Allison wants Ferrari improvement before end of year

2013 Indian Grand Prix

James Allison, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2013New Ferrari technical director James Allison has targeted an improved performance from the team over the final four races.

“The Korean and Japanese Grands Prix were both disappointing for us as our car was not right at the front or winning, which is not the level we should be at,” said Allison, who joined Ferrari from Lotus earlier this year.

“However, the team performed very well at the track with a group that is strategically very astute and we have drivers who can bring the car home in good positions. But those results are not what we are aiming for, so we need to improve for the remaining races.”

Allison is returning to Ferrari after nine years at Renault and Lotus. He said: “There?s excitement but also a lot of nostalgia as this is a team with whom I share many happy memories of all the victories from 2000 to 2004.”

“So nostalgia, excitement and pleasure at seeing so many faces I remember from before, who were junior members in the team when I was here the last time, but have now grown up with the team and hold senior positions.

“But most of all I have a feeling of determination to play my part alongside everyone else, in returning to victory with this team.”

Allison added there have been “many changes within the Scuderia” while he was away.

“The team is bigger and more complex, but its character, its emotion is very similar and recognisable the moment you walk through the door. You can also feel the hunger to win again.”

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59 comments on Allison wants Ferrari improvement before end of year

  1. Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 11:48

    Give Massa a free hand now that Alonso is practically out of WDC running and they can see improved performances right away.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 22nd October 2013, 11:59

      You must be the only person here who actually believes that.

      • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:24

        Perhaps, but I like and feel sorry for Massa. He won 11 races and almost clinched the 2008 WDC – would have done but for the spineless Timo Glock. But since his 2009 accident and Alonso’s arrival at Ferrari, he has been little more than the Spaniard’s lapdog. I am hoping that the fact that he is leaving Ferrari and Alonso is practically out of WDC running, Ferrari might allow Massa to have a go. Moreover, his added effort might be necessary to fight off the Lotus surge and Merc for P2 in WCC.

        • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:26

          @loup-garou

          almost clinched the 2008 WDC – would have done but for the spineless Timo Glock.

          Incorrect. Timo Glock almost won Massa the WDC as he staid out on slicks – this almost made him finish ahead of Hamilton. Had he gone on wet tyres like most others he would have been well behind anyway – and ending 7th instead of 6th. This means his gamble of staying on slicks gained him one place. His pace on the last lap was very slow as it was very wet then so it was no surprise that he was easily passed by Vettel and Hamilton.

          I suggest you (re-?)read http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/11/04/2008-brazilian-grand-prix-analysis/ before you sprout more nonsense.

          • hobo (@hobo) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:37

            @mike-dee – I logged in to say essentially the same thing. I would have liked to see Glock get a better drive to see what he could do and thought it was unfortunate when he left F1. Sadly it is partly his fault as he turned down a Renault seat for Virgin.

            But to your point and in response to @loup-garou – Massa had a WDC shot in the final moments of Brazil because of Timo Glock. Massa lost it because Hamilton was in a better car and on wet tires on a very wet track.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:41

          @loup-garou You don’t seriously believe that about Glock do you? I mean, it’s been five years, and as @mike-dee points out everyone should know the facts of the matter by now.

          Don’t get me wrong, it was unfortunate for Massa the way things panned out on the last lap at Interlagos and I felt for him. But to have a go at Glock for it when he patently did nothing wrong makes me far less sympathetic to your point of view.

        • Dude not for anything massa is nothing compared to Alonso! Alonso is right now the best f1 driver of our generation! The fact that Ferrari’s car is **** and he still manages for the last 4 years in a row to be second place, is amazing! That’s when you realize the driver makes the car not the other way around! Te only reason why Vettel is “champion” is because red bull has monstrous fast car. Let’s face it, even Vettel quoted Alonso is the best right now.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd October 2013, 2:43

            Were you drunk when you typed this? Vettel did not quote Alonso as the best driver. If according to you, the “driver makes the car” then Alonso made that “****”, while Vettel made the “monstrous fast car”- your point defeated your own logic, not mine. And the only reason Alonso is 2nd is because he has the second best car, as much as Vettel is 1st because he has the best car.

        • @loup-garou I’m not going to put up makeshift excuses or pull some non existent facts on you. I will only ask you what is in your opinion the best driver in F1?

          • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 23rd October 2013, 8:51

            Pennyroyal tea (@peartree)
            @loup-garou I’m not going to put up makeshift excuses or pull some non existent facts on you. I will only ask you what is in your opinion the best driver in F1?

