Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

New Ferrari ‘a completely different story’ – Raikkonen

2015 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuito de Jerez, 2015Kimi Raikkonen was pleased with his first day of running at the wheel of the new Ferrari at Jerez.

Raikkonen, who struggled with the handling of last year’s F14-T, said its replacement was “a lot different – it’s a new car”.

“You usually know if the car is good or not good and obviously this year is a completely different story than last year. It’s a positive start and a nice, good day.”

Ferrari has been through an upheaval since the end of last year with the departure of Fernando Alonso and several key technical staff. But Raikkonen says the signs are good so far.

“The whole team has done a good job over the winter after last year and the difficult times,” he said. “It was a positive first day, lot of improvements in areas that we have difficulties.”

“Obviously it’s just the first day and unfortunate that it was wet, the circuit stayed damp most of the day. But I think we had good running and got some mileage and as I said big thanks to the team to build us a reasonable, good starting point.”

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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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52 comments on “New Ferrari ‘a completely different story’ – Raikkonen”

  1. I wish Kimi can pull a trick from his sleeve and start with a powerful and promising race in Australia. At least close to the podium… or on it.

    1. Here Here!!

  2. alonso will be fuming if this year’s ferrari is half decent. it seems a shame that careers can be so influenced by who you choose to drive for. i’m sure he turned down red bull instead of going back to renault.

    1. It’s primarily Alonso’s fault. If he had behaved in 2007, his post-2007 career would’ve been totally different.(and probably more successful) The 2007 and 2008 McLaren was capable of winning the WDC, maybe the 2010 one, too.

      1. Alonso also doesn’t excel in helping the team develop the car, especially compared to many of the other guys out there. Vettel will greatly aid Ferrari in that respect, so part of any new success there isn’t what Alonso missed out on by moving, but what he couldn’t deliver for them.

        1. Drivers don’t develop cars, especially these days.

          You can’t really blame Alonso for faulty windtunnels and shoddy power units.

          I wonder why Vettel couldn’t help Red Bull develop their car last year?

          1. RB have a history of successfully developing their car as the season progresses, and last year was no exception. Given where they were at the first testing it’s almost miraculous that they finished the season as well as they did.

            Ferrari are the opposite – they frequently start a season decently and then fall off as other teams develop their cars and Ferrari can’t keep up.

            How much of that is down to drivers, engineers, wind tunnels, software etc is hard to tease out. But the general trends are historically real, so it will be interesting to see if they repeat themselves this year.

          2. RB started the season with some overheating problems which they fixed already for the first race. Ricciardo ended up on de podium.

            RB having the biggest budget by far helps them developing the car throughout the season more than others. Although Ferrari have such a rusted organization that they seem to be incredibly inefficient in their spending vs the returns on track.

        2. Fritz Oosthuizen (@)
          3rd February 2015, 19:35

          Chad, you are a 100% right. I used to be a Alonso fan, but he could not develop the car. I have a theory that Massa is at times better in set-up and development. people say Alonso is better than Vettel. Vettel will show at Ferrari how good he is. As I always say F1 is IF spelled backwards.

          1. “As I always say F1 is IF spelled backwards.” – Fritz

            I’ve never heard that one before, but it’s perfect!

        3. ColdFly F1 (@)
          3rd February 2015, 21:08

          @chaddy, probably stretching it a bit if you’re suggesting Ferrari’s performance in Jerez has anything to do with Vettel’s arrival.

          I simply hope that Ferrari and McLaren will be competitive cars compared to Mercedes so we can see the some real fights between the various ex-WDCs!

          1. Since Vettel haven’t driven the F14T, I agree his arrival has limited influence on the SF15T at this time. He has driven the F14T simulator, so some influence cannot be ruled out.
            There is however strong indication that Raikkonens arrival last year has a strong influence. Raikkonen quite clearly pointed out the weaknesses of the F14T and he now confirms those weaknesses have been adressed.

        4. I strongly disagree with that approach. A driver can only really express what kind of preferences he has, and not whether it’s a complete dog or not. You have teams that work together to design the best car, so the blame can’t possibly lie on Alonso’s shoulders alone. He has done pretty well, and has masked how slow Ferrari has been many times while destroying his teammates who in fact can also develop cars if you claim that it’s down to the driver.

          I would be cautious to make such a claim, even if Ferrari do well this year. With a revised technical staff, and the knowledge Vettel acquired from RedBull engineers, it would be wrong to assume Vettel is better at developing a car than Alonso.

        5. to @chaddy – I will remember your comment and recall about it to you, when Vettel+Ferrari will fail.

