Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2014

2015 sure to be better – Raikkonen

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2014In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari can bounce back from their difficuult season in 2015.


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What went wrong for Raikkonen? (ESPN)

“I’m sure it will be a better car, a better package, and what we have learned what we can improve for sure.”

Sauber: Ferrari can’t be scapegoat (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “The power train has dominated this season and I am very confident that our engine supplier is going to make a step.”

Administrators at Caterham still hopeful team will return (Sky)

“We remain hopeful that the Caterham Formula One team can be saved and be on the grid in Melbourne for the first race of 2015.”

2014 tech review of the year (McLaren)

“The drivers had complained about the driveability. We tried lots of things to resolve that, but we didn’t really bolt something onto the car that made a difference until we got to Japan, where we ran a new front-end aero package. And that made a big difference.”


Comment of the day

Was Ferrari’s chassis a match for the Williams FW36? @Kingshark makes a case:

Spa is as much about engine power as it is about aero, so for Raikkonen to be so close to Bottas despite having a way inferior power unit is quite telling.

And in Suzuka, we never got to see a straight fight because of Alonso’s technical problems. I suspect that Alonso would have owned Williams in the wet, though we’ll never know.

Also, Hungaroring is more about aero than you think. In the race, Williams were completely outclassed by Ferrari. Malaysia and China are two other aero circuits where Ferrari finished comfortably ahead.

Ferrari have also been almost always faster than Williams when the rain hits the track (Australia, Malaysia, China and Belgium qualifying). In the rain, the power disadvantage is minimised and a superior chassis shines through.

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56 comments on “2015 sure to be better – Raikkonen”

  1. CotD is right, and Singapore was apparent too when Ferrari took the challenge to Red Bull.

    1. Absolutely agree with both comments. It’s quite ironic that by the time Ferrari got a decent (2nd-3rd best) car aerodynamically, the decisive factor of the formula shifts to the engine department.

    2. Yep. I am starting to believe that Ferrari’s PU was worse than Renault’s. Remember Abu Dhabi? A Ferrari overtaking a Caterham on the first long straight then the car kinda hit its limit and the Caterham went back past.

      1. @stigsemperfi I do think Ferrari’s PU was less powerful at least in race trim. Marussia was beaten by Caterham at Monza, even more impressive considering Caterham’s barn door rear wing. All things considered what would you achieve with the 3rd best chassis/aero and an unbalanced car.

    3. @Kingshark CotD. I tried to say what you just said but you said it far better, far more conclusive data as well. I also agree with your assessment of Ferrari’s internal battle. Vettel may just end like Jacques Villeneuve, a WCH without a seat, and a very old fashioned pundit.

      1. IMO, if Ferrari had a Mercedes engine bolted on the back of the car in 2014, they would’ve won at least a couple of races (Hungary & Singapore come to mind). By contrast, Williams won none with the best engine on the grid.

  2. 2015 sure to be better – Raikkonen

    Vettel is kind of in a no-win situation in his teammate battle with Raikkonen. If Vettel beats him, by no matter how big of a margin, people will say that it doesn’t really mean anything because Kimi is about a decade past his prime (which is correct, Kimi in 2005 was at his best). If Kimi is close to Vettel or matches him – which is what I think will happen – it will be used against Vettel to prove that he isn’t as good as Alonso. If Kimi beats him, then Vettel’s reputation takes another enormous hit, one which I don’t think he’ll recover from.

    1. I’m sure you can hardly wait!

    2. Is it not possible that an F1 driver’s prime period can stretch over a long time? Because of the lower forces involved with the 2014 cars in relation to the 2005 cars (lower power, downforce (arguably mechanical grip too, not sure though due to the lack of slicks)) it should be easier for older drivers (and young ones a la Verstappen), so the physical limitations aren’t in place it’s more focused on talent and feel which you don’t lose in the same way. Yes there may be other psychological effects, such as the fact he’s in the twilight of his career so he won’t be as desperate to keep his seat with his title, thus won’t be fighting as hard as 10 or 12 years ago.

      1. @williamstuart

        Is it not possible that an F1 driver’s prime period can stretch over a long time?

