More mistakes at point-less Ferrari

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It all went wrong for Ferrari at Sepang

Ferrari’s poor start to 2009 continued at Malaysia as they incredibly failed to score a point for the second race running.

It’s clear the F60 isn’t the fastest car in F1 this year – but they made things far worse for themselves with two major tactical blunders.

Felipe Massa’s qualifying was ruined when the team inexplicably failed to send him out to complete another lap in the first part of qualifying – despite an obvious mistake by Massa on his first run. A late flurry of fast laps dropped him out of the crucial top 15 and consigned him to 16th on the grid.

But, as if to prove their drivers get equal treatment, Ferrari dropped the ball on Raikkonen’s strategy during the Grand prix as well.

All the teams were watching the sky, looking for a change in the conditions, as Raikkonen made his first pit stop on lap 18. But surprisingly Ferrari chose to put him on full wet tyres, despite no significant rain having fallen. Meanwhile other drivers like Jenson Button came in on subsequent laps for more slicks.

In the four laps it took for the rain to arrive, Raikkonen destroyed his wet tyres on a largely dry track.

Eight years ago when heavy rain fell at Sepang Ferrari made a mockery of their opposition by timing their switch to intermediates tyres perfectly and winning with ease. Now it seems they can’t even get the basics right.

Only two teams are yet to score a point so far this year: Ferrari and Force India. How did the red team manage to get it so badly wrong twice this weekend?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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72 comments on “More mistakes at point-less Ferrari”

  1. its an F60 lol

    1. Sush Meerkat
      5th April 2009, 14:35

      It’s clear the F2006 isn’t the fastest car in F1 this year


    2. Sorry guys – don’t mean to make excuses but I’ve got a cache problem at the moment and I have fixed the mistake once already. Should be OK now :-(

    3. “Now it seems they can’t even get the basics right.”

      Couldn’t agree more, Keith. You took the words right out of my mouth. Since when did Ferrari decide to go with these ridiculous gambles? The name ‘Domenicali’ comes to mind. What happened with Felipe on Saturday was laughable, but the stuff they pulled on Kimi really just made me feel like taking a break, getting a coke and an ice cream.

  2. Keith,
    I think it is F60 for this year.

  3. This one was the oddest mistake I’ve seen in a while. Rain tyres on a dry track wear out completely in about 2 laps, they just burn out.
    Seems Ferrari are just knotting a noose round their neck for some reason, perhaps they are feeling guilty about something.

    1. the Sri lankan
      6th April 2009, 0:01

      in either case, thank god, Ferrari and Mclaren are doing bad. im kinda sick of tose two dominating the last two years. the new championship shows brawn 1st, Toyota 2nd and Bmw sauber 3rd in the WCC. how great would it be to see the three battling it out till the end of the season and williams joining in as 4th wheel?

    2. I’m with you Sri Lankan. I got exactly what I wanted with the shake-up from the rule changes, F1 got turned on its head!
      I’m not a big McLaren or Ferrari fan. While I respect them, I’m quite pleased to see them at the bottom of the standings and I’d be even more pleased if Ferrari went pointless all season.

  4. They completely ruined Raikkonen. He was on pace to possibly challenge for a podium and was driving very well.

  5. Do you think Ferrari or Force India will be first to score a point? ;)

  6. They try and live off past glory.

  7. As a Ferrari hater, I’m loving their start to this season. No wonder Kimi buggered off for a choc-ice rather than sitting around in the wet waiting for his team to mis-inform him again.

    1. Same here. Any race that sees Ferrari out of points is a perfect race!!!

  8. They need Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn back…

    1. According to the chequered flag podcast Schumacher was involved in the decision to put Raikkonen on ful lwet tyres:

    2. graham228221
      6th April 2009, 10:52

      the times also reported that schumacher made the call to switch to wets.

  9. Brundle’s comment was that you should try to be on the right tyres all the time. Gambles rarely pay off. Button won the race with no less than 4 pit stops.

    If Kimi had been at the back of the field with nothing to lose, then maybe worth a shot. But it wasn’t like that.

    1. The right tyres at the right time is crucial, i agree completely – Glock i think is the best example of this from today and he did take a bit of a gamble – putting inters on when everyone took on wets and wets just as everyone had got inters – they called the weather perfectly! Button did well with that too, but it was Glock who led the way. Heidfeld was at the opposite end of it all, he only made one stop – also a gamble – to stay out on full wets and not take on the inters – paid off extremely well for him. :D :D

      I do think you are right regarding Kimi – he was too far up in the pack for a gamble like that – and it was a huge gamble – our reaction was one of much suprise to take on the wets when it wasnt really even raining yet – and, surprisingly, it didnt pay off. Shame for him, i want him to get some points soon!

