Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

Raikkonen on top as Ferrari power sweeps Jerez test

2015 F1 testing

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TEST PRE-CAMPIONATO F1/2015Kimi Raikkonen topped the time sheets for the second day running on the final day of the first pre-season test of the 2015 Formula One season.

Marcus Ericsson’s second-fastest time for Sauber meant that Ferrari-powered cars took the top two positions on all four days.

It was another damp start to the session with drivers opting to make complete their installation laps on either intermediate or full wet tyres.

Romain Grosjean became the last driver of the test to run his first laps in a 2015 car when he ventured out in the Lotus E23 for the first time in the early rush.

It took just 45 minutes for the first red flag stoppage of the day when Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull stopped on the circuit at turn nine. The team later confirmed that they had been halted by an ERS problem.

With the track still damp as the green flags flew, only Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton opted to make some steady laps with intermediate tyres.

Eventually, Hamilton became the first driver to break under the 1’30 barrier after switching to dry tyres before Raikkonen joined the Mercedes on track. The two world champions then began to trade fastest laps as the track temperature started to rise.

But there was trouble for Hamilton on his 43rd lap of the morning when the Mercedes driver spun the W06 at the chicane, bringing out the second red flag of the day.

There was little harm done to the car though, as the team got the car back out on track around 40 minutes later.

After very little running on Monday, Jenson Button will have been pleased to get some more laps in the MP4-30. The McLaren managed 34 laps of an aero programme before a fuel pump problem ended their test.

Lotus too announced that their day had come to an early end with concerns over the team’s power unit bringing a halt to Grosjean’s first run with the E23 after 53 laps.

With around an hour and a half remaining, Kimi Raikkonen exited the pit lane with a fresh set of soft tyres on his Ferrari. He promptly set the quickest time of the four day test with a 1’20.841 – just over a tenth faster than team mate Sebastian Vettel went on Monday, albeit on medium tyres.

Hamilton set his personal best time of a 1’22.172 on medium tyres, before Marcus Ericsson clocked a 1’22.019 to ensure Ferrari power would clean-sweep the top positions of all four days of the first test.

It was a productive day for many of the teams, with Ferrari, Sauber and Mercedes all achieving over 100 laps of running.

The final few minutes of the day were disrupted by two red flags. The first was triggered when the DRS marker at the beginning of the pit straight blew onto the track. Once that was cleared the session briefly resumed, only for Ericsson’s car to come to a stop moments later.

2015 F1 testing day four result

Pos.DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF15-T1’20.841106
2Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari C341’22.0191121.178
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes W061’22.1721171.331
4Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault STR101’22.553971.712
5Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes FW371’23.116732.275
6Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes E231’23.802532.961
7Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault RB111’23.975643.134
8Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda MP4-301’27.660356.819

2015 F1 season

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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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71 comments on “Raikkonen on top as Ferrari power sweeps Jerez test”

  1. OOh My… is this just the car ?

    1. Ferrari looking good

  2. Obv this is just testing, but still…. ferrari 4/4… And if you looked at older jerez tests you’ll see that teams were usually very very close to each other, so this … exciting!!

  3. I am always suspicious of teams who seem to focus on proving they have a fast car. I hope it is not smake and mirrors.

    Don’t get me wrong, hop hope they are fast and competative. Ferrari seemed to do this in practice all last year on race weekends.

    I really do hope thay have a good car.

    1. I am always suspicious of teams who seem to focus on proving they have a fast car.

      Hmm, perhaps motor racing is not the sport for you! The object, in case you’ve forgotten, is to prove you have the fastest car.

      Last year in preseason the teams who seemed to focus on proving they had a fast car were Mercedes, Williams, and Mclaren. They set the fastest times at any rate. I don’t recall them getting criticism for doing so.

      1. @rm

        Actually its not always the fastest car which wins at all. There will always be a trade off again raw pace and reliability. To finish first, first you must finish.

