Ferrari “had been expecting more” from recent races

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari admit they had hoped to do better with their F2012 in recent races.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Four races to the end (Ferrari)

Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis: “In the last few races, our progress has not matched our expectations and various components which we expected would make our car more competitive did not do so. As a result, we are lagging behind our competitors. This doesn’t mean we did not move forward on development, but we had been expecting something more.”

Horner accepts Red Bull isolation (Autosport)

“What we have always said is that we want something transparent and all-encompassing. Certainly the [Resource Restriction Agreement], the chassis RRA as it has been previously discussed, does not achieve that. If it were to include the engine it becomes more interesting.”

Sad Lewis makes emotional speech to McLaren (The Sun)

Lewis Hamilton: “I remember the day I first went to the old McLaren factory when I was 13. I’ve spent half my life at McLaren. The team, the cars, the place, the people ? they’ll always be special to me.”

F1 legend Michael Schumacher heads bunch of celebs who could leave Switzerland if it ends tax haven status (Daily Mirror)

“The German former ??champ, who built a 25million home on Lake Geneva and is worth an estimated 500million, said he would up sticks if the call to cough up came.”

Korea 2012 – race edit (F1)

Highlights from the last race.

Comment of the day

@Jeanrien thinks Ferrari need a stronger driver pairing.

Two good drivers actually help each other (except if they finish one-two regularly but that’s an exception). We see with the actual point system that the number one driver would not lose much points if his team mate is ahead (except once again in a one-two situation) but would take a lot of points out of other drivers, and it would be even more interesting in the team point of view.

Keeping Massa is definitely a strange choice, he hasn’t finish ahead of rival’s car enough times this year to justify keeping him. It wouldn’t be such a big risk to take anyone else in that car, some gambles could be well worth it. The best example is probably McLaren who sometimes took quite inexperienced drivers (for F1 standard) and that worked pretty well: Raikkonen and Hamilton would be two recent ones.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Adam Tate!

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On this day in F1

Pedralbes hosted Spain’s round of the world championship for the last time on this day in 1954.

Alberto Ascari caused a stir by putting the new Lancia D50 on pole position and leading the opening laps of the season finale before retiring.

Mike Hawthorn took the lead after Harry Schell spun and Maurice Trintignant’s gearbox broke. He duly won for Ferrari followed by Luigi Musso and Juan Manuel Fangio, the latter having already clinched the championship.

Here’s some footage from the race:

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

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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60 comments on “Ferrari “had been expecting more” from recent races”

  1. I’m quite excited for this weekend’s race, let’s hope the Buddh Circuit can deliver!

  2. I read this quite enormous thesis when Ferrari posted it this afternoon on and what struck me was this is the second defensive issue from Ferrari in a week.

    The first was to explain why they retained Massa and went to pains in reinforcing the fact that his team mate had no influence at all on the process.

    The preamble today went on forever, comment about Massa, Alonso, the bad car at the start of the season, the degrees of success in development, the approach to races since Alonso took the lead in the WDC in Valencia, the new approach now required…..

    ….and then – the wind tunnel problems.

    I seem to remember after the problems in Japan Stefano went to great lengths in a SKY post race interview to state, “The wind tunnel is and will not be an excuse for my team”.

    Still we have today paragraphs of how the wind tunnel is not always a true representation of an F1 car as it is to scale (same problem for all teams) together with a host of other ‘reasons’ as to why Ferrari has failed to deliver the upgrades it needed in recent weeks.

    If I was Fernando i would not be filled with optimism and it appears that Stefano’s chief designer did not heed his post Japan warning.

    1. Imagine the cry if FIA had banned 4 of Ferrari’s few working upgrades XD

    2. Their windtunnel has fallen behind, and so they are going to upgrade it. Apparently it can take months to do. During that period they will use commercial wind tunnels.

    3. “Our windtunnel is broken” or “our windtunnel has not been calibrated properly” is a favourite excuse of teams who are not performing well and face a difficult road to recovery. It takes a lot of time and money to correct a miscalibrated windtunnel, but if Ferrari have turned theirs off and are using the Toyota Motorsport one in Cologne, then that suggests they have a genuine problem with it. No-one would shut down a wind tunnel unless they absolutely had to.

  3. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    24th October 2012, 3:28

    Ferrari seem to be very pessimistic about the potential of their car. True, it was a “dog” at the beginning of the season, but their successive updates have made it a more competitive package. It’s performed well in wet weather (taking pole in Britain and Germany, and a win in Malaysia), and in Japan, Massa proved that it was a podium challenger.

