I do remember Kimi winning that race easily, and the Ferrari not looking as good as that again all year – so there is some gut feelings on my part that he could be telling the truth.
Ferrari were more dominant in Brazil (won by 1 minute), France (won by 35 seconds), Turkey (won by 26 seconds), and Belgium (won by 15 seconds) than they were in Australia; so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.
This is old news though, Ferrari had to modify the floor for the next race anyway.
I was mainly talking about my perception of their speed – I think it was Raikkonen winning on debut that did it. A bit like Australia 2013 – he just snuck a win with one stop less, but it looked so smooth and under control.
I do remember the exhaust failing in France and still coming second (the start of Raikkonen’s season going off the rails), and a 1-2 in Brazil with Massa ceding the win for the team/Kimi to win the WDC.
But yes, late 2008 was all about McLaren and Ferrari going gung-ho for the title, while everyone else (even BMW who had their only shot!) started work on the 2009 car (BMW probably felt the recession kicking in, quitting one year later). McLaren’s 2009 car looked like they had designed it after the 2008 WDC party had died down, and rushed badly with a hangover! But the B spec car, coming after Britain, was the real car they should have produced, while Ferrari gave up on 2009 (their car was slightly better to mid-season/Massa accident) and turned to 2010 with Alonso. But Kimi was then unleashed, and he somehow won at Spa with the KERS pass on Fisichella, who was then nowhere next to him for the rest of the year. The first half of 2009 is effectively Hamilton’s only real time with a bad car (start of this year they made a Q car).