Two points in it with two to go: It’s Ferrari vs McLaren… for third place

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren and Ferrari have rarely featured at the front this year
McLaren and Ferrari have rarely featured at the front this year

It’s the two titans of the sport: Ferrari and McLaren, who between them have won 374 Grands Prix and 24 constructors’ championships.

But not this year. The 2009 constructors’ championship trophy is not destined for Maranello or Woking. The two teams are fighting as hard as ever – but this time it’s for third place.

Although both are clearly having poor years by their lofty standards, the two are have had very different kinds of downfalls.

Ferrari have been generally off the pace, though not drastically so, wherever they’ve been. For McLaren in the first half of the season, aerodynamically critical tracks like Silverstone were a disaster area.

Lewis Hamilton has has brought a mixture of inspiration and desperation to the situation. He ran away with the wins at Hungary and Singapore, and wrung everything there was to get out of the MP4/24 at Suzuka – still the kind of track the car is weak at.

But the same never-say-die attitude cost him a podium finish on the final lap at Monza – and the less said about Melbourne the better.

For Ferrari the season has been more even – with, of course, the notable exception of the disaster that befell Felipe Massa. Happily, as his test yesterday proved, he is well on the way to recovery.

The upshot of this has been the number three F60 hasn’t brought home a point since the Nurburgring. Without Massa’s injury, Ferrari would probably be home and dry in third place already.

Kimi Raikkonen has done a commendable job, racking up a string of podiums in Massa’s absence to single-handedly keep the team in the hunt.

The constructors’ championship may not command the same kind of attention the drivers’ title does, but there is pride at stake here, it’s the fight to be top KERS team, and there’s a considerable difference in prize money. So, which team will prevail?

Ferrari may be ahead but McLaren seem to have form on their side. This weekend’s race should suit their car well and Abu Dhabi looks like it could be much the same.

For Ferrari it is imperative that Giancarlo Fisichella is able to start picking up points as well as Raikkonen. But unless something goes wrong at McLaren it could be too little too late.

Toyota could pip both to third place. But as the Japanese team now faces an injury dilemma of its own and has had to put rookie Kamui Kobayashi in Timo Glock’s car, making their chances that bit slimmer.

Which team do you think will finish ahead? Or is third place in the constructors’ championship just too low to care about?

Constructors' championship third place battle
Constructors' championship third place battle

115 comments on “Two points in it with two to go: It’s Ferrari vs McLaren… for third place”

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  1. I think McLaren will just do it, but if at rains at Interlagos I’m not sure this year’s car is quite as good as the last.

    For this reason, I’d say Ferrari have a chance, although how motivated Kimi is now could be the decisive factor.

    1. although how motivated Kimi is now could be the decisive factor.

      He would be motivated than ever before. Just to show Ferrari, the grave blunder they’ve committed by dumping him for a less talented driver.

      1. your right there, I believe once kimi is clear of ferrari the nasty side of kimi will appear where the red cars are concerned.

      2. Paige Michael-Shetley
        14th October 2009, 9:21

        Personally, I think something has just been missing from Kimi since he went to Ferrari. He no longer really had the “Iceman” edge to him once he got there.

        With McLaren, he was a perfect fit: cool driver sets devastatingly quick with cold-blooded efficiency at a team known for its trademark mastery of model engineering and calculation. Even the livery fit him: the prominent silver in the car really reinforced the “Iceman” persona, whereas the red at Ferrari just suits the passionate Alonso and Massa more. At McLaren, he can be the Iceman who just shows up, tells the engineers what the car’s doing, they fix it, and he goes out and drives it bloody quickly. At Ferrari, they wanted him to be friends with everyone, which just wasn’t going to work.

  2. I think McLaren have to be the favourites to finish third in the constructors championship as not only did Ferrari stop developing their 2009 car before McLaren did, but Fisichella just doesn’t look likely to score any points.

  3. Sorry for being a bit off the topic, but Have you guys read this???

    1. Noob Indian road officials. As if they care for road safety. Sad part was that a driver of DC’s caliber was forced to apologize to corrupt Indian road officials. And even worse, they’ve fined Red Bull!!

      And they want an Indian GP!

      1. Mind ur tounge abt India and Indians. Its Bernie who wants a track in India but u wud not be knowing this because a person whose name is as MP4-19B must be old enough not to know the facts. Change your name to Anthony Raikkonnen

        1. Mind ur tounge abt India

          What is a tounge??

      2. @MP4-Whatever,
        Sorry, yesterday cud not get any time to browse F1F. Saw ur comment just now.
        I would like to ask you a question.
        How many times have you been to India? Or it is your inheritance to hate India and Indian people???

        1. Alright! This isn’t a ‘hate’ thread. And there’s no reason to spit fire on any particular country or getting personal here.

          As for DC’s case, I find it ridiculous that he’s been fined that heavily. I don’t think a normal person in India will be fined anything more than Rs. 100, if he does get fined at all. Besides, drivers get a fine of $10K/$20K while speeding in the pitlane in races and here he’s been fined $70K+. And this being a roadshow of a F1 car, the road was closed for traffic, so how do the normal traffic rules apply. What do you expect to see, an F1 car crawl at 50 kph. lol

          Were the Renault drivers fined for overspeeding at Oviedo or Bucharest?

