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. Juhhi said on 19th April 2009, 16:56

    wait for spain guys before judging no one. Drivers can`t really do nothing with that car. Massa failed because of reliability is bad and Raikkonen had no changes because of performance and bad strategy. Why they which his two stop strategy to one…??? That was what Domenicali also wondering on autosport.com.

    They get new bottom for car to Spain so if there´s then no improving, something is really really wrong with that team. Personally I´m confident that then they will be very very near top on Spain.

    but if they´re not, I´d like to say : GO ferrari for season 2010 car…

  2. Toby Thwaites 93 said on 19th April 2009, 17:09

    Ferrari will score points in Bahrain if the F60 has an updated aero package including new diffuser. Although saying that, so will teams like BMW. Mclaren and Renault will perform slightly better aswell, seen as though the updates for the Chinese GP were maybe rushed.
    Bahrain GP will be the best so far this season :)

  3. Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 17:13

    Indeed, in Autosport Domenicali claims that they might focus on 2010 early.
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74644

    I thought the regulations stayed mostly the same for 2010 though. Only some KERS differences maybe?

    Couldn’t they use that “2010” car already this year if they finish it early?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2009, 19:38

      Well the cars next year will be running without refuelling, so they’ll need much bigger fuel tanks. They’re also supposed to be changing the front tyre width, I think they’re reducing it, because of the imbalance caused by the switch back to slicks this year.

      But also they’d be able to design the car from scratch to include a ‘double decker’ diffuser.

    • Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 21:08

      Ah true, bigger fuel tanks.

      I realized the possible tyre change, but that’s more a point not to go for the 2010 car yet. No point designing a car when the regulations aren’t even sure yet.

  4. Derek said on 19th April 2009, 17:33

    On one BMW and McLaren ran with Kers today I think Ferrari should bolt on the Kers unit again soon otherwise with only McLaren developing it, and improving it and reducing the current weight disadvantage. They will ‘leap frog’ everyone by mid season, and be away when the dry races start.

  5. Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 17:35

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

    That’s not really accurate:

    A) Raikkonen lost only a single position on lap 9 when Hamilton passed him. Only on lap 12 did Buemi pass him and he let Massa through.

    B) Raikkonen was right behind Massa when Massa retired. (with only Barrichello between them after his pitstop)

    Raikkonens race was ruined by his pitstop so quickly after the safety car situation. It left him almost at the back after his stop.

    • kurtosis said on 19th April 2009, 18:57

      @Patrickl,

      Well, three cars fueled either equally heavily as Raikkonen or heavier passed him before his first pit stop.

      Surely there were Hamilton, Buemi, and Barrichelo at least between Massa and Raikkonen when Massa retired? I don’t think Hamilton or Buemi had pitted yet.

      This is pretty accurately reflected in his final position – three cars passed him and one retired, resulting in him dropping back 2 places from his qualifying position in the end.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2009, 19:36

      Patrickl – that should have been ‘laps’, sorry.

    • Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 21:27

      Ah, “laps”, makes more sense yes.

      @kurtosis

      Buemi had pitted on lap 19 and Hamilton had just had one of his offs. So they were behind Raikkonen. Seriously, Raikkonen was on P5 when Massa retired. Behind him were Hamilton, Barrichello, Kovalainen, Bourdais, Buemi …

      Raikkonen lost a lot of places due to his stop. It put him back on P15 where he ended up being stuck behind Rosberg.

      BTW I said Barrichello was between them, but that was Webber of course. Sorry ’bout that

  6. Oliver said on 19th April 2009, 19:36

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Ferrari. They just lack the downforce of the 3 diffuser + RBR cars. Performance wise, the Ferrari should be better than the Mclarens. Kimi was faster than Hamilton with fuel during qualifying and he wasn’t running with KERS, unlike Hamilton.
    Ferrari’s problem in the first 3 races, have just been poor strategies and then reliability issues. If you ask me, I’d say once they’ve committed a strategic blunder it becomes easier for them to retire a car even with the smallest of technical issue. Massa’s problem at this race was the first real debilitating technical problem Ferrari has had.

    • John H said on 19th April 2009, 20:28

      “There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Ferrari. They just lack the downforce of the 3 diffuser + RBR cars”

      sounds fundamental to me.

  7. sean said on 19th April 2009, 20:50

    isn’t interesting that stefano say’s that they may start development of the 2010 car early what makes him think he’ll still be there to see it race.Bad strategies lack of design the car they put on the track in spain better be 2sec faster than everyone else and dont think it unreasonable there cars have dominated for the last 10years.The only ray of light as a fan is that noone is running away with the series but how long until these teams will wait to see improvement’s in there cars if it’s not forthcoming they shelve the season and concentrate on 2010 remember the red bull were carrying a lot less fuel than the brawn’s and toyota’s so on a dry track the outcome may have been different bmw,toyota,ferrari,renault all had shocking day,s how long untill the principals decide to shelve this season and concentrate on next year this years championship could well be decided by monaco.

  8. Things are bad at Ferrari indeed. Poor Flippy didn’t even get an ice cream this week :D

  9. Andrew said on 20th April 2009, 1:50

    The first 3 races are the worst of all seasons I could ever remember. Why Ferrari F60 was introduced prior to other teams if the result is like that? Now all the people in the team have to leave their ego and prides to start from scratch again. Don’t ever think that the wind is slow on the top…Let’s rise to glory !

  10. DGR-F1 said on 20th April 2009, 8:31

    I don’t think Ferrari’s problem is the basic package, they appear to have all the right bits but they aren’t working together properly – as happened with McLaren not so long ago.
    Since Kimi complained about his engine early on in the race, and Massa retired because of his engine, I wonder if there is a technical problem when they remove the KERS? And if they have already admitted that the KERS isn’t working properly either, they need a big fix very soon……

  11. longlive Ferrari said on 20th April 2009, 9:07

    gimme some money. i’ll throw a party in monaco the day i get to listen this from a commentator’s mouth

    “Yes, Ferrari have done it, they’re back with a bang!”

    i’ll pay for the airfare too. :)

  12. rayan said on 20th April 2009, 10:14

    don worry guys ferrari wll b back soon,but i hav to tell u all tat without schumacher ther is no ferrari.i feel in 2005 the car was worst than tis.but he brought home 62 points.

  13. Oliver said on 20th April 2009, 13:47

    Massa’s was a software problem. Kimi’s was water getting in the engine. According to Kimi, he felt the loss of power when he was getting close to cars ahead of him, but stops when he is ahead of those cars or much further behind them. I’m surprised he couldn’t figure out it was the water. Every car suffers some performance shortfall in the wet especially when tailing another car in very wet conditions.

  14. carl said on 20th April 2009, 14:58

    Its a good thing they then removed the KERS from their cars. Might have caused serious problems if water got into KERS. by the way, what are the rules regarding KERS for 2010. Must all teams be fitted with them for 2010 season? If so then that plus the bigger heavier Fuel tank will make the cars balance even a bigger problem than this year

  15. Gman said on 20th April 2009, 18:42

    Obviously Ferrari will never really stop trying this season, and I am sure they will capture a few decent results before the year is out. But Bahrain will tell a great deal about them, as the team and Massa in particular have done very well there recently. If they still struggle with pure pace- never mind the reliability- then it will set a very bad tone for the rest of the season.

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