    That being said, Tombazis is probably referring to Ferrari’s inability to catch-up with Red Bull. I don’t think they will be able to, but as they say, anything could happen. Can’t wait for the Indian GP!

    1. Ferrari seem to be very pessimistic about the potential of their car.

      It’s called playing mind games and they’re pretty damn good at it.

      At least they don’t fuel their fans with false hope before each race, and then disappoint on every occasion. Look at Mercedes, as a fan of both Schumi & Nico it was painful to watch.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        24th October 2012, 5:38

        It’s called playing mind games and they’re pretty damn good at it.

        Fair point. Downplaying their chances makes any success a “pleasant surprise”. And you raise another good point about Mercedes – how often do they trumpet “the next circuit will suit our car better…”, only to fall behind? Indeed, very often.

        1. Yeah. I mean Mercedes, considering all the big talk they do this season they have almost never been able to perform up to their personal expectations. They had a rocketship in China and arguably the best car in Monaco. Other than that, that W03 has been grey dog all season. It’s simply getting old and boring to watch. They have fallen behind so much that Schumacher struggled to get that car 13th in Korea.

          Ferrari on the other hand. As we’ve noticed over and over again, take a very cautious approach to the media. Hence why, I’ve noticed that after just every race this season, Ferrari fans look back positively. Mercedes? Not so much.

          1. Ferrari down playing comes from Alonso who likes to be off the spot and doesn’t want to have the “favorite” status and that becomes quite boring as it becomes more and more frequent.

            Ferrari hasn’t had a bad car for most of the year, they just couldn’t understand it which is more worrying at that level … They lost a lot of praise over the year, but they are still Ferrari, quite unique in the paddock

    2. It’s true but Tombazis also said this:

      We got some very interesting answers which we believe will allow us to recover from those problems and so, our aim in this forthcoming Indian GP, will be to make up the ground we have lost.

      So they obviously expect to be stronger from now on.

    3. @bobthevulcan

      anything can happen? what about Kimi wins and both Alonso and Vettel score DNFs?


      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        24th October 2012, 11:16

        As much as I like Raikkonen, I meant something more within the realm of possibility – Vettel DNFs, Alonso leapfrogs ahead in the standings, or vice versa. Although I wouldn’t mind Kimi coming from behind to grab the title…

        1. What about Vettel hitting Webber taking both of them out and Vettel getting 10 place grid penalty for causing accident in the next race as well. Wishful thinking at it worst or best.

  4. I hope to God Ferrari can improve their car so it be on par or at least no less than 0.2 seconds slower than Red Bull, thus we can actually enjoy a season finale with a great rivalry

    1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      24th October 2012, 5:42

      @kingshark – I don’t see Ferrari getting ahead on qualifying pace – the Red Bull DDRS and other Newey innovations seem too strong in that regard. What Ferrari can and will improve on is their race pace, which is already pretty strong. Like you, I hope for an exiting end to the championship.

      1. As a Ferrari fan – Hopefully, Nando can win his overdue third championship this season.

        1. @kingshark It feels like it has been too long already. He nearly had in 2010 .. and it would be painful to see it slip away from his hands again in 2012

        2. Not a fan but I think it’s about time.

        3. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
          24th October 2012, 11:29

          Not a big fan of Alonso, but I respect his skill. He’s driven very well this season, and if he does achieve his third title, he deserves it.

  5. What happens if Massa winds up out performing every one on the grid from the beginning of 2013?

    1. Then he has to stamp his authority on it and run away with it so they cannot possibly hang him out to dry without it looking too blatant and fixed. Odds are that won’t happen since they’ll likely try to favour FA’s likings in the new car and FM will be on his hind foot again at the start of the year. But if that doesn’t happen, presumably FA will be gleening second best points to FM thus keeping it close and Ferrari can simply maneuver things to their preferred way over a number of races that will see FA leading FM by halfway through the season. They didn’t hire FA for FM to win, and an FM runaway is highly unlikely given the consistancy in the rules again for next year.

      1. You’re a smart cookie.

        You think they’d ask the faster driver to slow down just so their higher-paid driver can win? I hope you never end up running any business, for the sake of your employees.