      That said, I am slightly enjoying the Ferrari troubles, and the Mclaren troubles for that matter – not because i have a burning desire to see either team do badly, and I do want them both to start actually getting some points soon, its just incredibly refreshing to see the names who are topping the results. For years it has been Ferrari/Mclaren, with the odd appearance from Renault, or going back a bit further Williams – so I love to see these other teams having a shot – long may it continue – a nice close season between heaps of teams – its ace! :D

    2. Indeed.

    3. Oops, I meant to second copydude’s comments.

  10. If I were Massa I’d prefer 0 points than half a point ;)

    I don’t know if the problem is in the pits or with the drivers… I’d like to know who had the idea to put rain tyres at that time, and Massa’s saturday fiasco… personally I think it’s a team error.

    other than that, I think they’re pretty competitive even without the difusor on steroids.

  11. It’s clear the F2006 isn’t the fastest car in F1 this year

    I truly agree with you on that point!!

  12. Ferrari were lucky to get away with blunders last year because the car was good. This year, they should know better with the grid so quick and tight up front, and quite frankly they are not so.

    At the moment they should be picking up points wherever and whenever they can, until they can challenge for a podium or points.

    God knows when that car will be good enough to challenge the field, so I think they should stick to less risky strategies and play it safe for a while.

    1. Good point Loki. Losing these initial 4 or 5 points each race while they’re catching up on the diffuser gang could be crucial. Worse, Ferrari’s pit mistakes seem endemic (like McLaren’s management lapses) so we can probably expect more. Last year both teams threw away points and gave Kubica a half-sniff at the title. But this year they’re already playing catch-up.

  13. “Only two teams are yet to score a point so far this year: Ferrari and Force India. How did the red team manage to get it so badly wrong twice this weekend?”

    Keith, the answer lies (or sits) at the pitwall of the Brawn GP team, the same answer for how Schumacher could have won the French GP on a 4-stop strategy…

  14. I wonder if both ferrari and mclaren dropped kers(less weight) – and copied the brawn diffuser they may make up some points? – probably they would be pulled before the fia for stealing someones ideas??
    It would poetic justice wouldnt it – on that how much ferrari inside knowledge has Ross???

  15. It is a breath of fresh air not to have the likes of Ferrari and McLaren constantly dominate and lock out the front rows of the grid. It’s lead to an exiting start of the season.

    Yep, keep up the good work Ferrari. :D

  16. ferarri cost massa the title last year in singapore with the car and the drivers it should have been a two man shoot out (old news etc…..). kimi will not pull the company line and this year is massive for him, it’s not a good start and i think he could just wave goodbye.

    1. For both Ferrari and Mclaren, it doesn’t just rain, but it pours. Quite entertaining from a neutrals point of view though.

  17. You get the feeling that Ferrari are ready to do this all season.

  18. The real puzzle is who called the tyre choice, Kimi, or the team?

    1. I’ve seen a report telling was the team who made the error, not kimi. (don’t ask me where, couse I don’t remember)

    2. Kimi doesn’t have the weather forecast im front of him so it must have been a team call.

  19. Ferrari are not used to being in this position and there are not handelling it very well there are showing some very stupid decission being taken and all has come to cost massa and raikonnen dear

  20. Ferrari’s really good at this, remember Fuji 07 when they started on intermediates behind the safety car and had to pit to fit the extreme wet.

    I’m a Kimi fan but I have a feeling that a driver of his kind always have the last word, so I think, like loki, that Kimi’s trying too hard to win when he should solely concentrate on scoring small points before getting back to the top.

    Let’s not always say team mistake, on saturday Massa should have asked the team to get him back on the track, while today Kimi should have simply said no.

  21. It’s a difficult choice. If the team believes it’s about to rain very soon, remain on slicks would certainly be a bad idea. Maybe they should have gone intermediate, just to be safe.

    Anyways, Ferrari still have potential, next time whatever decision they make, just go for the opposite direction, it can’t go wrong! LOL

  22. As a Ferrari fan, qualifying mistake was embarrassing.

    But the decision was Raikkonnen was a gamble; which they should have take, and they did.

    Kimi was unable to overtake Fernando for 10 laps ( Full credit to him though; an incredible drive with an ear infection and a heavy and slow car ).

    Kimi would have finished 5th or lower anyways; why not take a gamble then??

  23. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 18:37

    Eight years ago when heavy rain fell at Sepang Ferrari made a mockery of their opposition by timing their switch to intermediates tyres perfectly and winning with ease. Now it seems they can’t even get the basics right.

    Bring Ross Brawn back and ferrari will be competitive again. After his team change, Ferrari went downhill, you can see it clearly after last years season and the begin of this one.