          Engineers, who work with Alonso, are absolutely sure, that the Spaniard is great at finding the limits of the car and he knows how to set it up.
          But our arm-chair fans know much more, yeah.
          I want to ask one question, though. How Alonso can help the team develop the car, when they bring an update, test it and then throw it away, because it is not safe?

      2. I don’t think Alonso is bothered at all unless Ferrari starts winning lots of races. Alonso wants to win championships and he saw no future of happening at Ferrari. Same is also true for mclaren (not championship contender) but unlike ferrari the mclaren could win some races at least.

        What most people are forgetting is that alonso had great view to the political brawl happening inside ferrari. He saw the politics going on, people kicked out, 3 team bosses in 2 years and a lot of drama that is probably not reported in the media. Not a likely place to produce a winning car. Not a fun place to work. Or maybe he just wanted out? Just be anywhere else.

        And unless you are at mercedes winning the championship is probably impossible anyways. So maybe alonso just wanted to get into a car and contract that allows you to get into a winning car later on. In the end mclaren could just be a safenet alonso had to use if the merc deal did not came. And it didn’t.

    2. Unless the Ferrari turns out to be the fastest or almost the fastest car, I highly doubt he will regret his move to McLaren-Honda. (at this point)

    3. But really seriously. Is there anyone who think that there is any chance, realistically, there is any team that can touch Mercedes this year?

      Last year with so many technical problems, the only real threat for Hamilton comes from his own teammate. And even with all that domination, most of the race they kept their true power hidden.

      And now, pre season practice day 2, people already saying how Alonso’s feels (and that as if the Ferrari is basically faster than the McLaren). Wow!

      From what I can remember, Alonso said last year that his decision to go to McLaren is about a long term project. And for me, it’s a realistic approach consider how dominant Mercedes last year.

      Consider that Ferrari turns out to be way better than last year,. Unless It’s faster than the Mercedes I think there is no need for Alonso to feel bad about his move.

      Not only that, I think his move also explains his view about what happen at Ferrari. I don’t know, I think he knew on some extent of the potential of this year’s Ferrari’s car. But he still chose to move not only because of the long term goal, but maybe like Hamilton because he see the opportunity is better at McLaren.

    4. @frood19 I don’t think Alonso cares, frankly, if the Ferrari car is half-decent. He doesn’t care about finishing 2nd or 3rd in the WDC again, he wants to win. So the only person he’ll be jealous of will be Hamilton or Rosberg (probably Rosberg as he believes himself to be a superior driver), than Vettel finishing 3rd in the WDC in a Ferrari. Unless, that is, Vettel is fighting for wins, podiums etc.

      1. They all want to win. Vettel said he was addicted to winning, Alonso is burning for another WDC, Hamilton no doubt, wants to make himself a triple winner.

        An interesting season due. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Ferrari Gge to see what Vettel is up to there.

    5. @frood19 I think that even if the Ferrari isn’t half bad, the fact Honda can change 100% of the engine and has the right to use the avg of the opponents tokens makes McLarenHonda much more likely to challenge Mercedes than anyone else in the foreseeable future of this set of rules.

  3. That’s obviously a good sign I suppose :)

    1. Or a sign that they want you to see and believe – and may just be made to believe. But they are moving in the right direction.

  4. Well, I have to admit Ferrari is looking better than last year. I hope they’ll bring some competition to my favorite driver Lewis. I can’t wait!!

    1. Ferrari is looking better than last year

      It’s not a huge achievement, isn’t it? :)

      1. It might not be at this time but vwho knows? Let hope they will bring something comes Melbourne.

    2. I’m backing LH too but I’m quite excited about Ferrari.

    3. Only rumours obviously, but I’ve heard Ferrari found 80 hp over the winter. Renault supposedly found 60 hp while Merc found 50-60 hp. Given that Renault’s deficit was 60 hp while Ferrari’s was 50 hp at the end of last season, Renault may still be 50-60 hp behind while Ferrari may be only 20-30 hp behind, which may close more if they can make use of the in-season engine development (they brought up the loophole themselves after all). With Raikkonen saying the car sounds much better it would be nice if they could challenge further up the grid – I could see them challenging Red Bull for sure, maybe not Mercedes… but it would be nice if they could actually manage give to Merc some competition (saying this as a Hamilton fan as well!)

      1. @polo Ferrari was clearly the worst performing engine of 2014. To think that this order changed in any way Ferrari would’ve had the luck of making an gross mistake on one part of the engine that’s in the 48% they can change.

        1. @peartree In terms of horsepower, it was slightly ahead of the Renault. However it had very inefficient electrical systems which meant that it couldn’t keep the battery topped up for every lap, and thus their engine was the worst in terms of race pace.