            OK. I stress that as you asked this is my opinion only. I would vote for Sebastian Vettel based on the fact that he has consistently got close to the best out of a very good car over the last 5 years. That is not something that a lot of people achieve.
            “Best driver” is not always easy to define with so many variables like car set-up, driving style, track layout, weather and competition. Taking the top few teams into consideration over the last 4 or 5 years, existing conditions have suited different driver/car combos at different times. Therefore, the tally of race outcomes do have a significance and since Vettel is the one who has produced the best results, I vote him as the best driver currently on the grid.

          • @loup-garou Since Sebastian Vettel isn’t the same person as Massa, Massa is irrelevant for Ferraris progress.

    • caci99 (@caci99) said on 22nd October 2013, 12:03

      Just like in Suzuka ;)

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:09

      Dont think even Massa would agree with you there

    • zoom (@zoomracing) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:56

      lol, why don’t you watch the last race to see what he can do when he is free….. hint: nothing.

  2. George (@george) said on 22nd October 2013, 12:59

    Oh man, can you imagine next year’s Ferrari and Red Bull as ‘aero’ cars against the might of the Mercedes power unit engine? Wishful thinking maybe…

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:17

      It’s hard to say anything right now, but if I had to take a shot in the dark for next year…
      I think its a Red Bull (aero) vs Mercedes (engine) war next year. Merc should hopefully come out on top

      If I had to guess, Ferrari will have 2nd or 3rd best aero package and the poorest engine unit on the grid. Probably the 5th or 6th best team on the grid.. and Alonso and Kimi will be fighting for P7 to P 10 for most of the year.

      I seriously hope it doesn’t end up that way.. but if I had to put money on it, I would guess Ferrari is about to have its poorest season of the Millenium next year.

      • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:27

        (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:17
        It’s hard to say anything right now, but if I had to take a shot in the dark for next year…
        I think its a Red Bull (aero) vs Mercedes (engine) war next year. Merc should hopefully come out on top

        It may not be that simple. I would not write off the Renault engine factor completely. They were the ones who first introduced turbos into F1 in the 70s and despite the advancement of technology, might be competitive.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:32

        How can everyone change to conclusions on Merc vs Ferrari vs Renault vs Honda all the time?

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:19

          Because differences in engine performance and ERS can cause massive differences in the overall pace of the car.

          Since there is a fair amount of flexibility in ERS + Engine combination, there will be engine suppliers with an advantage. Maybe Mercedes, maybe Renault…

          What do you think will be the differentiator in performance … aero?

      • palmerstoneroad (@palmerstoneroad) said on 22nd October 2013, 19:30

        on what basis you assess “I would guess Ferrari is about to have its poorest season of the Millenium next year.?”

        Are you involved in some kind of dataleaks?

      • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 22nd October 2013, 22:17

        Come on, you don’t seriously believe that, do you? Besides some not-so-reliable source which threw this 100bhp advantage for Mercedes, most of the paddock believe that the difference between the three engines will be a couple of HP at most, given that they are severely limited by the fuel flow regulation. There were some calculations on an F1 technical forum which showed that a severe increase in efficiency would have to be achieved in order to gain such a big advantage just from the internal combustion engine.

      • I’m not more positive than you about Ferrari but I do remind that way back in the day Ferrari made good progress when F1 first used V6′s.

        • Asanator (@asanator) said on 23rd October 2013, 15:20

          There is absolutely no logical reason to suppose that Mercedes is going to build a better engine than either Ferrari or Renault.

          It is all guess work and basing an opinion on it is just folly!

  3. FernanDino said on 22nd October 2013, 14:07

    Happy to see James back in a red outfiit! I just hope he does not waste too much time with this lame duck called F138!
    Most of all though, I hope he has a clear idea on why all development work at Ferrari was and still is going backwards! I am still not convinced it was all due to the modified tyres.

    • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:13

      FernanDino said on 22nd October 2013, 14:07
      I hope he has a clear idea on why all development work at Ferrari was and still is going backwards! I am still not convinced it was all due to the modified tyres.

      No, all all due to tyres. A lot of it had to do with a man named Sebastian Vettel. ;)

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:39

        You mean Vettel was in the Ferrari design department?

        • FernanDino said on 22nd October 2013, 15:18

          No. Loup means Vettel beat Ferrari regardless of the tyres. Which, of course, is wrong. Fact is, Vettel’s car is superior to any other. By far.

