Ferrari’s nightmare season continues

Felipe Massa ran third but retired

Felipe Massa ran third but retired

Ferrari are having their worst start to an F1 season since 1981 as Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa failed to score for the third race in a row.

The defending constructors’ champions reacted to their non-scores in Australia and Malaysia by shifting Luca Baldisserri off the pitwall and promoting Chris Dyer in his place. They also decided not the use their KERS this weekend.

But it didn’t stop the rot. Felipe Massa had a strong start to the race, making up places in the early stages, but came to a halt on lap 20 with a car problem.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, never really figured – losing a lot of places in the opening laps and finishing in tenth.

Massa has already demanded the team put KERS back on the car at the Bahrain race this weekend. But else what should they do to get back on terms with their rivals?

Ferrari last failed to score points in the first three races in 1981, when Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi were driving for the team. The same happened the year before.

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74 comments on Ferrari’s nightmare season continues

  1. Atticus said on 19th April 2009, 12:08

    there are ups and downs.

    this is downtime like 2005, and 1995-1986.

    1) make a car which is reliable enough.
    2) bring back kers because it seems like the whole balance of the F60 is very dependable on kers.
    3) introduce the double diffusor asap.

    and maybe they will clinch a victory or two, get 30-40 points per driver and a 4th-5th position in the constructor championship.

  2. sean said on 19th April 2009, 12:09

    slower than a force india not good enough sutil was ahead easily till he bined it.I here todt was there today stefano’s days are numbered you can’t blame kimi if the car is crap and it is they have no major updates for this race,renault flew a diffuser and afront wing out,mclaren the same what are they doing in marenelo eating bloody pasta they better have 2 brand new cars siting on the front row of the grid in spain or they should all be fired dump that tractor in the bin at the airport when they leave this is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

  3. diseased rat said on 19th April 2009, 12:10

    I wonder what Alonso is thinking about his likely future move to Ferrari now?

    • frecon said on 19th April 2009, 12:18

      When he went to Mclaren, he moved from a Championship winner car to a non-winner one, so i guess he takes in account more facts than only car performance.

  4. Arthur954 said on 19th April 2009, 12:27

    This is the bad karma in action for having received the extra money from Bernie and preferential treatment from Mo

    Alonso, stay away from these people!

  5. Hi there.
    Just to ask you to check, I guess the last time it happened for Ferrari was 1981 and not 1980. Anyway, long long time ago.

    Great site yours

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2009, 14:55

      You’re right – they had two years in a row where they didn’t score in the first three races.

      They did recover to win twice in ’81 though.

  6. Alastair said on 19th April 2009, 12:59

    Bad stragergy from Ferrari once again. They should have brought Kimi in under safety car and 3 stopped him. Driving such a heavy car in the wet is no good.

  7. StrFerrari4Ever said on 19th April 2009, 13:32

    Ferrari are in tatters the team just seems to be not functioning like a defending constructors champion Raikkonen today was struggling although I must say it felt good seeing a Ferrari powered Toro Rosso blast past Kimi :)

  8. kurtosis said on 19th April 2009, 13:52

    Yikes, looking at the latest comments from Ferrari, there don’t appear to be any real excuses for their performance at all. It’s interesting to see how many different types of errors they have already made; the sheer variety of problems means that there’s no quick fix, they need to raise their game in all areas.

  9. Oliver said on 19th April 2009, 13:56

    Kimi was complaining about his engines, but he still was able to fight Hamilton for position. It just seemed to me like he lacked full confidence in the wet condition.

    Mclaren did manage to scrape some points at least until the FIA HAMMER drops on them.

    RedBull have the best car on the grid. Its well balanced both in wet and dry conditions and generates great amount of downforce. They are the real team to watch this season.

    • zack said on 19th April 2009, 15:34

      I agree, Redbull are really the best of the rest (with no fancy diffuser)and vettel is the driver to watch! Ferrari have to up their game real fast!!

  10. I honestly think Kimi complained about his engine after he couldnt pull up next to Hamilton on the back straight.. but thats a KERS thing.. and maybe it surprised Kimi a bit.. that was the last you heard about the prob.. so doubt there was an issue in the first place. Kimi just isnt that strong in the wet..

    Sad for Massa.. he has definitely proved himself after all the crap he got at Silverstone last yr.. I think he’s a gun in the wet and it showed today.. shame about the car.. again

  11. Sven said on 19th April 2009, 14:19

    Ferrari is gradually slipping back to the pre Todt, Brawn
    and Shumacher era. Lack of leadership and engineering talent. All the financial resourses and extra FIA money
    will not help. Alonso stay away.

    • Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 15:04

      Or maybe Alonso can get them back on track? Would be cool if he also brought Briatore with him.

    • Arthur954 said on 19th April 2009, 19:38

      Thats a good suggestion from Patrickl !

      Uncle Flav and Lou together in the same team. For sure Flavio is a great great manager, but I guess he would spend the day arguing with Lou. Ferrari is reputed to be a team with a lot of politics, and they have done well in the past with someone ( one person only ) that rules with an iron fist.
      Renault is a team with a lot of talent, and under Flavio´s leadership, they are going to have a good 2009.

  12. Oliver said on 19th April 2009, 14:46

    Its possible rain was just getting into the engine of Kimi and making it look like it was low on power…

  13. Loki said on 19th April 2009, 15:49

    The speculation (at the time) was an electronics failure on Massa’s car – I wonder if there’s any update. I hope it’s not something like water got in, because those systems should be protected.

    As optimistic as some people are about Ferrari getting better, I cannot help but think it’s going to get worse before it can get any better. When the drivers and constructor leaderboards come up, it’s just about the most disheartening thing not to even see the names come onscreen.

    It can’t be denied that Ferrari are missing key personnel from the hey-days, and those still involved in Ferrari are probably in different jobs. However, with all the planning and reshuffling, how can they slip so far down?

    I think they’re lacking clear direction – bad strategy decisions (when it baffles commentators, that’s a bad sign), a definitive decision on KERs, reshuffling looked more desperate than ordered, drivers who think a win’s far away when in fact even a points score would do good, and a team leader who looks and talk like the season’s already over. Yes, Stefano has said they won’t give up because that’s not the Ferrari spirit, but it hardly sounded convincing.

    Not trying to belittle Stefano, he had very big shoes to fill, but I’ve always voiced my concerns when things haven’t gone as smoothly as before. He’s probably stressed out to the max right now, as he’s responsible for the team’s performance.

    I’ve said it after Malaysia, right now Ferrari just need to grab whatever points they can – forget about winning for the moment, the closest and most feasible objective is getting points. Right now, it’s just embaressing. I’d love nothing more than for them to return to winning ways, but the whole team is a MESS and they’re probably looking for a magic fix that simply doesn’t exist.

  14. Danny said on 19th April 2009, 15:51

    The question we have to ask is whether we think this is the start of a downward spiral for the Scuderia or a blip on the radar.

    With the effort that was put into last season for Massa’s title push, I’m reluctanrt to write them off as a force in F1 just yet.

    As for Fernando, he’s wise enough to weigh up the long term prospects against short term sucesses, or lack there of. Even with a poor season for Ferrari, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did pop up in one of the seats next year.

  15. If Ferrari’s performance is a blip it’s the biggest damned blip in F1 history!

    They have two proven drivers, scads of money, so the problem seems to point in the direction of design/engineering/team management. Someone else (ukk??) pointed out complaceny, I would suggest a large dollop of arrogance in combination with that complacency is a recipe for mediocrity.

    As far as I’m concerned Luca is earning his just desserts for the ignominious treatment of Schumacher in his last year.

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