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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