        You can’t really compare the tests as last years everything was totally new for everyone, and each team had far more problems. I don’t think anyone was trying to prove anything last year, nor do I believe they are this year. That said, we’ve seen from last year ( practice sessions) that Ferrari were often up there in P1 and P2 only to fall down the order throughout the weekend. It therefore wouldn’t be unrealistic to believe that Ferrari continued this trend. I don’t think they’re trying to prove anything, I think its just how they work.

      2. The object, in case you’ve forgotten, is to prove you have the fastest car.

        Wrong! The object is to finish in front of everybody else! And how you do that when your car broke down on the way? Mercedes knows this.

        1. @F1bratz and Ferrari haven’t broken down once unlike Mercedes…Ferrari showing both speed most importantly reliability….not bad, not bad at all.

          1. Wow, a very definitive conclusion after 3 days of pre season testing. Amazing!

      3. In case YOU’VE forgotten, the object is to be fastest car on March 15. Being the fastest car in testing, especially at Jerez, when teams are essentially shaking down their cars, is about as meaningful as being the first person to complete 100 yards in a marathon.

        Last year the only thing Merc had to do to try to show their car was the fastest was to show up.

        To me it seems like everything Ferrari has been doing lately feels like waving their hands screaming “Look at us, our car is great, we’re turning it around this year”. Granted, I do expect a marked improvement with Allison at the helm, but they seem desperate to prove its for real this time and that makes me wary.

        1. I have to say, the only desperation I’m seeing is coming from the people trying absurdly hard to downplay Ferrari’s results so far. They’ve been both fast and reliable in Jerez, which is all you can ask of any team. Who would you rather be at this stage, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull, Lotus, or McLaren?

          Or here’s another question – if Williams, Red Bull, Lotus or McLaren had just completed Ferrari’s Jerez testing, would they be getting the same degree of negativity and even hostility?

          1. Excuse me, i must have missed something but what result?

          2. Yes, they would. The only team that wouldn’t be is Mercedes because of last year.

            If you are going to look at the good points of the Ferrari test then also be prepared to look at the bad, or don’t be offended when other people don’t automatically believe that Ferrari have pulled something out of the bag in a pre season test at Jerez.

            The is no trophy for finishing at the top in testing, only speculation. Other teams have their program to run and we know that Mercedes, which is the team to beat have been focusing on reliability and not pace, thats largely because reliability was their weakest link last year and also partly because having pace at Jerez means little given the air and track temps, the track surface etc.

            The point about Ferrari “showboating” is always a valid one, even if you don’t happen to like it. Ferrari often liked to run their car light with fuel and top the time sheets in practice only to drop away in qually and the race, who is saying they aren’t doing that here swell? Focusing on light fuel load short run pace?

            Ferrari may well have produced a much better car this year, nobody at this point can say otherwise but equally nobody can really say they have built a competitive car either, we won’t really know that until Melbourne in March. Even Kimi himself has said although the car is a good starting point and something they can build upon, he also said that topping the timesheet means little.

      4. @rm
        You’re confusing the cause of those cars being in front last year. Every team you mention had the Mercedes engine which was so dominant and so reliable, that they were at the front in early testing….simply by showing up for the test.
        It was not a matter of any of them trying to prove how fast they were and they didn’t spend any time “swapping fastest time” as they were competing to top the time sheets. They simply were in another world and the Renault engined teams couldn’t even get any laps in. And Ferrari’s engine was so poor that even when they got reliability down, it was a joke all season.

        You have to look at the big picture, not just a couple of names on a time sheet.

        1. @daved I distinctly remember Williams and Mercedes swapping fastest laps (Massa I think) in Bahrain (not 100% sure). What makes you think that Ferrari even went for times? Sauber, I agree, need to show that it is fast to gain some sponsors. But Ferrari don’t have such worries at all.

          Also I don’t think it is just the headline times but the amount of running done at solid pace as well leading to some optimism among Ferrari fans.

