Ferrari focus on 2014 after missing out on titles again

2013 F1 season review

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2013

Ferrari did not hesitate to blame the mid-season alterations to the tyre constructions for part of their loss of competitiveness during 2013.

“We built a car to work with certain tyres, with which we proved to be very competitive,” explained president Luca di Montezemolo at the end of the season. “Then the tyres were changed, definitely proving to be a disadvantage for us and an advantage for others.”

But Ferrari aren’t kidding themselves – they also recognised where they went wrong in car development over recent seasons and have set about putting it right.

They began 2013 in competitive shape, winning twice in the first five races. But then a familiar story began – they took a wrong path in the development of the F138.

Ferrari team stats 2013

Best race result (number) 1 (2)
Best grid position (number) 2 (1)
Non-finishes (mechanical/other) 3 (0/3)
Laps completed (% of total) 2,099 (92.47%)
Laps led (% of total) 99 (8.72%)
Championship position (2012) 3 (2)
Championship points (2012) 354 (400)
Pit stop performance ranking 2

While Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel built unassailable leads in both championships, Ferrari soon reached the point where the potential gains from trying to improve their form this year were outweighed by the opportunities offered by throwing more resources at their 2014 car.

Ferrari’s efforts during 2013 cannot have been helped by the work undertaken to upgrade and improve the wind tunnel at their Maranello factory, a project which began last year and should begin to bear fruit in 2014. In the meantime Toyota’s Cologne windtunnel was used to develop this year’s car.

On the driver front, Fernando Alonso performed his usual feats to consistently drag the best out of the car, in the races at least. The car’s raw qualifying pace was little better relative to the opposition than it had been last year.

But in the constructors’ championship the team were held back by Felipe Massa’s insufficient contribution to their points tally. The team finally addressed that problem this year, dropping Massa after the Italian Grand Prix.

The impeding return of Kimi Raikkonen and the prospect of two world champions driving for the team in 2014 is an exciting one. But Raikkonen isn’t the only Lotus recruit now wearing red. The arrival of two of Lotus’s top technical staff James Allison (technical director) and Dirk de Beer (head of aerodynamics) is arguably just as significant a development.

The 2009-13 rules generation has been a frustrating one for Ferrari. This is a team which takes deep pride from its successful grand prix racing heritage, yet has now gone five years without a world championship.

Next year Red Bull and Vettel could match Ferrari and Michael Schumacher’s feats of winning both championships in five consecutive seasons. But Ferrari’s hunger to win again combined with their enviable resources and improving line-up of technical talent will make them a dangerous threat to Red Bull’s ambitions.

Ferrari drivers 2013 race results

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Fernando Alonso 2 1 8 1 7 2 3 4 5 2 2 2 6 4 11 5 5 3
Felipe Massa 4 5 6 15 3 8 6 8 7 4 6 9 10 4 8 12 7

Ferrari’s 2013 season in pictures

2013 F1 season review

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Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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41 comments on Ferrari focus on 2014 after missing out on titles again

  1. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th December 2013, 22:39

    LOL ! The title is pretty funny !
    2013 season is over, 2014 hasn’t started yet ! It’s obvious the focus is on the 2014, no ?!

  2. 68btyme (@steadyb) said on 18th December 2013, 23:20

    At least Ferrari are in it year in year out now. I can remember the Jean Alesi, Gerhard Burger years and every year was will this be the year in which Ferrari will see victory lane, let alone vie for championships!

  3. 68btyme (@steadyb) said on 18th December 2013, 23:32

    If anyone can stop the RBR dynasty, it’s Alonso, hands down. The guy just tenacious. And there won’t be a mental breakdown no matter what.

  4. Sam Kelsall (@redbantha95) said on 19th December 2013, 17:59

    The fact an outfit as big as Ferrari have not been able to produce the fastest car on the grid for so long is astonishing, their last car which was competing for victories on a regular, consistent basis was back in 2008. It’s incredible to think that was 5 seasons ago, so 2014 really is crunch time for Ferrari, especially now that they have some of the best facilities available to them now. Admittedly, they started off the 2013 season with a bang and for a moment it looked as if they may have been able to mount a serious challenge to Red Bull, but as has been all too frequent with Ferrari in recent years, their rate of development was poor.

    With the two drivers Ferrari have at their disposal next season, if they can produce a competitive, race winning car and sustain that performance across the majority of the season, they have an excellent shot, if not the best shot at taking either/both of the two world championships.

  5. Mark in Florida said on 20th December 2013, 0:34

    Ferrari has really produced some really inconsistent cars over the last few years. They start off with a bang and end with a whimper. Ferrari is always blaming something like rule or tire changes and even their drivers are at fault,not the car they fail to develop correctly. It’s easy to say oh we stopped development on this years car to focus on the next car. Luca needs to stay in his office and Steffano should go. Ferrari needs a fundamental shift to occur in order to advance. I don’t know if Mercedes is on the right path or not with all of the management changes but at least they are trying and seem to have a plan. Let’s hope that Ferrari can make the changes that need to be made and stop the blame game. Someone needs to step up and take the fight to Red Bull.

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