More mistakes at point-less Ferrari

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

It all went wrong for Ferrari at Sepang
It all went wrong for Ferrari at Sepang

Ferrari’s poor start to 2009 continued at Malaysia as they incredibly failed to score a point for the second race running.

It’s clear the F60 isn’t the fastest car in F1 this year – but they made things far worse for themselves with two major tactical blunders.

Felipe Massa’s qualifying was ruined when the team inexplicably failed to send him out to complete another lap in the first part of qualifying – despite an obvious mistake by Massa on his first run. A late flurry of fast laps dropped him out of the crucial top 15 and consigned him to 16th on the grid.

But, as if to prove their drivers get equal treatment, Ferrari dropped the ball on Raikkonen’s strategy during the Grand prix as well.

All the teams were watching the sky, looking for a change in the conditions, as Raikkonen made his first pit stop on lap 18. But surprisingly Ferrari chose to put him on full wet tyres, despite no significant rain having fallen. Meanwhile other drivers like Jenson Button came in on subsequent laps for more slicks.

In the four laps it took for the rain to arrive, Raikkonen destroyed his wet tyres on a largely dry track.

Eight years ago when heavy rain fell at Sepang Ferrari made a mockery of their opposition by timing their switch to intermediates tyres perfectly and winning with ease. Now it seems they can’t even get the basics right.

Only two teams are yet to score a point so far this year: Ferrari and Force India. How did the red team manage to get it so badly wrong twice this weekend?

72 comments on “More mistakes at point-less Ferrari”

  1. It’s a difficult choice. If the team believes it’s about to rain very soon, remain on slicks would certainly be a bad idea. Maybe they should have gone intermediate, just to be safe.

    Anyways, Ferrari still have potential, next time whatever decision they make, just go for the opposite direction, it can’t go wrong! LOL

  2. As a Ferrari fan, qualifying mistake was embarrassing.

    But the decision was Raikkonnen was a gamble; which they should have take, and they did.

    Kimi was unable to overtake Fernando for 10 laps ( Full credit to him though; an incredible drive with an ear infection and a heavy and slow car ).

    Kimi would have finished 5th or lower anyways; why not take a gamble then??

  3. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 18:37

    Eight years ago when heavy rain fell at Sepang Ferrari made a mockery of their opposition by timing their switch to intermediates tyres perfectly and winning with ease. Now it seems they can’t even get the basics right.

    Bring Ross Brawn back and ferrari will be competitive again. After his team change, Ferrari went downhill, you can see it clearly after last years season and the begin of this one.

  4. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 18:38

    i forgot to close the quote hehehe.

  5. Ferrari are a strange team, who seem to make life hard for themselves, manage to get the Ferrari International Association to twist things for them, and then, almost by accident, suddenly, despite everything, come through. Of course, in the Schumacher days it was a little different, but, Ferrari do do things in a peculiar manner. However, yes, sans Brawn, they do struggle.

    I wonder how much they would pay to buy him back?

    1. They had the chance when he came off sabatical – a gentleman’s agreement that Ferrari would have first refusal – but Ferrari wouldn’t give him the position he wanted (and richly deserved) but on grounds understandable at the time.

      I can say Brawn’s much happier now, whereas Ferrari….hmmmm

  6. It just goes to show how much Schumacher and Brawn held this team together and how much effort they put into it.When you work for people that are passionate about what they do it is inspiring to everyone,no one wants to be left out and not feel like part of the winning team.

    I am not a fan of Schumacher or Ferrari but,Brawn is the man.

  7. Hi Keith,
    I have an interesting consideration for your stats: consider that for Ferrari team this is the worst start of the season since 1992 when Jean Alesi and Ivan Capelli had no points after two races… just as Kimi and Felipe today.

    1. Thanks Vi84 – will include it in the stats round-up tomorrow…

  8. What was Eddie Jordan on about when he claimed that Massa was doing well and Raikkonen was in poor position, so they could gamble with Raikkonen?

    BTW the only one who got the strategy spot on was Glock. Unfortunately he was punished for getting it just right by the rule that they take the positions of 2 laps before. On that lap Glock was just making his stop.

    1. Agree completely about Glock – it was like he had a sixth sense.

  9. I found it odd that most people didn’t use inters immediately. It didn’t appear that the rain was getting heavier, and getting just 2 good laps on inters then swapping to wets would surely have been faster than going straight to wets.