          Also Ferrari were 4th last year behind Mercedes, RB, Williams even with such a poor PU. An improvement in the absolute numbers of power along with drivability should make things easier for Kimi and Vettel making them lap quicker and I think that scenario is completely plausible.

          1. @evered7
            But that’s not the point. We’re comparing this test to the first test in Jerez last year where the teams were just trying to get mileage in. It wasn’t till the 2nd and 3rd tests in Barcelona where they started putting in laps with semi-meaningful times.
            We’re not to that point yet so I was comparing to the Jerez test last year and I believe that Kimi had the fastest time on day 1 last year. In other words, the times from a test like this are meaningless. Don’t take that as an insult to Ferrari. and @rm shouldn’t take it that way either.
            That’s just a simple statement of fact and BleacherReport had an article on the lack of correlation between preseason testing and results this morning. It became very obvious there was no correlation.

          2. @daved I am not raising my hope to the extent that Ferrari may challenge Mercs. But considering their form last year and the fact that the PU was a major handicap seems valid reasons to understand that they might have made some huge improvements just by fixing them.

            I am not comparing Jerez initial times but the overall. Except for Renault engined cars (particularly RB) others got a decent amount of running and the fact was that the Merc PU was superior to Ferrari and obviously the Renault one.

            Now since there are only two cars running with the Ferrari PU, can’t help but see positives in them showing solid pace.

            Lets wait for Barcelona before reaching conclusion. Even Melbourne is not a valid comparison since we saw what McLaren did there and for the rest of the year.

          3. Sauber, I agree, need to show that it is fast to gain some sponsors. But Ferrari don’t have such worries at all – Might be Ferrari want to show it to marchionne

            Also Ferrari were 4th last year behind Mercedes, RB, Williams even with such a poor PU – Purely Because of Alonso (take a look at Raikkonen contribution)

    2. Look at the times to last year and it is clear the Ferarri engine and car is much more competitive. They were seconds down on the Merc engines last year. Yes the car was a dog, but Sauber was way down too. This year not only are the times a lot faster (best in 2014 was 1:23.276 by MAG), but Ferarri engines clearly are able to be faster than the sandbagging Mercs this year- and they are sandbagging, the question is how much…

      1. At Jerez last year Ferrari were fastest on the first day and 2nd fastest on days 2 and 4. On the comments here I assume that people would have predicted that in 2014 Ferrari were going to have a good year.

        We all know how that panned out.

      2. To put it simply no one knows who is competitive yet, because at the end of last year Mercedes Engine had a considerable amount in hand over everyone else. Even if Ferrari and Renault get to where the 2014 Mercedes engine is. There is always the small case of their upgraded 2015 engine.

  4. The picture above seems to show Kimi on the red (super soft) tyre rather than the soft. There were similar photo’s from yesterdays session.

    1. I believe that those are the hards.

    2. those are orange hards.

    3. I think you need to get your eyes checked rm!

  5. Hamilton spun his car several times last season as well. Usually, fortunately for him, not in the actual races. But it’s curious the car seems unstable in his hands when NR has had no similar issues I can think of.

    1. Just heard from Hamilton who made some interesting comments about how he tends not to feel comfortable in a car when he drives it for the first time.

      1. I seem to recall him spinning the W05 on a number of occasions last season, even in the middle to latter part of the season. Usually in practice, though IIRC at least once in qualifying. And perhaps once in a race as well, though I’m less sure of that.

        1. Yes, Brazil 2014 (in the race).

          1. On destroyed tires…

          2. @bj why must Hamilton/his fans justify EVERY mistake he makes with an excuse? No wonder some people just don’t respect the man – sorry – the kid.

        2. When you are on the edge, sometimes you will go beyond it. I’m talking here about last year, not this test.

          I agree, it is a mistake, but you are unlikely to spin if you maintain a margin. Hamilton always pushes hard. If you push hard, taking the car and yourself to the limit, the tiniest of errors can end in a spin. However, this is also how you get the best from yourself and your car, and results in more exciting racing.