    2. I would be very surprised.
      And Alonso even more so.

  6. According to this interview – which is in Hungarian, so I’m going off a second-hand source here – organisers of the Hungarian Grand Prix are going to Abu Dhabi to talk with Bernie about a contract extension. The Hungaroring’s place on the calendar is assured until 2016, but the Hungarians want to talk about reconfiguring the circuit. It’s currently due for a resurfacing, and there are a few other upgrades scheduled, so the organisers seem to think the time is ripe for altering the layout to create more overtaking, which they think means they can get even more use out of the circuit and make investing in the Grand Prix even more worth the government’s time.

    1. The Hungaroring is a single-configuration circuit isn’t it?
      I don’t think there is the ability to use a shoirter version of it for national or club races, so the cost of using it for non-grand prix races must be relatively high because the longer track needs more marshalsl, medacal teams etc, relative to smaller number of paying spectators.
      Hopefully any reconfiguration will deal with this, and (part of) the track will be used more frequently so that it isn’t quite so dusty when the Grand Prix arrives.

  7. I fully support Schumacher’s stance and hope he will move to another ‘tax haven’ if Switzerland really axes the respective tax privileges. The insanely high tax rates in many countries that punish wealthy people for their achievements are just unfair.

    1. @girts I agree. No one in society should be victimised, rich or poor.

    2. I am not sure about that @girts, in my experience the people suffering from high taxes in most systems are not the really wealthy people but the top/middle incomes, because for the top earners it pays off to find the best way to “optimise” taxes using multiple companies, countries of residence etc.
      The best step is a simpler system with less rates (1-2), a threshold and most importantly, only limited scope for tax deductible position to make it easy.
      In that view, its perfectly normal and understandable, that if Switzerland removes the tax-regimes that made these people go there in the first place, they leave and go elsewhere. But it does not make it the wrong choice for Switzerland and its people!

      1. @BasCB For sure, it’s their own decision but Switzerland is currently one of the richest countries in the world with a relatively healthy economy so its tax system cannot be too bad. I just think they’re trying to fix something that ain’t broke here.

        As I understand, foreigners such as Schumacher don’t pay the income tax (or pay only a very small amount) but they still pay other taxes, such as VAT. I guess they also give job to a few people, purchase things and properties in Switzerland so their presence is good for the country’s economy.

        1. As I understand, foreigners such as Schumacher don’t pay the income tax (or pay only a very small amount) but they still pay other taxes, such as VAT. I guess they also give job to a few people, purchase things and properties in Switzerland so their presence is good for the country’s economy.

          – thats the theory.
          Reality is, that many people got a registration to “live” in Switzerland only to park illegal income (I am talking of billions of money by corruption from CZ for example) there and hide money from other fiscal authorities (just look at the outflux of capital from Italy and Greece to Switzerland when both tax Authorities started making work from actually gathering taxes last year or two).

          The problem with the tax system is that its largely built on hiding information from other countries. Something that is hard to do while also wanting to do business with said countries (that is the reason for the EU-Swiss and US-Swiss agreements on ending exemptions and exchange of information).
          Another thing off course is the fact that Switzerland is getting a lot of extremist talking in the same line as Haider stood for in Austria in the last decade, so this is partly about not wanting to give “foreigners” benefits that make them pay less than the average Swiss person.

          1. Of course, I agree that money laundering should be prevented and fought against. But there is a difference between trying to hide illegal income and not wanting to pay high taxes on legal income so Switzerland should make sure that they don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. I don’t think that, for instance, Kovalainen, who also resides in Switzerland, has illegal income.

          2. Sure, my post (esp. the second part) was more about the reasons for the Swiss people to change their attitude than about the question how big a part of people coming to Switzerland are there to pay lower taxes and who use it as a way to hide income/wealth.

          3. @BasCB I see, thank you for the nice discussion :)

          4. Actually regular Swiss people have a very high income tax (in my income bracket, which is fairly well of -young engineer in a consulting firm-) my taxes would actually be higher in Switzerland than they are in France today (and French taxes are quite high already).

            Switzerland (or rather, some counties in Switzerland) actually offers foreigners with really high incomes some kind of “tax forfait” which can be negociated (only some of the counties do so however). It actually means that an average Swiss is milked by the county/state and sees his richer foreign neighbour paying close to nothing (relatively speaking).

            I understand it could be frustrating. Plus housing prices have gone incredibly high in the high end counties where tax breaks are possible, making it even more difficult for Swiss to live there. I believe the likes of Schumacher et all. don’t bring much to either the state or the local economy (they are hardly there and they get the aforesaid tax break), so it’s not a huge move. There will be a loss, but not sure it will be a huge one (not so many people concerned, and not much impact on the real economy).