          • Oh of course it is. That’s why Webber’s won nine races this year and out-qualified his teammate 14 times, oh wait.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:30

            @FernanDino – Go back to the summer break and tell me who was leading the championship, and where his teammate was.

          • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 22nd October 2013, 19:35

            @vettel1 The car is definitely the best car, but Vettel has been the best driver this season, hence the dominance. Dominance can only come with a combination of both.

          • @philereid I’m not even trying to attempt to argue that the RB9 hasn’t been the best car on average throughout the season, that would be foolish. But best “by far” and “dominant”? Not at all. A Ferrari F2004, MP4/4 or FW14B classes as dominant in my books – cars where the second driver was clearly still comfortably ahead of the second fastest on raw pace.

            That’s a much fairer assessment you have made of the situation!

          • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 23rd October 2013, 20:17

            The RB9 is certainly one of the best cars on the grid but I don’t think anyone can call it to be the best in every situation. If we had 22 clones driving the present cars as they are now, the RB9 would win some of the races but not all. There are too many variables, even non-driver ones: track configurarion, tyre degradation, weather and so on. The reason the car is dominant is because the best driver is driving it.

            I agree that Alonso and maybe Hamilton would have achieved better results with the RB9 than they have done in their own cars but it is not as straightforward to say that they would have matched Vettel’s results. Vettel’s strength is that he learns and adapts to the idiosyncrasies of his car better than anyone else on the grid. That includes the track itself and I think he works very hard within himself during the Friday and Saturday practice sessions to fine-tune his performance during the quallifying to follow and the race itself. Ther results are usually there to show.

            To summarise then, the RB9 is undoubtedly a great car but it is Vettel makes it seem “by far the best”.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:21

          @vettel1

          Just because Webber is having a poor season, doesn’t mean that the RB9 isn’t a dominant car

          I dont remember you judging the Ferrari’s pace by Massa’s pace, so howcome Webber becomes the barometer of the Red Bull’s performance?

          • @todfod when have I ever called the Ferrari a dominant car? Your argument is completely baseless: I’m not the one suggesting any cars are dominant.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 18:02

            @vettel1

            You’re denying a cars dominance by saying that the driver is making all the difference. Then using a teammate in poor form as an example to prove your point.

            Thats ridiculous

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd October 2013, 18:27

            @todfod – The original point Max responded to was “FernanDino”‘s disagreement that Vettel was winning regardless of tyres. But it is clear that Vettel was leading the championship before the summer break and tyre changes.

            Going one further- FernanDino said “Vettel’s car is superior to any other. By far.”. Was that the case before the summer break? No, he led the championship by the reasonable but not insurmountable margin of 36 points, with 4 wins out of 10 (less than half, none of them were back to back wins), plus 3 poles. Only 2 of those could have been considered comfortable wins- Bahrain (partially assisted by Ferrari’s unreliability) and Canada. Malaysia was assisted by Alonso and Ferrari’s mistake. Germany had 2 Lotuses chasing him for the win. None of that has to do with Webber’s poor form- Vettel built the points lead before any tyre changes, because of consistency, rather than dominance.

          • @todfod did you actually read the comment I replied to?

          • @todfod tell me, on what basis is the RB9 “superior to any other car. By far.”, unless our definitions of “by far” vary wildly.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th October 2013, 7:03

            @vettel1

            Well lets see….

            1) It is the only car this season to be able to fight for pole in every qualifying session this year. Even Mercedes took a few races to find that quali pace.. but Red Bull was on it from Australia
            2) Other than Australia, Spain and China, they have had the strongest race pace in every circuit so far. Their advantage to Ferrari and Lotus has differed from 0.3s on a bad day to over 1 sec on a good race pace day. Look at some of Mark Webber’s race pace stints and fastest laps to get understand what I am talking about
            3) Since Spa their upgrades have made them untouchable. I think by far the quickest car in quali and the race on low downforce, high downforce medium downforce and all sorts of circuits. In fact I dont ever remember seeing a car that was so quick in all different kinds of circuits since 2002 or 2004.

            Please tell me one car that was consistently a match for Red Bull on quali and race pace this year?

          • @todfod this is actually hurting me how you can still persist with this notion that the RB9 is some sort of wünder vehicle that has been by far the best.

            If you actually pay attention to what I was saying and the comment I was responding to, you will see that nowhere have a denied the RB9 – on balance – has been the fastest car this season. Read @david-a ‘s comment, it covers all the basis. And especially read the comment I replied to, and you will see you are arguing over something I did not state.