          There must always be some thought in your head of caution, considering when you need to push and when it’s OK to hold a little in reserve, and Hamilton has matured and developed that to some extent. But he will always be a racer who lives on the edge, and fans love that about him.

          It’s not making excuses for him, it is accepting the way he is. If he didn’t drive like he did, he wouldn’t be the racer he is.

  6. Merc powered cars were on the front end of the timings last season during testing. While I understand that Barcelona might be a better indicator of the position, whats with all the performance related updates being bolted on the car, the solid run with regards to # of laps and the pace itself seems optimistic for Ferrari.

    For sure, Mercs might not be catchable. But it doesn’t seem like there will be a repeat of 2014 where Mercs can come from last to finish 1/2. Even the other Merc teams might fight stronger than last year.

    Looking for a repeat of 2010 if possible with Vettel winning again :) Fingers crossed.

    1. Merc powered cars were on the front end of the timings last season during testing.

      Last year, teams were discovering the real potential of their brand new cars, and in a very new F1 with a totally different philosofy.

      So maybe they had to push more to discover the real performance parameters behind the new aero and PU. Now, Mercedes knows its potential, they have a fantastic baseline in all areas to be confident now. I think theres no rush or reason to show their hand at the moment.

      They only need to concentrate on their main weakness last year, which is reability.

      Anyway, I would love to see Ferrari back in the mix for wins.

    2. Merc powered cars were on the front end of the timings last season during testing.

      Try looking at the actual data from last year for the 1st test at Jerez last year. http://www.f1today.net/en/testsessions

      1. This is the actual data from last year for the 1st test at Jerez. Best time set by each driver.

        1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 23.276s, 162 laps
        2. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 23.700s, 133 laps
        3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 23.952s, 121 laps
        4. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 24.165s, 83 laps
        5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 24.812s, 78 laps
        6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 25.344s, 42 laps
        7. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 25.495s, 173 laps
        8. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 25.588s, 188 laps
        9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 26.096s, 17 laps
        10. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 28.376s, 48 laps
        11. Daniel Juncadella, Force India, 1m 29.457s, 81 laps
        12. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m 29.915s, 45 laps
        13. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, 1m 30.161s, 103 laps
        14. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1m 32.222s, 25 laps
        15. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 33.270s, 60 laps
        16. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 1m 37.975s, 12 laps
        17. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1m 38.320s, 11 laps
        18. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, 1m 43.193s, 54 laps
        19. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1m 44.016s, 9 laps
        20. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 45.374s, 10 laps
        21. Robin Frijns, Caterham, No time, 10 laps
        22. Max Chilton, Marussia, No time, 5 laps

        1. You cannot just take the data for the whole test period and put it in one table and say X, Look at the data day by day and you will see that Ferrari were top on one day and second on two days.

          Two of the days McLaren were at the top of the timing tables and Williams the other day.

          Hamilton’s best efforts were a second and third.

          If you were to give points, as in each day was a separate race then, after 4 races it would be;
          Williams 73
          Ferrari 73
          McLaren 62
          Mercedes 55
          Force India 47

          Therefore making any assumptions, on fastest times for the first test period, is a meaningless exercise.

          I think if you were to ask all the drivers, in secret without revealing names, they would all, still prefer to be in a Merc this year.

          But I do hope that the figures for Ferrari this year at Jerez actually do mean there is still hope for Marenello.

          1. @w-k He has only mentioned the final results for 4 days at Jerez. Seems OK since it is the same track/test and highlights how each car has performed at the end of the first 4 days.

            Even if the teams were doing different exercises on all 4 days, at some point they would have run it in anger to test those scenarios as well.

            McLaren caught the eyes with their suspension blockers and many believed it to be on of the tech innovations of the season. Williams and Mercs traded fastest laps multiple times during tests as well. While it might not give an accurate indication as to each team’s standings, it gave an overall picture.