          Also, while Renault’s leading team (Red Bull) had a chassis just as good as Mercedes, Ferrari’s was estimated 0.3 – 0.45s a lap slower, which was the biggest differentiator in the two team’s performances (as their PUs were pretty close) and swung perception of their PUs in Renault’s favour (though I probably agree, overall Ferrari engine was likely the worst due to its race pace).

          However it should be remembered that Ferrari could have built a better engine in 2014, but they purposefully compromised the engine performance for aerodynamics (which clearly didn’t work out at all). They should have learned from this for 2015.

          James Allison has also said Ferrari has had a lot of focus on improving the electrical systems, which would help for improved race pace.

          But as you say, it will have been a tall order for Ferrari to have made any huge jumps, so it’s clear to me that them topping the testing times means pretty much nothing at this stage. And I don’t actually believe that Ferrari has any chance of challenging Mercedes this season to be honest.

          I just wanted to get the point across that there is the potential for a much better season from Ferrari for this season, and was more talking about how they can potentially challenge Red Bull if they can produce an engine better than Renault’s, along with a decent chassis. I don’t think that even James Allison can produce a chassis capable of matching one of Adrian Newey’s, but maybe they can get close and the engine can close the rest of the deficit. I’m sure Red Bull will maximise the chassis as usual, so a lot comes down to how much Ferrari can improve their PU by relative to Renault.

          But of course Ferrari have had the “potential” to move the front for a long time now, yet they still haven’t. James Allison’s presence is a step in the right direction, but I don’t think we’ll really know anything for sure until Melbourne.

          1. @polo I watched the James Allison’s interview. 60%/40% division, that’s nothing new to me, nor is the theories going online, I’ll stick to the facts, basically what Rory Byrne said and what got Marmorini fired. That Ferrari electronic ghost issue, was in fact cause by an enlarged turbo unit which meant that Ferrari cars were spending too much electric power just to spool and manage the large diameter turbo, this effect destroys driveability on the long run because the engine cannot recharge it’s electrical demands, let alone use this for performance, hence alonso failing to gain ground on the caterham in Abu Dhabi, especially around vmax, one thing that was easily spotted on Ferrari cars was the blinking red light signalling “harvest mode”. In my view the most effective way to judge what engine performed the best is siimply to look at the avg performance of the Renault and Ferrari cars against the baseline Mercedes, on slow and fast tracks. From that point it is very clear, that Ferrari cars were less competitive on fast tracks in relation to Renault. The best example is Monza, Caterham was genuinely not the slowest.

  5. I know testing performance is to be taken with a grain of salt, but I’m sure Haas is grinning ear to ear. If this new power plant from Maranello is an indication that Ferrari is on an upswing, then Haas is will be looked at as a genius for 1) signing Ferrari as an engine supplier above others and 2) taking the extra year to develop his team. He won’t have to worry about developing a car around a lackluster 2014 PU. Instead he’ll get, not only a good PU right out of the gate, but also one that might have development momentum. But, again, this is all speculation based on a few days of testing. Wishful thinking for Team USA.

    1. Haas has time to think and yes it was a great move by him to delay racing in 2015 to 2016 – he can observe what is going well and what is not. Biggest thing will be to see what he can bring to the table and who are his direct competitors – outside of Merc, Ferrari, McLaren, Redbull.

  6. On the subject of Haas, I think their drivers are going to be Vergne and Marciello with Rossi as spare. Just a wild guess.

    1. vergne and Guttierez
      correction

      1. Well at least we agree on Vergne.

    2. Personally I think Vergne or Estaban will replace a retiering Kimi at the end of 2015 then Haas will take Marciello and either Vergne or Estaban who ever dosent get picked and Rossi may do USA dont forget tho with new super licence rules Rossi may lose it not having enough points over the last 3 years?

  7. We are approaching a situation where a convincing and sound case can be made in illustrating a rejuvenated Scuderia. This is not valid on the basis of headline times, but the SF15 T has been reliably pretty much the fastest car on track in all conditions in the past three days. Dichotomizing this from Ferrari’s cultural tendency towards showboating is tricky, but a wayward or recalcitrant Ferrari has equally been an absent sight according to my trackside colleagues. But the F14 T was well-balanced, or at least appeared so in Fernando’s capable hands, so we are reliant on this hurried recapitulation from an unfriendly Finn when making any inferences about the SF15 T’s dynamic properties. Far better then to say that the upbeat remarks from Sauber about the new Ferrari powertrain upgrades represent the best evidence of a stronger 2015 campaign for the Scuderia.

    We have no hard evidence yet of an improved Ferrari, but it is undeniable that the atmosphere surrounding the team is positive.