            It is the only car this season to be able to fight for pole in every qualifying session this year.

            You certainly didn’t watch the British Grand Prix then. Or the Chinese Grand Prix, where neither car even started in the top 5. Please to ask if you wish me to go any further.

            Even Mercedes took a few races to find that quali pace

            You have also completely forgotten that the first two qualifying sessions were in changeable conditions, clearly. That is also why Red Bull “were on it from Australia” – the Red Bull is very good in the wet, and Vettel is exceptional.

            Other than Australia, Spain and China, they have had the strongest race pace in every circuit so far.

            Since Ferrari were compromised in both Malaysia and Bahrain by only having Massa in realistic contention, I don’t think you can say that with such affirmation. Also, in Monaco, Red Bull were not on the pace of Mercedes. Arguably in Hungary both Lotus and Mercedes were faster, and in Germany and Britain Lotus and Mercedes respectively looked close – almost equal. So “strongest” has a loose definition therefore: you must specify that they were equal strongest on some. That changes the tone of your observation completely.

            Since Spa their upgrades have made them untouchable. I think by far the quickest car in quali and the race on low downforce, high downforce medium downforce and all sorts of circuits.

            This links back to the initial part of this comment: where have I ever disagreed that they have been strongest since Belgium? In fact, I specifically stated that – I believe elsewhere – that is where Red Bull won the championship.

            Please tell me one car that was consistently a match for Red Bull on quali and race pace this year?

            This summarises one of my initial points that you have clearly made an argument out of nothing. Nowhere – not one place – have I said that the Red Bull was not the fastest car on balance this season.

  4. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:59

    @todfod The confidence with which some people predict a Ferrari downfall and a Merc domination is funny to the point of ridiculous. How dude, how? The three teams feeding you with all their development data or something?

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 22nd October 2013, 18:08

      @shreyasf1fan
      No dude. I think you didn’t understand the statement ‘shot in the dark’ . It means i have no idea about the facts but im just going with a hunch.

      You going to criticise a hunch?
      And say that i need data from teams to make a statement like that on an f1 forum?

      Don’t you have an opinion on next year that isn’t validated by engineers providing you inside information?

  5. Courier said on 22nd October 2013, 15:03

    I don’t understand. James Allison states the Ferarri team is “strategically astute”, and has 2 capable drivers. That leaves the car. I find it hard to beleive that Ferarri is not throwing everything they’ve got into making the car faster already. What’s Allison going to do? Electric-shock therapy for the engineers?

    • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:06

      The Faerraris did seem faster and more competitive at the start of this season. Alonso’s win in Spain was impressive. But I feel that with Red Bull and Mercedes upping their game a bit as the season went on they seem to lag behind by comparison.

      Having said that Alonso was very quick in Spa. Even though he finished 16 seconds behind Vettel, he might not have been going all out, once he realised catching Vettel was not possible.

  6. FernanDino said on 22nd October 2013, 15:11

    Who came up with the story that next year’s Merc engine will steamroll the whole pitlane?
    And who thinks that after freezing engine specs years ago, the engine matters?
    Of course next year it will! But then the FIA will make sure the engines are levelled off. But to start with, what matters most is reliability. And, of course, fuel management.

    • It’s a completely baseless story: I believe the rumour started over something as ridiculous as them favouring larger diameter tyres!

      In fact, I would tip the Renault to be a slightly better engine: they have been very good at torque management, absolutely key for the new engines.

      • FernanDino said on 22nd October 2013, 20:36

        Max, It’s still fun (or maybe stange..) that all the Merc engine “Über erverything” stories for 2014 have surfaced in all countries I read about F1. They include GB, I, F, D, E, CH and A. (Being slightly polyglot helps in this respect :-))

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd October 2013, 8:56

      Mercedes are no doubt planning to do just that, and like to hear it – only I doubt Renault and Ferrari will just let them :-)

  7. Courier said on 22nd October 2013, 15:27

    “The FIA’s plan for freezing development of the engines calls for 8% of power unit components by weight to be frozen in development by 2015. That will rise to 23% in 2016, 35% in 2018 and 95% the year after that.”

  8. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:54

    Ferrari won the world championships in 2000-2004 with James Allison. Renault won the world chmapionships with James Allison in 2005-2006. Coincidence? Ferrari should hope not at all, so that they could return to winning ways as soon as 2014.

  9. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 22nd October 2013, 22:33

    Is he implying something when he talks about ‘junior teammembers promoted to senior positions’?

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