            Merc PU followed by Ferrari by a few tenths followed by Renault. It was RB’s chassis that helped them secure their wins despite the power handicap as clearly seen by the performance of other Renault engined teams.

            Similarly we need not assume that Ferrari are fastest of the bunch but there is a lot of indication that they have improved hugely over their 2014 package.

          2. If you were to give points, as in each day was a separate race …

            That strikes me as a lot more pointless than just looking at lap times and total laps completed. They are not races, separate or otherwise.

            Last season at this time there were huge variations in times between different cars. About 2.7 secs between the fastest and tenth fastest times. This year there’s about 1.7 secs between fastest and tenth fastest time.

            I think if you were to ask all the drivers, in secret without revealing names, they would all, still prefer to be in a Merc this year.

            I think that goes without saying. But there’s certainly evidence to suggest the field has tightened up and become more competitive. And that’s also what you’d expect to happen as the other engine makers slowly close the power gap to Mercedes.

          3. No more pointless than trying to say one driver was fastest in a four day test period. When he did it in the best weather conditions and try and compare him to a driver that only got one days running on a wet and damp day.

            And has the field closed in on Mercedes, last year the best Mecedes did on any particular day compared to the best that day was 0.437s last year, this year they have slipped to 0.716s behind the best on that day.

            So you could say Mercedes gap to the fastest, during the 1st test has increased by nearly 0.3s over the course of a year.

          4. From that, it seems obvious in retrospect that Mercedes were just running fuel heavy. The order behind looks roughly accurate, with Red Bull in difficulty.

  7. Just my 2 cents – JA said many times that ferrari needs to improve their 1 lap pace as in the 3 last years they were always better on sundays. Maybe they just focus on that and that’s why they top the sheets. Also it’s good publicity for the brand.

  8. To me is pretty clear Ferrari and Sauber focused more on performance than others.
    Raikkonen’s stints were pretty short by the time he set his fastest laps. And Ericson ran out of fuel.

    Looks like they’re testing the benefits of the modifications done on their PU.

    1. Mercedes also did a “ran out of fuel-misstake” except they didn’t print it on black and white that that is what they were testing (which sauber did)

      1. When did they do that?

        1. I was reading Autosport and live commentary suggested that one of the reporters overheard Mercedes mechanics talking to each others about “running out of juice”. This after Hamilton had spun.

          1. Lol another excuse, look, he just spun. No ‘because’, he just did all by himself. Standby for Hammi fans to argue that a gravitational flux was to blame……or Rosberg must have put oil on the tyres to get an advantage after his run lol

          2. Nope he simply spun that was all. The only fuel issue that happened during the test that we know of was a fuel pressure issue that cut out the engine. But Merc weren’t caught out on track without any fuel.

  9. Kimi did a couple of soft-tyre runs at the end of the day, so for him only to marginally better Vettel’s time from Monday suggests that Sebastian is looking very good indeed.

    I know there are plenty who would say that testing times are irrelevant, but at some point you have to say a time is fast, no matter how little fuel was in the car. Unfortunately, we don’t have any lap times from recent Grand Prix weekends to compare with, and during last year’s test the teams were just getting used to the new regulations. Still, I believe Vettel’s time was genuinely quick, and others who can better judge its value, like Rosberg and Ricciardo, have also (more or less) said so.

    As for some of the other teams, Red Bull is having another very slow start, and I wonder whether without Prodromou and semi-Newey they will reach their championship-winning form again (at least on the chassis side). McLaren so far have only shown that they can go out and do a couple of laps, there’s still no indication of performance. Finally, it looks as if Sauber at least have a reasonable car again, even if they were showboating a bit.

    1. We need to see in which conditions he set the time too.
      It isn’t as simple as say that Raikkonen was just barely faster than him with faster tyres that he is a better driver or is ruling F1.

      All in all, in Barcelona they all will show their hand. On Jerez only Ferrari powered cars gives us some hint of what they are capable of.