  24. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 18:38

    i forgot to close the quote hehehe.

  25. Ferrari are a strange team, who seem to make life hard for themselves, manage to get the Ferrari International Association to twist things for them, and then, almost by accident, suddenly, despite everything, come through. Of course, in the Schumacher days it was a little different, but, Ferrari do do things in a peculiar manner. However, yes, sans Brawn, they do struggle.

    I wonder how much they would pay to buy him back?

    1. They had the chance when he came off sabatical – a gentleman’s agreement that Ferrari would have first refusal – but Ferrari wouldn’t give him the position he wanted (and richly deserved) but on grounds understandable at the time.

      I can say Brawn’s much happier now, whereas Ferrari….hmmmm

  26. It just goes to show how much Schumacher and Brawn held this team together and how much effort they put into it.When you work for people that are passionate about what they do it is inspiring to everyone,no one wants to be left out and not feel like part of the winning team.

    I am not a fan of Schumacher or Ferrari but,Brawn is the man.

  27. Hi Keith,
    I have an interesting consideration for your stats: consider that for Ferrari team this is the worst start of the season since 1992 when Jean Alesi and Ivan Capelli had no points after two races… just as Kimi and Felipe today.

    1. Thanks Vi84 – will include it in the stats round-up tomorrow…

  28. What was Eddie Jordan on about when he claimed that Massa was doing well and Raikkonen was in poor position, so they could gamble with Raikkonen?

    BTW the only one who got the strategy spot on was Glock. Unfortunately he was punished for getting it just right by the rule that they take the positions of 2 laps before. On that lap Glock was just making his stop.

    1. Agree completely about Glock – it was like he had a sixth sense.

  29. I found it odd that most people didn’t use inters immediately. It didn’t appear that the rain was getting heavier, and getting just 2 good laps on inters then swapping to wets would surely have been faster than going straight to wets.

    1. They were probably keeping in mind how heavily it rained last time in Sepang – that’s the only reason I can think of for why Ferrari decided to put Raikkonen on full wets on a dry track.

  30. i blame stefano he constantly make’s mistake’s.The only difference is this year the car is just about half a second to slow.Everyone is lording brawn but if these diffusers are banned he may just find himself back midfield.Easy to look good when you are miles in front.

    1. I think even if they banned the diffusers, Brawn will still be competitive. They also have parts in line to make that car even quicker – so will everyone else, but really it’s like giving the dogs a drink of water while they feed steroids to the bunny.

      I do agree that Stefano’s not been doing a great job filling in for Totd, but in many ways he wasn’t going to because of the departure of other key members. I like Stefano, he’s a likeable guy, but I hope he can turn things around for himself, and the team.

  31. i am trully glad have these problems this year

  32. I’ll be honest, I had to laugh when Massa was screeming at Smedley for a new visor.. comedy gold!

    1. Terry Fabulous
      5th April 2009, 23:53

      Felipe Baby relax!

  33. They had to pit in to refill fuel for Kimi. Both driver told them via team radio it was starting to rain at some parts of the track. Which matched with the data from their forecast.

    So they gambled a bit and tried the wet tyres. It was again bad luck.

  34. Ferrari will be back. If its one thing they can do,is turn it around quickly. There the only team that have consistently built competitive cars for the last 10 years. It will be interesting to see how quick they turn around. People say the diffuser does not make a difference, I thing people need to study the time a bit more. The diffuser equates to a huge advantage when you consider less wear on tyres, no need to slide the car, no need to push as hard as others, confidence in traction etc etc. Ferrari will be back by barcelona.

  35. Eduardo Colombi
    5th April 2009, 22:54

    i am trully glad have these problems this year

    Even if you don’t like Ferrari that’s a bad thought because f1 loses in competitity with a team off the pace, like Force India, what’s the point of having it on the grid?

    I’ll be honest, I had to laugh when Massa was screeming at Smedley for a new visor.. comedy gold!

    Yeah i think it was quite funny, he was just desperated about the visibility on the track, and Smedley just sayd to him very calmly “Felipe dear, keep cool” or something like that.

  36. Stefano must take some responsibility for allowing the team to show up at Malaysia thinking they were just going to be competitive. After the showing in round one, with their car going much slower than not only the ‘diffuser’ cars, but others as well, how could they think that a messy lap first time out could be competitive, their arrogance is amusing to say the least!

    I can’t see them improving this year, all the statements from the team seem to focus on the rear diffuser cars, saying the issue will be key to the championship. I think they are right, but they better watch what they wish for, as it may be more embarrassing for them at the end of the year when Red Bull are the constructor champs with their engine, and not Brawn GP!