          5. @Tango Hmm, as I understand from Wikipedia and a couple of other sources, the income tax rate in Switzerland varies by canton but for middle income (like 100 thousand CHF per year) it shouldn’t be much higher than 20%, which is a pretty low number. Graphs like this also show that it’s remarkably lower than in France.

          6. Risk in this exercise is difficulty in comapring tax perimeters. I unfortunately only have a personnal exemple to go further with my case, as I have a friend with same income bracket the other side of the border. I also insure you that my final income tax in France is far (very far) from being 50% – it’s actually less than 20%, though I wouldn’t be surprised that all taxes and social security etc. account for 50% of my income.

            Switzerland has a very high part of direct taxe and low indirect taxe, contrary to France, maybe that’s a source of the difficulty to compare :,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ae2IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCDeIF4fmym162dpYbUzd,Gpd6emK2Oz9aGodetmqaN19XI2IdvoaCUZ,s-

            But beware : in Switzerland, income tax is broken in three levels (confederation, canton, commune) and I wouldn’t be surprised the graph you show only works for the state (confederation) part of taxes.

          7. I had found this source (see the last columns of the table on the second page), I understand that these ‘~20%’ include different social insurance payments as well (without them, the maximum number is around 15%):


            However, I think this highlights another problem, namely, that tax systems in many countries, Switzerland included, are much too complicated so it’s hard to compare them if one is not an expert in this field – and I’m definitely not! :)

    3. Well, you have to remember that Switzerland chose to become a tax haven, it wasn’t accidental, and by that it is natural that wealthy people will migrate there.

      It’s not like these people are screwing Switzerland.

      Make no mistake, I say tax the rich guys pants off, but this is a situation caused by Switzerland, not by the wealthy people.

    4. I wholeheartedly disagree.

      It was other German people’s taxes that enabled Schumacher to have an education when he was young and live a civilised existence, and effectively he’s not giving any money back now that he is successful. This isn’t about Switzerland at all, it’s about a general culture of wealthy people dodging tax that legally they are allowed to do but morally they should not do.

      The tax rate for the wealthy is high in most countries, but so it should be. We live in a civilised society. I feel exactly the same about Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button not paying tax in the UK.

      1. @John-H

        It was other German people’s taxes that enabled Schumacher to have an education when he was young and live a civilised existence

        As far as I know, Schumacher’s parents and later private sponsors deserve much more credit for that and I guess it’s not like Schumacher’s parents didn’t pay any tax.

        I believe that the existence of these ‘tax havens’ and also the current debt crisis (ie. many governments have made huge debts despite the high tax rates for the rich people) prove that the progressive tax system is generally wrong.

        1. I’m not sure if you’re trolling or genuinely believe this. It’s simply the duty of everyone to pay a fair share of their taxes. It’s as simple as that. EU countries should refuse to do business with those that hide in tax havens. There’s no excuse. None of this ‘wealth creator’ nonsense washes. It’s a wealth vacuum. Saying they create jobs is and the people who work for them pay tax is grossly unfair.

          Also, to say Shumachers family and private sponsors deserve credit is true to an extent, but they exist inside a society that is funded and maintained by taxation. Be it through the services they use, or the people the system supports. It’s impossible to grow up in a country and not be supported by it through taxation. To run away from your responsibilities to give back to it is disgusting in all honesty.

          1. @danbrown180

            Please don’t call expressing my personal views ‘trolling’ just because they are different to yours.

            It’s simply the duty of everyone to pay a fair share of their taxes.

            Of course it is but what exactly is a ‘fair share’ is up for discussion. I believe that the income tax rates for high income taxpayers in a lot of the countries where the F1 drivers come from are ridiculously high. It’s not like only one or two F1 drivers reside in ‘tax havens’. Vettel, Raikkonen, Button, Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen, di Resta and many more do that so there has to be more to that than just ‘running away from one’s responsibilities’.

            They all still pay taxes such as VAT or property tax, they just pay a very small or no income tax. I suppose they would be ready to pay a higher income tax as well if that wasn’t as insanely high as their native countries request from them. So I’m not saying that some ‘chosen ones’ shouldn’t pay any taxes at all, just explaining why I believe that axing the aforementioned tax privileges would be the wrong step for Switzerland to make.

      2. With Schumacher it is much more forgiveable for me- he is known to be particularly generous with charities. If this is partly a product of him not paying tax, then fair enough.