        For someone like Alonso, appearantly so. He’s been on the top of his game since 2005 and up until 2014, shows no signs of slowing down. With Kimi it’s more complicated, I’d say he was at his best from 2003-2007, then he had a horrid 2008 and an inconsistent 2009. His Lotus days were good, but on random weekends he would get trashed by Grosjean. His 2014 has been awful, so yes, I’d say that Kimi at his latest, was in his prime in 2007.

    3. I think Raikkonen will definitely be a lot more competitive in 2015, so I doubt Vettel will be beating him by a considerable margin. It’s pretty well known that Kimi prefers a quick front end, and I am sure he will definitely be getting more of that because of the departure of Alonso. How we rank them will be determined by how they behave, and their attitude.

    4. @kingshark, @dpod, @williamstuart, those are all answers from sensible people with knowledge of F1. sadly there is a to loud voice of those who do not that determine how the media presents performances.

    5. Vettel is overrated, 4 WC is way too much for him and in my view he only deserve the championship in 2013, Vettel was fortunate he had a pretty good car since 2008, and Webber was pretty bad in Pirelli era so he’s not a really good comparison, in fact when his car a match with McLaren or Ferrari or both of them, he tends to lose out and often beaten by Webber (Germany 2011, Britain 2012, Germany 2012, Canada 2010) however I agree with @williamstuart that psychology sometimes affect driver performance, Vettel must be shocked since Bahrain and China. Raikkonen may have past his prime but I think he’ll back again next year and I expect him to match Vettel.

      1. @deongunner

        When his car a match with McLaren or Ferrari or both of them, he tends to lose out and often beaten by Webber (Germany 2011, Britain 2012, Germany 2012, Canada 2010)

        For example you gave, there are at least two examples of the opposite happening in each year:
        Germany, Italy & Abu Dhabi 2010
        Monaco, Italy & Spain 2011
        Australia, Belgium & Singapore 2012

        1. *each example, *three examples

        2. @david-a
          I agree that Vettel > Webber in almost any given circumstance, though usually, when Ferrari and Red Bull were close, Alonso would just edge or beat Vettel.

          China 2010
          Singapore 2010
          Germany 2011
          Japan 2011
          Monaco 2012
          Silverstone 2012
          Germany 2012

          There are some exceptions to the rule, of course: Canada 2011, Hungary 2011, and Canada 2012 (although it’s worth noting that Ferrari had an awful strategy in the last example).

    6. @kingshark I don’t think it’s possible for 2015 for Vettel to beat Kimi as decisevely as Alonso. KR and SV both have driving styles that require a positive front end albeit for different reasons. So if the car allows that both will thrive(inevitably one will be slightly faster than the other but not by much). And if the car doesn’t allow for that both will struggle(again one of them will come out on top but not by such a huge amount)

      Alonso is probably the best all round driver in F1 but also his driving style allows for inconsistent front-end on entry. So the 2014 result was a combination of those factors

  3. As a fan of Kimi for countless years I’m unsure how 2015 can be much worse.

    I can only assume that Kimi will have some impact on the 2015 car so on paper he will perform much better in a car which suits him. If he can deliver the form which be produced in the first half of 2013 he will give Vettel a good run for his money if he is off-form again.

    I’m getting differing vibes from Maranello at the moment. Raikkonen and the ‘brand new big boss’ appear relatively optimistic, yet Vettel appears rather pessimistic, not what you’d expect from somebody attempting to revitalise a nation.

    From an independent point of view, I hope Raikkonen vs Vettel is far less than Raikkonen vs Alonso. I’ve grown to like both for different reasons. Although Ferrari is far from my prefered team, I look forward to a tough battle between friends next year.

    1. Should read far less anti-climatic

  4. Eric Boullier was born on November 9th not today ;)

    1. And he is 41 (9-11-1973) not 45

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th December 2014, 9:23

      Mr Valentine,
      It should be Jean-Christophe “Jules” Boullion

  5. This is a very strange statement from Kimi.

    1. How many wins did Ferrari get in 1994? Maybe he feels confident for Spa..

      1. And hence Vettel for a win in 2016..

  6. I wonder what prompted Williams to give Jeff Gordon that steering wheel after all these years? Cool Christmas gift indeed!

