kimi has been the faster between the two ever since. But Massa is Michael’s protégé, so they try to create a car for Massa. And forget all about Kimi’s driving style. (After all, Kimi got the WDC last year anyway, no harm done.) After developing the car for Massa, they saw him up on the WDC title contention while Kimi slides down. Ferrari tried to make it up on Kimi by finding the right setup and add new components to pull Kimi up again on the contention. But while pulling up Kimi again, Massa failed to hang on with Lewis on the title chase and dropped few points as a result. This was maybe the development for Kimi’s driving style handicapped Massa.
    I’d always hate to see Michael on Massa’s side. I think Ferrari should back Kimi again next year. But I don’t know if they would unless Michael is totally out on Ferrari’s garage.

  29. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Massa’s dropping performance over the last few races was caused in part because he cannot use Kimi’s setup anymore.

    In Monaco Massa admitted he had needed Kimi’s setup to finally set a good time. Perhaps Massa was using more of Kimi’s setup or of the comparison in telemetry. I’d assume that if Kimi’s car was so different, Massa would be all on his own.

  30. Melanie #27: Now there’s a thought, Max and Luca are agreeing on gradually standardising the cars used by different teams from next year, yet it looks like Ferrari will have to provide two completely different cars in 2009 to keep both their drivers happy….
    Is this allowed? Will Massa have an F2009 while Kimi has an F2008/A?

  31. Nick and Patrickl:

    Spain was my mistake, my memory took me back to 2007, and I suppose it’s innacurate to say that Felipe dominated Magny-Cours. He did win the French GP though, and second place in Spain was no tragedy.

    Felipe completely dominated Singapore on all three days, until that pathetic pit stop ruined his race. And we all know (apart from Ted Kravitz) that Singapore is simply not an overtaking track, so the comment about Felipe doing poorly from the back is just silly.

    Also, the reasoning behind Felipe using Kimi’s setup is ridiculous. After all, if it was really the case, you’d think he’d be copying Kimi’s setup even more now that he’s already out of contention and Ferrari is telling him to collaborate with his teammate. Sorry, it makes no sense at all.

  32. Lots of interesting competing interpretations – to summarise (and correct me if I’ve misunderstood your points of view):

    Nick: ‘Massa benefits from favouritism at Ferrari’

    Patrickl: ‘Raikkonen’s been fastest all season, misfortune and unreliability have got in his way’

    F1Fan: ‘Raikkonen’s not been slow, his car has’

    Senor Paz: ‘Massa is still the fastest driver’

    I don’t think ‘favouritism’ has a role to play at all and I think the varying fortunes of the drivers backs that up. If Ferrari did favour Massa, why was Raikkonen allowed to race him so hard at Sepang Massa ended up spinning off?

    I do think Raikkonen has suffered from Ferrari’s mistakes (as has Massa) but he’s clearly had a specific problem in qualifying as well. But in the last two races he’s out-qualified Massa. So, is Raikkonen doing a better job on Saturdays – or is the pressure getting to Massa?

  33. I think Ferrari employed Kimi more on a long term view – they know Massa can win in a very good car , but have doubts he has the hunger to win multiple championships. So they started 2007 backing Felipe’ a bit more , turns out Kimi won , partly through McLarens mistakes , so in 2008 they got behind Felipe completely , to the point we are at. There is not much more development now , more in set-up changes , so they are already trying things out which have been more favourable to Kimi’s style. Kimi’s turning point will have to be next year , if Ferrari have a car that’s on pace and he cannot deliver , game over for him with Ferrari – but I somehow doubt that will happen.

  34. pressure thing will mount in 2 weeks time .. :-).. and if massa qualifies on pole and lewis somehow manages a mistake in final stint of qualifying.. and places himself on 3 rd row preferably behind f 2008 , renault and bmw’s.. i believe massa has a chance only in that scenario.lewis had bitter memories of last yr from brazil.he might panic yet again. though same was true for shanghai.. cant wait anymore..

  35. I think Raikkonen has improved during qualifying. Massa isn’t as prone to cracking under pressure as when compared to Hamilton last year.

    It was probably the set-up changes and improvements to the F2008 over this season that suited Massa’s driving style better, as before the changes, Raikkonen almost always seems to say “The car did not perform how I wanted it to\I could not get the most out of the car”, or similar, in his race reviews.

    Perhaps those reversions that Melanie (#27) mentioned helped Raikkonen improve more than we would expect this late in the season.

    I still think Ferrari will treat Massa as the number one driver, though, as he has performed better this year overall.

