More mistakes at point-less Ferrari

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?

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72 comments on More mistakes at point-less Ferrari

  1. gaz said on 5th April 2009, 15:22

    ferarri cost massa the title last year in singapore with the car and the drivers it should have been a two man shoot out (old news etc…..). kimi will not pull the company line and this year is massive for him, it’s not a good start and i think he could just wave goodbye.

    • Stuart H said on 5th April 2009, 15:46

      For both Ferrari and Mclaren, it doesn’t just rain, but it pours. Quite entertaining from a neutrals point of view though.

  2. Oliver said on 5th April 2009, 15:39

    You get the feeling that Ferrari are ready to do this all season.

  3. Achilles said on 5th April 2009, 15:48

    The real puzzle is who called the tyre choice, Kimi, or the team?

    • IDR said on 5th April 2009, 17:26

      I’ve seen a report telling was the team who made the error, not kimi. (don’t ask me where, couse I don’t remember)

    • John H said on 5th April 2009, 21:21

      Kimi doesn’t have the weather forecast im front of him so it must have been a team call.

  4. Dex69 said on 5th April 2009, 17:35

    Ferrari are not used to being in this position and there are not handelling it very well there are showing some very stupid decission being taken and all has come to cost massa and raikonnen dear

  5. vincent said on 5th April 2009, 17:38

    Ferrari’s really good at this, remember Fuji 07 when they started on intermediates behind the safety car and had to pit to fit the extreme wet.

    I’m a Kimi fan but I have a feeling that a driver of his kind always have the last word, so I think, like loki, that Kimi’s trying too hard to win when he should solely concentrate on scoring small points before getting back to the top.

    Let’s not always say team mistake, on saturday Massa should have asked the team to get him back on the track, while today Kimi should have simply said no.

  6. 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

  7. 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??

  8. Eduardo Colombi said on 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.

  9. Eduardo Colombi said on 5th April 2009, 18:38

    i forgot to close the quote hehehe.

  10. HRock said on 5th April 2009, 18:55

    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?

    • Loki said on 5th April 2009, 21:01

      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

  11. Wesley said on 5th April 2009, 19:19

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Patrickl said on 5th April 2009, 19:48

    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.

  14. matt said on 5th April 2009, 20:31

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th April 2009, 20:43

      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.

  15. sean said on 5th April 2009, 20:55

    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.

    • Loki said on 5th April 2009, 21:08

      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.

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