    1. Another test drive?

      1. Lol, maybe! Gordon is a very good road racer, and possibly could have been a decent F1 pilot. I would have loved to see him take on a proper test back in the day, but I doubt that he loses much sleep thinking about what might have been. At the ripe old age of 43, he’s still pulling in millions of $$ driving (mostly) around in circles!

  7. McLaren: “Once we fitted a Red Bull front wing, Jenson finally had enough front bite!”

    Thinking of 2005-6, this bodes well for Alonso :D

    1. Also, if Caterham do get sold, I can imagine a Merhi-Palmer lineup, which isn’t too bad on 2014 results. Unless someone else without a drive comes in, like Van der Garde, Chilton or Stevens.

    2. @fastiesty
      I dont think the “RedBull” wing was ever raced. They tried it on Mgnussen’s car in Abu Dhabi FPs, but Button did not run it in even FPs (FP1&FP2 thrown out the window because hydraulics, then suspension failure). In FP3 Button did not have enough time to evaluate the new wing and optimize his setup for it, so he used the old eing in FP3, qualy and race.

      1. Not only that, McLaren actually stated afterwards that the experimental wing they ran in the practise sessions for Abu Dhabi had a negative impact on the airflow around the main body of the car, since that front wing was not designed to work with the surrounding bodywork.

        The net result, therefore, was that although the front wing worked as expected, the overall aero package was actually slower than before due to the downstream impact of that front wing.

  8. Lol, that steering wheel that Jeff Gordon used in 2003 looks rather simple in 2014.

    How will the current steering wheels look in 10 years time?

    1. I can imagine no physical buttons, far more touch screen based, perhaps voice interaction. Lotus being sponsored by Microsoft, surely if they developed a voice assistant like Siri for the drivers, they wouldn’t need the radio crew, and I don’t think there’s any rules against that. Imagine the chaos caused on track when all the drivers suddenly leave the track, heading for the nearest sushi restaurant after asking for a pit stop…

      1. According to some Windows phone users, Cortana is already getting a bit too creepy with its(her?) level of intrusion and protectiveness.

      2. Good ideas. Especially the one about voice activated commands.

        But I think, analog switches will always be there. With vibrations, g force, noises and the hostile environment of an F1 car. Touch screens can become a hassle. It is a lot easier to use switches when you and the screen are going up and down and side to side?

        My car has touch screen infotainment, and also has buttons and knobs on the center console. I never use the touch screen while driving because it’s imposible to focus on the road and on the screen.
        The knobs just become instinct.

        1. Very good point on the touchscreen issue. It’s the same with a sat-nav stuck on the windscreen (i can’t afford a posh car with it built in), you can’t concentrate on the screen well enough to drive safe and run through menus. Plus the drivers wear gloves so it becomes even more difficult to be accurate with a touch screen. Plus with a touch screen, you can touch things by accident, with a switch or knob it is a much more definite action to adjust or activate, less chance of a mistake.
          What I can see coming is a possible heads up display in the visor, maybe along the lines of Google Glass and it would only show info when the drivers pressed a button on the wheel, that would help eliminate the drivers having to look down as you would only need to navigate with up/down (controlled by say a small left hand paddle) and left/right (on the right hand paddle, then just a select button and a back button, controlled by a thumb push button on either side.
          That would be my vision for the future, obviously done things like Brake Bias and diff settings will still need to be a manual adjustment on a rotary dislike as it is now as scrolling through menus would be too slow between corners.

          1. @thebullwhipper

            I think a while back, R. schumacher tried it in his helmet. Back in the bmw days.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          27th December 2014, 9:27

          @williamstuart, @brunes

          Touch screens can become a hassle

          especially if you constantly have to take your gloves off ;)

          1. I LOLed a bit! Hahaha

            But here in Japan they have gloves that work on touch-screens.

          2. @coldfly hahah, fortunately resistive screens do not need you to take your gloves off.

