Double disaster for Ferrari

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.

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52 comments on Double disaster for Ferrari

  1. Pedro Andrade said on 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.

  2. Kovy said on 29th March 2009, 9:15

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

  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.

  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.

  5. Oliver said on 29th March 2009, 9:48

    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. kurtosis said on 29th March 2009, 11:06

    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. pSynrg said on 29th March 2009, 11:56

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

  11. todd said on 29th March 2009, 12:32

    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. benno said on 29th March 2009, 12:32

    How good is Alonso’s Italian?

  13. dill said on 29th March 2009, 12:48

    hes fluent i think

  14. Sriram J said on 29th March 2009, 12:58

    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 said on 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.

    • Loki said on 29th March 2009, 14:39

      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. SoLiD said on 29th March 2009, 14:52

    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 said on 29th March 2009, 14:59

    Really think that way too SoLiD.

  18. pSynrg said on 29th March 2009, 15:28

    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. The Limit said on 29th March 2009, 15:33

    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. sigma said on 29th March 2009, 16:01

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

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