      1. Raikkonen said after today’s session that the laptimes don’t mean anything. And that today the conditions were not good and it was very windy. And he also said that the team did not even try to go for fast lap times. Very possible they might have just been running lighter compared to some other teams.

      2. Conditions exactly, Kimi commented to the finnish media that his time was good considering the weather, and also that the times don’t really matter since they weren’t trying to do any fast laps.

  10. @keithcollantine Will there be some long-run, speed-trap data from Jerez test?

  11. Can someone post best times of all drivers in jerez?

    1. 1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1: 20.841s (soft)
      2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.984s (medium)
      3 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.545s (soft)
      4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.982s (medium)
      5 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.019s (soft)
      6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.172s (medium)
      7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:22.276s
      8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.319s
      9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:22.553s
      10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:22.713s
      11 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:23.187s
      12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:23.338s
      13 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:23.802s
      14 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:23.975s
      15 Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.660s
      16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:35.553s

      I think I got them all right. I did not check the tyre used for every driver, just the ones on the fastest times.

      1. Last year’s fastest 01:23.276 by Kevin Magnusen in McLaren on day 3. It is exciting to see almost 3 sec of improvement. I know it is only testing but I think the cars are getting faster for sure.

  12. I wonder at what point last year a little Ferrari bird whispered in Vettel’s ear, we’ve made a big leap with the engine and we’re not telling Fernando…

    1. Well one thing is clear, Ferrari has improved a lot !!! is it enough to better Mercedes ? Probably not but its a massive improvement … we will see in Barcelona if the good form continues but something tells me the improvement is genuine and that Alonso made a big mistake rushing into leaving for McLaren … he only spent 4 years this can be a long time or a short time depending on your goals … but he should have at least stayed for another year and than make a decision … he will look like a fool if coming Melbourne Ferrari will be fighting for the podium … and with Alison they can only go better in the future

      1. Ferrari have to worry about Williams and Red Bull before they can even think about Mercedes. Even if Ferrari can jump Williams, Alonso and McLaren-Honda might challenge in the later stages of the season. Ferrari are in a tough position, because on the chassis side Red Bull are better and have works engine status as well. On the flip side they are fully integrated and can really make strides in development. Either way though, they will need a lot of unreliability and luck to get those two or three wins.

  13. Showboating ?

    I think there are some other teams (especially mclaren as they still dont have a solid sponsor) really need to do showboating but not Ferrari.

  14. I would not be surprised if Ferrari again be the top team , they have always been and will be , I do not know what is there so strange , maybe not this year , but soon they will be on top

  15. As I can see the McLaren improved a lot.

  16. Don’t believe Ferrari’s pace is real, but I remember 2009 when Button was absurdly huge odds for the title even after the Brawn had been testing and looked lightning fast (and I didn’t take that nice 50-1 or whatever it was). So dropped a couple of pennies on Ferrari just to make sure I don’t end up kicking myself again.

  17. At the moment teams are testing for reliability. I guess they will also check on their single lap pace for the last test. When races begin we will at least get a feel of the pecking order, but still through the season, hopefully the order will change. Should Merc win the first three races by a mile then it MIGHT be a repeat of 2014, I sure hope not. Testing is a warm up effect for us fans.

  18. Alonso reminds me of Casey stoner where someone from Ducatti said he was no good at developing the bike because he always drove around problems and was fast on anything where as Valentino Rossi needed to develop the bike to be fast like maybe kimi or vettel

  19. I don’t want to sound cynical but in the same week it looks like Marussia/Manor will be exhumed Ferrari have a step up in performance. Could be coincidence or could be done to ease a deal!

  20. yeah, everyone still testing reliability but also last year every team’s work was focused on that and ferrary was not up the table like now . not saying they’ll win the championship but they made a big step up to my eyes and thing we can compare ferrari to last year’s williams and it would be so good for ferrari to stay that level..

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