    1. The Sri Lankan Senna
      6th April 2009, 4:21

      i hope this trend continues with Mclaren and ferrari. first of all, Mclaren have a nack for sweet talking other teams sponsors behind their back. they Lured some of Williams sponsors and now williams are beating mclaren left right and centre. those sponsors must feel stupid as hell. dont get me wrong, i like Mclaren as a new Zealander but i hate the people that run it. Bruce Mclaren would be turning in his grave if he had a glimpse of the state his team is in now with all the drama going around. the performance is a completely different matter, Both Mclaren and ferrari fought the championship battle to the last lap of the last last grand prix. its understandable that they are behind, but crying about the Diffusers in the Brawn, Toyota and the Williams is a a real desperate attempt and i hope it backfires on the accusors as well.

  37. You guys are slamming McLaren all around – look at these sory excuses for a team… There time is over, it’s but the have fresh colors on the first places… I was geting seas sick with all that red into red color cars…

  38. I would say that the ferrari is a better car than the mclaren this year, but there is only 1pt between them :)Im loving the fact all the little guys are up the top & all driving well

  39. I miss Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Rory Byrne! The Maestros!!!

  40. If the double and triple diffusers are declared legal on the 14th April, and I think they will, it could hurt Red Bull and Toro Rosso more than the others. I believe they have a lower slung rear end due to pull rods rather than push rod suspension, and as a result may not be able to adapt their diffuser to get the same advantage.

  41. HounslowBusGarage
    6th April 2009, 11:56

    According to The Times, it was Schumacher who made the disasterous decision concerning Kimi’s tyres.
    Curious that he should have that responsibility, isn’t it? Not the driver or the team manger, but the ‘team consultant’.

  42. HounslowBusGarage
    6th April 2009, 12:10

    There’s an interesting interview with Stefano Domenicali over at Autosport (
    This is a quote of the first two questions

    Q. Could you clarify whether Kimi Raikkonen’s KERS had a problem in the race?

    Stefano Domenicali: Yes. After the flooded track, we had a potential problem on the insulation of the system. So because of safety reasons we decided not to continue racing.

    Q. So even if the race had restarted, Kimi would have been out?

    SD: Yes.

    1. Stefano, why lie?

  43. Ferrari should only have taken a gamble on tyres like that if they were low down in the running order with nothing to loose. Remember they got the tyre choice wrong at Silverstone last year when they kept Kimi on old wets instead of putting new ones on when he pitted.

    Despite a bad start to the season I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari are competing for both championships come the end of the season.

  44. This is Ferraris 1st real season without the dream team that was Brawn & Todt.
    Todt has gone completely from Ferrari now, and it will take time to build the team back up.
    Ferrari supporters shouldnt fret just yet, Massa had just as poor a start to last years season.

    The Ferrari looks to be harder on its tyres than any other car on the grid.
    Its about time they got rid of Kimi, his ‘when I feel like it’ attitude is rubbish.
    Racing is gonna be god this season!

  45. Domenicali is the only team principal doing worse than Whitmarsh. Since Silverstone last year, that guy has been a total horrorshow. If its not tires its fuel choices or the stupid lighted lollipop. And the reliability has been horrible all the while The only good thing for them is that they seem to still have unity, wheras McLaren is flying apart without its strongman in charge.

    I’m not a Ferrari fan, but you don’t like to see a fight where the other guy is punching himself in the face. Now it looks like the car is crap too. Insulation problems with the batteries? Are they trying to turn their car into an electric chair? Add that to the broken suspension and other issues and you have a car that is unsafe at any speed, so to speak.

  46. Wait for the arc of the season to reveal itself. By the time the British GP comes around the depths of the organizations will have had a chance to show themselves. I wouldn’t count anybody out just yet.

  47. enjoying ferrari being point-less..woohoo..

  48. Stefano Domeniciali needs to get a hod of his pit wall, they seem to be all over the place. We never saw this when Ross Brawn and Jean Todt were in charge, the always seemed so sure of themselves. In my opinion, Stefano and Co lost Massa the tittle last season, the team let him down, at least they should owe to him this season, doesn’t seem like its going that way.

    I guess their relative poor will continue until there is a shake up in Ferrari, maybe Stefano is not the right person for the job? I sincerely think he’s been dropped into the deep end and is strugling to cope!

    As for Mclaren, I’m happy that their struggling as well. As unsporting as it may seem, I hate them as much as I hate Arsenal football club. Too arrogant, full of themselves, they believe its their God given right to win, which is why I hate their drivers too, they become a part of their culture. I’ve only supported Montoya and Alonso when they were there, they obviously didn’t enjoy their stints either.

  49. I posted a history, and current views on Ferrari’s recent form in my blog (

    I don’t think this season is going to be as lack lustre for Ferrari as the first two races have been, but they definitely need to put some work in back at the factory.

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