Double disaster for Ferrari

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

It was a tough day at the office for Felipe Massa
It was a tough day at the office for Felipe Massa

Ferrari got their 2009 season off to a terrible start in Melbourne.

Felipe Massa retired late in the race and Kimi Raikkonen lost a points finish after spinning into the barriers.

The race began brightly for the team as Massa shot through from sixth on the grid to third. Raikkonen also started strongly, running fifth.

The Ferraris opted to run on the super-soft tyres from the start of the race, and when they hit their graining phase after a few laps they found their rivals coming back at them.

A mid-race safety car period allowed them to regain lost ground on the leaders but also compromised their strategy. Massa dropped out of the points after his second pit stop and struggled to make progress. He may already have been suffering with the mechanical problem that put him out of the race 13 laps before the finish.

Raikkonen’s race was ruined by a crash on lap 43. He managed to keep going after an extra pit stop but pulled up three laps short of the chequered flag.

Ferrari made a similarly poor start last year, and ended up winning the constructors’ championship, so you’d be a fool to write them off yet. But it seems the errors that blighted their 2008 campaign haven’t been banished.

52 comments on “Double disaster for Ferrari”

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  1. Pedro Andrade
    29th March 2009, 9:04

    Did Raikkonen pit for the third time and then crash, or the other way around? To me it seemed like the latter.

    1. I thought the latter too. They showed Raikkonen pitting, then after a replay of him hitting the wall. I presumed the pit stop was because of the crash not before it but it wasn’t picked up on the commentary.

    2. I’m sure I counted three pit stops before his crash – on the live blog I was asking why he’d made a third stop when I saw him in the wall.

    3. OK I’ve just checked the timing data and my original notes and you’re definitely right about Raikkonen – he crashed and then had his third pit stop. I’ve updated the article above.

      You can get the timing sheets on the F1 Fanatic

  2. Disappointing to see that Channel 10 here in Australia decided to take an ad break while Raikkonen crashes.

    1. star sports in asia missed it too.

    2. Same with SPEED here in the U.S.

    3. the BBC didnt…..

  3. Ferrari were off-pace today.

    Except for exceptional starts thanks to KERS, there was nothing worthwhile.

    To me, Ferrari still seem a bit rusty in their preparations. They still don’t know the optimum running window of the slicks when KERS is disturbing the balance of the car.

    Good job by both the drivers in handling a tough car. The lack of testing is going to hurt them.

    1. I think the starts were more down to the super soft tyres than KERS.

  4. kimi just a rubbish. how he can lost control of his car???did the tire didn’t warm up to the temp??? sorry for massa…f60 has a bad omen in aussie.

    1. Raikkonen had a differential failure.
      That was the reason for his spin!

    2. Attaim – that’s not how he tells it:

      When I ended up in the wall it was my mistake.

  5. The Ferraris had reasonably good pace. They probably gambled on having an early safety car which could have helped to extend the lifespan of the option tyres, but it didn’t pay off. I don’t see Kimi’s accident any different from Nakajima’s, however Kimi is the driver with vastly more experience.

  6. they got some strategies wrong, nd some luck !

  7. the cars are rusty, no one will know the true reason behind the 3rd pit.
    if they didnt test the cars enought in the break before the season what shall we say about the Brown team!!!
    i noticed of the last 2 seasons that the ferrari drivers tend to collapes the cars if they not winning speciall kimi.
    they will not ever never recover

  8. Not sure why Kimi crashed (talk of drivetrain failure, see above), but if he’s gonna be retiring this season, I imagine he’s going to drive flat out and have fun in his shiny red car. He won’t be the one to play a percentage game.

  9. Incidentally, Ferrari are last in the WCC standings.

  10. Yeah, so much for Ferrari huh. After all the build up how did they do worse than even McLaren?

  11. yeah bad start for ferrari but it seems that’s the standard for ferrari, maybe they’ll pick up their game in the next few races.

  12. How good is Alonso’s Italian?

  13. hes fluent i think

    1. So’s Kubica…

  14. After winning the WDC Kimi went dumb,i think.He is ruining his reputation as mistake free driver.Anyway,let see whether he is truly motivated this season and show us the devastating speed he showed in his Mclaren days.

  15. Eduardo Colombi
    29th March 2009, 14:34

    Maybe kimi’s pace was detrimented by a early crash when Rubens crashed into his right rear wheel in the biggining of the race. Both Ferraris were doing a good race until the supersofts hitted the graining phase like Keith said in the article. After that, it was all going down for Ferrari.

    Hope they improve for malaysia’s race.

    1. I guess that’s a good test, Ferrari used to do well at Malaysia. I hope they’re a competitive package by then as well.

  16. I think Ferrari got it right with the tyres.
    Look at Kubica in the end, when he could run the harder tyres in the last stint!

  17. Eduardo Colombi
    29th March 2009, 14:59

    Really think that way too SoLiD.

  18. Thing is, Kimi won his WDC by the skin of his teeth and also the failure of others to capitalise on what they had at the time.
    Other than that he has been very similar to his McLaren years. Wickedly fast when he was/is on it but somehow plagued by more reliability issues and/or incidents than appears ‘normal’.
    I really like Kimi as a character but remain unconvinced by his overal quality as an F1 driver.

  19. Ferrari are just too good a team to be written off just yet, but they, like McLaren, have issues they need to address and quickly. The truth is, they just were not fast enough to challenge Brawn Gp for the spoils, and that will rankle them. Seeing McLaren struggling is no consulation if their own cars are not up to pace.

  20. well, looking what brawn gp can do, ferrari should be extremely aware to get the constructor champion again..

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