    Raikkonen has just been unlucky during races this season, compared to Massa.

    As for Raikkonen’s less-than-perfect qualifying sessions, his post-qualifying comments put the blame on the car set-up and inability to make the most out of the tyres\car.

    I don’t know what to interpret from this though, i’m no expert.

  36. I’m not so sure Massa has been so dominant over his team mate this year – he made a mess of the first two races, as well as spectactularly failing at Silverstone. If Hamilton had kepts his eyes open in Canada, the championship would have been decided one or two races ago.

  37. Senor Paz:
    I need to remind you that Massa won in Magny-Cours just because Kimi had a exhaust problem otherwise Massa was no match to Kimi.And i also think Felipe sometimes gets rattled when things arnt going in his way.Saying that,he is a very good driver but certainly not as good as Kimi.As for Kimi ,he has had a luckless season

  38. El Gordo:
    If Massa’s engine had not blown up 2 laps to go in Hungary and Ferrari had not messed up his pit-stops in both Canada and (worse) Singapore, Massa would be World Champion by now – 14 to 19 points ahead of LH (the range is due to Canada).

  39. Kimi has had two problems this season. First the Ferrari understeers like a pig until its tyres are up to temperature and that is always going to suit Massa more than Kimi. In recent races they seem to have dialled out a little of the understeer and that will always help Kimi.

    Secondly there is something about this year’s cars/tyres that favours aggressive driving. If you look at the top teams you will see that the smoother driver in each team is suffering. Kimi is struggling against Massa when you would expect the opposite to be true. Lewis is making Heikki look really bad when he is a decent driver. Piquet who pushed Lewis to the GP2 championship looks like a complete amateur. DC looks like he has lost it but I think it is the same thing that is affecting him as the others. Vettel is making Bourdais look bad and Kubica clearly has the upper hand on Heidfeld. Several teams have had to spend a lot of time trying to make their smoother driver more comfortable in the car.

    Interestingly in Fuji Heikki qualified close to Lewis, Piquet finished well in the race and Kimi beat Massa. I don’t think this is because these guys suddenly remembered how to drive but I put it down to the fact that Fuji has a lot of late apex corners and you lose a lot of time in those unless you have a smooth entry.

    So I don’t think Kimi has driven badly this season it is simply unlike last season Ferrari have been unable to dial the car into his driving style. Even if Massa wins the championship I would expect Kimi to blow him away as soon as he is given a car he can drive.

  40. Kimi did not blow Massa away last year. He won the Championship, but Massa was in contention untill Monza, when a DNF ended his challenge. This year Massa has done a better job than Kimi. Some say that this is because the car did not suit the Finn. It can be right, but it only says that Kimi and Massa have different driving styles – put them in cars with similar performance but that suit their individual styles and I don’t know who would be faster.
    The problem is that many a fan seem to suffer from Cognitive Dissonance. Having already an imovable opinion about each driver, they cannot bring themselves to mold their views based on current facts. Kimi got an early reputation for being a fast (perhaps the fastest) driver – courtesy of Peter Windsor and the likes. Massa got a not so flattering reputation from his early years at Sauber. It doesn’t matter now how many times Massa beats Kimi (in the same car), they will never admit Massa has done a better job – there must be something sinister at hand.
    In fact,if Nick’s opinion (for example) is anything to go by, something like this must have happened:
    Somewhere close to the French GP, the Ferrari top brass got together and concluded that having Kimi, the fastest drive, world champion, leader of the championship and 5 times as expensive as his teamate, it was time to hold him back and start favoring Massa.
    How likely is that?

  41. Antifia –

    Somewhere close to the French GP, the Ferrari top brass got together and concluded that having Kimi, the fastest drive, world champion, leader of the championship and 5 times as expensive as his teamate, it was time to hold him back and start favoring Massa.
    How likely is that?

    Given how much they’re paying Raikkonen, not very.

  42. @ Antifia: ‘COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’…..I haven’t heard that term since my days at university….LOL…..brilliant!

  43. Maybe it was his “motivation.” And now he’s magically got it back. /sarcasm

    All this is just speculation. At the edge, which is where these drivers and machines are performing, small differences can have a large impact in outcomes. This sensitivity is so high that any “cause” we attribute to changes is necessarily of very low confidence.

    A lot of these changes are just noise, amplified by cut-throat competition at the edge.

  44. A little more on how Raikkonen found his F2008 easier to handle without the shark fin here: John Beamer’s F1 tech file: Shanghai

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