      3. @williamstuart
        I dont think voice control from the drivers will ever be used in F1. They are talking to the engineers on long straights, because they have to concentrare on other things in corners, like breathing properly.
        Listen to this video and tell me, if they could use voice commands between corners :)

      4. @williamstuart

        Lotus being sponsored by Microsoft

        That will just result in cloudgate.

        1. ‘How did Maldonado manage to crash the cloud?’ @davidnotcoulthard

  9. Re: McLaren
    I think it is really obvious, that you have concentrate on the drivers when you are upgrading your car, they are the ones who will make use of the new parts.
    Also when you are working with prototypes, it is nice if you have good data from the simulation, but it will never correlate 100% with the real world.
    In a developement you can have two goals:
    1) Generate a large amount of documents that proves that your solution is good, and better than the previous methods, justifying this with a lot of measurement and simulation data. And hope it works in real life as it should.
    2) Or you are presented with a problem, that has to be solved, and it doesn’t matter if it works well on paper, but it has to work properly in real life.

    The difference in the two goals is that the priorities are different. I think McLaren opted for solution 1 for far too long. In a buisness like F1 you have to take risks, and you have to trust your drivers, as they will realize the potential of the new parts, and they will make them work in real life.

    1. @bag0, indeed, you are correct. I think Ron Dennis mentioned it earlier this year, that Mclaren F1 had become too much an engineering business, instead of being a racing team.

  10. We were looking at the competition – at their apex speeds – and we could see that, once they got it together, they’d make fast progress

    Just a general complaint: why is this data not available to us? I mean, this is clearly one of the easiest ways to show a good picture of how good cars are around corners, why doesn’t FOM get on this? Of course they tried with that cornering time thingy they did at Parabolica and Spoon curve this year, but those were not very informative at all. Why can’t we have a list with apex velocities at a certain curve, just like we have a list with speed trap figures?

    1. @andae23 100% agree. There’s a mountain of data we could benefit from, that all the teams know, like gps and power/fuel. FOM should release a data stream, free, and let creative nerds like Kruvas build apps and websites with it. Wouldn’t cost them anything.

      1. I would not be surprised if part of the reason is because the teams themselves are reluctant about revealing that information – bear in mind that it took several years before the FIA and FOM could persuade the teams to allow them to access their radio transmissions, let alone anything more sensitive.

        1. @anon yep the teams IMO are often overestimated. They’re good at racing cars, that’s all. This is how Bernie is able to control them so easily – there are many ways in which they are quite stupid! The commercial arm of the sport should be building the sport on the data side.

          @xtwl the extra richnesss would filter down. Sites would process the data, commentators and journos would relay it with analysis. At the moment for example even Brundle is often blissfully unaware how drivers are using ERS tactically, and when he mentions it he can only float the concept because he can’t see what’s happening. We get a flash of rain light at best.

          And GPS is a massive, massive waste atm.

    2. @andae23 Because not every F1 fan wants to know those things, they don’t care for a graph if the racing is shit in their book. Sure we do, but the average F1Fanatic poster is hardly an average F1 fan.

  11. Any major update on Jules?

  12. I’m still confuse about the Ferrari PU performance, Sauber said PU is their problem but the statistics said they faster than Lotus, and its very likely that Lotus have a better aero than Lotus and then Marussia have a big aero advantage to Caterham (if we assume Ferrari PU is worse than Renault) which in my opinion does not make sense, however I believe that Ferrari have a better aero than Williams, but we can conclude that Merc have a huge, huge advantage on the PU and this make me believe that RBR will beat Merc if they given equal PU, I think Ferrari still have a better PU than Renault, but not by much.

    1. I think, at early stage,Ferrari PU had a little advantage over Renault PU, then Renault caught up a little bit. At Abu Double, both Ferrari PU had some small issues in the final race thanks to high mileage.

    2. Have you thought about using full stops? Just to break down the sentences and make the text more readable.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        27th December 2014, 15:48

        @brunes I’m an English teacher, sometimes the task for my students is “just write a sentence”. Imagine if they came up with such a nightmare!

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