    5. Switzerland has attracted thousands of wealthy foreigners with tax deals based on the rental value of their property rather than their actual income or wealth, on the condition that they do not work in the country. The opposition to favourable treatment for tax exiles has grown in Switzerland, and the cantons of Zurich, Schaffhausen and Appenzell have already scrapped the policy after referendums.

      But last month parliament rejected a proposal by the centre-left Social Democrats to scrap the tax breaks and instead it adopted a government plan to increase the basis on which taxes are levied to seven times the annual rental value of rich foreigners’ homes from five times previously.

      The Alternative Left party condemned that as a mere “cosmetic tightening” and joined the Social Democrats and trade unions to collect the necessary signatures to force a nationwide vote.
      The cabinet and parliament must now debate the initiative before it goes to a popular vote – discussions which could delay the referendum but not prevent it going ahead.

      The special tax was first introduced in 1862 by the canton of Vaud along Lake Geneva in a bid to help the tourist industry by encouraging wealthy pensioners to move to the country. The government says 22,000 jobs are dependent on the scheme. ( )

      1. @thejudge13 Thank you for the information!

  8. I can totally accept Horner’s argument with the previously proposed RRA. They are currently at a significant disadvantage when compared to McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes in that those teams don’t pay for their engines. Of course that’s going to change with McLaren but given that the new engines are going to supposedly cost something in the region of €20 million it is of course a huge glaring omission in any RRA.

    1. Not sure I buy their stance that they are not spending most and how unfair everything is. But I fully understand why Red Bull would like to see the engines under the agreement from the start and Horner does have a point.
      The problem with (and reason why its not in it from 2013) having the RRA cover engines from 2013 is that during that year those manufacturers are working full out on developing their 2014 engines. Limiting the teams budgets for that would mean they would almost automatically be infringing on the RRA (imagine both Ferrari and Mercedes being docked points for that next year!) because the huge development cost/effort would be far higher than would be reasonable budget.
      That is why the teams (ex RBR) and the FIA proposed a chassis RRA from 2013 and a Chassis + Engine RRA from 2014.

    2. Horner and Red Bull are being disingenuous again, which is a negative characteristic of the team in my opinion .

      They’ve ducked out of FOTA because it doesn’t suit them to be drawn into discussions about their compliance with the RRA. That’s because they’re clearly outspending the paddock and bringing huge amounts of parts to every race. They’re interested in an engine RRA because they have a horsepower disadvantage to Mercedes and they want to nullify it.

      It certainly isn’t because they want to reduce costs. Like their claims in 09 that they’re just “a small team” there isn’t a hint of truth to this. Horner is very good at this sort of smokescreen and deflection, you have to give him that.

      1. so they’re experts in chassis design and they refuse to be part of an RRA that only exerts cuts on aero developement while in the future when the techincal expertise will againturn to mechanical designswill give Merc, Ferrari, and possiblyMacca huge advantage. That kind of makes sense to me.

      2. @hairs I don’t think they’re that bothered about the HP output of the engines. They’re consistently ranked the lowest in the speed traps but they’ve already displayed that they’re more bothered about cornering speeds with their aero-heavy approach and ECU alterations. That’s where the performance is to be extracted from at the moment, but that could well change in 2 years time.

  9. Thank you for the birthday shout-out Keith!!!!

    1. Make it one to remember! Happy birthday @adam-tate

      1. Thanks guys! It’s been great so far!!

  10. If Ferrari want more from their races, they should probably hire 2 roosters.

    1. While I do agree in part with the sentiment, I think it’s important to remember that at times, Ferrari’s rooster has been beaten by the other teams’ hens. That being the case, you’d have to say that the problem lies with their car rather than the line up.

      I’m not counting them out of this fight just yet though, despite the ominous pace of Red Bull. Ferrari have the resources to develop the F2012 into a race winner for the rest of the season. Whether they’re able to harness that potential is another matter.

  11. This hens and rooster business is down to Alonso’s ego more than anything else, probably after 2007. Raikkonen and Massa competed together just fine at Ferrari in 2008 and they won the constructors because of it. Massa didn’t lose the drivers title because he was upset at the pace of Raikkonen did he.

    I seem to remember Prost doing the same thing and getting vilified for it. Why aren’t we doing the same with Alonso?

  12. Alonso’s look at the podium of Korean Grand Prix in F1 Video says everything. He feels that the title is slipping through his fingers.

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