    1. They were probably keeping in mind how heavily it rained last time in Sepang – that’s the only reason I can think of for why Ferrari decided to put Raikkonen on full wets on a dry track.

  10. i blame stefano he constantly make’s mistake’s.The only difference is this year the car is just about half a second to slow.Everyone is lording brawn but if these diffusers are banned he may just find himself back midfield.Easy to look good when you are miles in front.

    1. I think even if they banned the diffusers, Brawn will still be competitive. They also have parts in line to make that car even quicker – so will everyone else, but really it’s like giving the dogs a drink of water while they feed steroids to the bunny.

      I do agree that Stefano’s not been doing a great job filling in for Totd, but in many ways he wasn’t going to because of the departure of other key members. I like Stefano, he’s a likeable guy, but I hope he can turn things around for himself, and the team.

  11. i am trully glad have these problems this year

  12. I’ll be honest, I had to laugh when Massa was screeming at Smedley for a new visor.. comedy gold!

    1. Terry Fabulous
      5th April 2009, 23:53

      Felipe Baby relax!

  13. They had to pit in to refill fuel for Kimi. Both driver told them via team radio it was starting to rain at some parts of the track. Which matched with the data from their forecast.

    So they gambled a bit and tried the wet tyres. It was again bad luck.

  14. Ferrari will be back. If its one thing they can do,is turn it around quickly. There the only team that have consistently built competitive cars for the last 10 years. It will be interesting to see how quick they turn around. People say the diffuser does not make a difference, I thing people need to study the time a bit more. The diffuser equates to a huge advantage when you consider less wear on tyres, no need to slide the car, no need to push as hard as others, confidence in traction etc etc. Ferrari will be back by barcelona.

  15. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 22:54

    i am trully glad have these problems this year

    Even if you don’t like Ferrari that’s a bad thought because f1 loses in competitity with a team off the pace, like Force India, what’s the point of having it on the grid?

    I’ll be honest, I had to laugh when Massa was screeming at Smedley for a new visor.. comedy gold!

    Yeah i think it was quite funny, he was just desperated about the visibility on the track, and Smedley just sayd to him very calmly “Felipe dear, keep cool” or something like that.

  16. Stefano must take some responsibility for allowing the team to show up at Malaysia thinking they were just going to be competitive. After the showing in round one, with their car going much slower than not only the ‘diffuser’ cars, but others as well, how could they think that a messy lap first time out could be competitive, their arrogance is amusing to say the least!

    I can’t see them improving this year, all the statements from the team seem to focus on the rear diffuser cars, saying the issue will be key to the championship. I think they are right, but they better watch what they wish for, as it may be more embarrassing for them at the end of the year when Red Bull are the constructor champs with their engine, and not Brawn GP!

    1. The Sri Lankan Senna
      6th April 2009, 4:21

      i hope this trend continues with Mclaren and ferrari. first of all, Mclaren have a nack for sweet talking other teams sponsors behind their back. they Lured some of Williams sponsors and now williams are beating mclaren left right and centre. those sponsors must feel stupid as hell. dont get me wrong, i like Mclaren as a new Zealander but i hate the people that run it. Bruce Mclaren would be turning in his grave if he had a glimpse of the state his team is in now with all the drama going around. the performance is a completely different matter, Both Mclaren and ferrari fought the championship battle to the last lap of the last last grand prix. its understandable that they are behind, but crying about the Diffusers in the Brawn, Toyota and the Williams is a a real desperate attempt and i hope it backfires on the accusors as well.

  17. You guys are slamming McLaren all around – look at these sory excuses for a team… There time is over, it’s but the have fresh colors on the first places… I was geting seas sick with all that red into red color cars…

  18. I would say that the ferrari is a better car than the mclaren this year, but there is only 1pt between them :)Im loving the fact all the little guys are up the top & all driving well

  19. I miss Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Rory Byrne! The Maestros!!!

  20. If the double and triple diffusers are declared legal on the 14th April, and I think they will, it could hurt Red Bull and Toro Rosso more than the others. I believe they have a lower slung rear end due to pull rods rather than push rod suspension, and as a result may not be able to adapt their diffuser to get the same advantage.

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