        2. How many times have you been to India?

          16 times. Was almost killed during my last visit in a horrible road accident, but lost my cousin who could have easily been saved, but for the sheer negligence on the part of road safety officials. And I alone know how much “help I received from govt officials, just ask any foreigner what he/she thinks about Indian Roads & the people who manage them . The drunk driver who caused this mishap is out on bail & is getting married shortly.

          Or it is your inheritance to hate India and Indian people???

          No. I don’t hate Indian people. I have the greatest sympathies for them. The roads they drive on is a gateway to hell. My anger was directed at the corrupt Indian road officials, not the Indian public.

          Hope that cleared your doubt. If my statements have hurt you or any Indians in any sense, I profusely apologize.

          1. I’m sorry for your loss and it’s a shame but it’s true that roads and the administration is in a disgusting state in India.

            But the Indian government officials aren’t keen about the Indian GP, the fans are.

          2. If my statements have hurt you or any Indians in any sense, I profusely apologize

            Definitely it did hurt me…not only for this one, but also for this:

            You Indians never get it, do you?

            or even this one

            Funniest part was an Indian telling off be rational LOL

            I feel really really sory from my heart for the loss you suffered. But probably you cant single out a particular country where this kind of accident may happen. I have been here in the UK (Leeds, to be particular) for last one year, and I have seen at least 3 horrible accidents, two of them resulting extreme casualties.
            I dont know which country do you belong, but if somebody continiously keep saying some unacceptable comments about your countrymen in general (I have no objection to what you have said about the officials), probably you too will find it hard to digest.

  4. I reckon Ferrari will get 3rd. Ferrari should out-perform McLaren in Brazil.

  5. “Kimi Raikkonen has done a commendable job”
    kimi done a amazing job with this f60!!!!
    lewis goe faster since mclaren update his car…kimi dont’t have updates since hungary…3 months!!!!
    4 podium finishes and 1 victory = commendable job????
    i’m a kimi fan, but i want mclaren finish ahead of ferrari…ferrari was the alonso/santander team!!!

    1. You mean the podium earned by only having to beat Heikki Kovalainen after the start, the podium gifted by a Hamilton who would rather have spun off than settle for 3rd, and the victory gained through deliberately going off-line at La Source? Circumstance is important in F1 but hardly makes a good drive amazing. Kimi has been doing a very good job, but don’t over-hype it!

    2. is that why ferrari gave kimi the boot?,

  6. Kimi is srsly gonna smoke them….its just proving himself before turning out from red to white(or may call black)


  7. mp4-19b you need to leave Ferrari alone…they beaten McLaren enough times in the past and sir you to me is a hater. we’ll see how 2010 will go down…..

    1. And how many times did they beat mclaren Fairly??

      1. 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007? =)

      2. A hell of a lot of times mp4-19b.

        This ‘how many times did they beat mclaren Fairly??” stuff just can’t be taken seriously.

  8. he answered your question and your still a hater.

  9. No mention of poor Kofailainen in this otherwise excellent post. It has been rather surprising to see him where he is, but he is still the key to the outcome. He has scored consistent points, kind of, which is far more than we can expect of Fisi. KOF’s additional 5-6 points will be what settles the likely rough draw between Hamilton and Raikkonen at the front.

    This season, a lack of testing, and difficult and complex cars have really separated the superstars from the highly-skilled. Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen have shown how to transcend a car and its development, and have left well-regarded teammates in the dust. One does have to leave Vettel out of this. I’ts surprising. But, frankly, he has only excelled when the car was on an ideal track and has not consistently handled Webber.

  10. I have to say Kimi and Lewis are level pegging if not Lewis a bit better, i do rate Kimi as a driver, but he doesn’t try as hard as lewis which is why lewis, will always be slightly better. Kimi is happy to truddle along, while hamilton will push until the checkered flag. Lewis and Mclaren will overtake kimi and ferrari at brazil by at least two clear points. also stop the alonso bashing he’s a great driver, he just likes moving teams and causing controversy

  11. McLaren will clearly do it, Fisichella isnt settled into an awkward car, even HK more likey to score, LH edges KR, and the McLaren is just a better car than the Ferrari.

  12. i heard that Brawn GP start developing 2010 car since 4th series [Bahrain] of 2009 season … does anyone know about this ?

    1. Teams usually start work on next years car early in the current year, it is more about how much of their resources they use developing this years car and how much on next years car.

      For example in 2008 McLaren and Ferrari were both still committing a lot of their resources to their 2008 cars right down to the last race as they fought for the championship, which is one of the reasons given for this years below par performance. Whereas Honda realised that their 2008 car was rubbish at the start of the year, and as they knew that the 2009 regulations changes meant everyone would be virtually starting from scratch decided to devote all their resources to their 2009 car, which is why Brawn look set to clinch both titles at the moment.

      Given their early season dominance Brawn may have decided to commit more resources to developing their 2010 car after Bahrain, but as the title fights closed up they probably decided to switch back to the 2009 car.

  13. If you agree COlts are going to lose become a fan of FB page Colts Will Lose Super Bowl 2010!

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