    1. Hurried, or concise?
      Unfriendlly, or “recalcitrant”?
      It sounds to me that Raikkonen is bemusedly content with things as they sit.

    2. The F14-T was actually very unbalanced, it produced a lot of front downforce but not much rear downforce at all. Ferrari could change their set-up to improve the balance, but this had some unfortunate consequences, as Mark Hughes explains:

      “Ferrari was constantly forced to run its car with less front downforce than it was capable of generating in order to have a car balance that the drivers could live with. This in turn meant that it would often not heat up its front tyres quickly enough (especially if the tyre compound was on the conservative side) decreasing the front grip even further. In this way the underlying shortage of rear downforce was giving problems at the front.”
      http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/22058/9695979/ferrari-and-mclarens-new-cars-go-in-search-of-downforce-after-2014-woes

      1. Since Raikkonen’s main problem in 2014 was not having enough feel or grip at the front end, then as long as Ferrari produce a well-balanced car (rather than one biased towards the front or the rear) many of the issues he had with the car last year should be fixed.

        Ironically, a large part of Raikkonen’s problems last year came from the car having too much front downforce (relative to the rear).

  8. from what I saw, Ferrari is headed in the right direction – Mercedes is this miles ahead but I think Williams and RBR are in their range.

  9. Kimi said all that?

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd February 2015, 21:11

      good one!

    2. @johnnik +1 LOL

      That is hilarious. For Kimi that is like 1 year worth of speaking to media !!!!

      1. well, for all we know we will only get oneliners from now on until the end of the year, as he has already done his press speaking job!

  10. SebVet will take all the experience 4 xWDC can give ,for a young man from the very core of the Red Bull juggernaut Seb will be focused on replicating his success every bit and more.
    If he can run the show his way and I’m sure he will attract talent like a magnet , then he can push the Prancing horse forward ,
    I almost believe there was a little sandbagging from Seb last year ,
    He’d had enough of Red Bull ( total speculation) and team mates taking energy ,
    If anyone on the grid can develop this team and car around themselves it’s SebVet , from a die hard Webber /Ricciardo Fan , good luck I say

    1. I don’t think there was any ‘sandbagging’ from Vettel, (although last race, I got the feeling he wasn’t trying so hard any more). He wants to win, period, and last year’s car didn’t suit his hands and feet methods. He was being beaten, didn’t like that, had won x 4, time for a change. With Alonso on the move, he had his opportunity and took it.

      He’s my fave and I hope he lives up to my expectations to get to the front again. I’m surprised to see such praise for the Ferrari.

  11. Well it may be a different story, which could be the difference between finishing 12th and 8th perhaps?

    In the recent past, Ferrari have always deceived the world in testing and practice. When was the last time they carried their good form in testing into the season? 2008? Last year’s car was pretty poor, so any improvement will be a step up, hence the positivity from Kimi. I would be surprised if Ferrari manage to elevate themselves to the point of fighting for race wins, perhaps their best hope will be consistency in the upper reaches of the points and podiums, and a win or two if luck is on their side.

    Is Fernando smacking his forehead? I doubt it. Craig Scarborough’s analysis of the MP4-30 was very positive. The car is a significant departure from recent aerodynamic offerings that have come out of Woking. The big question mark is obvious, how powerful and reliable is the PU? Only time will tell. With Honda’s full factory backing, Mclaren will overcome whatever issues. Here’s to Mclaren-Honda fighting for wins in the second half of the year!

    It would be really nice if Mclaren, Ferrari, Williams and RBR could fight for wins…it would be make a great season!

  12. Good luck to them. But I think other teams may complain about flexi monkey seats come the first race! odd sentence that.

  13. Alonso knew he was going to struggle a with Mclaren this year.
    If Ferrari produces a good car but not enought to challenge Mercedes, it doesn’t change a thing for him.

    He left to be WDC again. And the way things were going, it looked easier to achieve that with other team.
    And even with this bloody poor mileage, Mclaren showed good signs yesterday. Let’s see what Jenson can get now that they seemed to finally fix the eletrical problems.

    1. Great comment. I’m sure Alonso would rather be 5th or 6th this year but have a chance at winning the championship in the coming years, than to stay at Ferrari and have a better chance at being 3rd this year but not being able to properly challenge Mercedes in the future.

  14. The challenge lies in not having a good base (that is the primary/fundamental requisite) but to improve on that. Except for 2010 where they successfully managed the blown diffuser (I think), Ferrari have failed to do that. That is the main cause for their downfall IMHO.

    Hope the Wind tunnel is working right this time and they got the engine corrected as well. They were an also-ran last year, hope they influence the order a little more this time around.

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