Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Rosberg surprised Ferrari has ‘made biggest step’

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015In the round-up: Nico Rosberg is convinced Ferrari have made serious progress over the winter.

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Ferrari pace an eye opener - Rosberg (ESPN)

"It's clear in the way that the others have really stepped up their game, so the other's (pace) is surprising to us. In relation, it seems that Ferrari has made the biggest step to us."

McLaren-Honda 50% behind testing plan (F1i)

"We did maybe 50% of the laps we were expecting to do so in terms of plan we are 50% behind."

Ferrari play down promising testing form (BBC)

"Winning two races will be fine. Three will be perfect. Four and I run 100km without shoes to the Maranello hills."

Ferrari: Expect a 'new' Raikkonen (Autosport)

"Arrivabene says he has noticed a change in Raikkonen's typically uncommunicative persona, joking that the Finn must be feeling 'sick' because he's smiling so much."

Felipe Nasr Q&A: I want to get Sauber back in the points (F1)

"The culture is a bit different, as are the people and the language. Sometimes I find it quite difficult that the words used in some procedures are different to what was used at Williams, but these words and procedures will be different in every team you go to."

Ferrari F1 93 A (Modena Motorsport)

"The chassis no. 145 belongs to the only 2 ever produced cars and is therefore a rarity."

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Comment of the day

Formula E’s London double-header race has a lot going for it:

I don’t really like FE but that London race looks a great experience.

Probably decent weather, park setting, great city, no idea what ticket prices are but can’t see them costing a fortune. And it’s not big enough to spike hotel prices so could get a decent deal there too.
Neil (@Neilosjames)

From the forum

Snapshot

Jolyon Palmer, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Lotus third driver and reigning GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer had his first run in the team’s E23 during testing yesterday.

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On this day in F1

Peter Gethin, winner in one of the closest F1 finishes of all time at Monza in 1971, was born on this day 75 years ago. Gethin passed away in 2011.

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  • 60 comments on “Rosberg surprised Ferrari has ‘made biggest step’”

    1. I am hopeful Ferrari will do much better this year, but this is still testing, so we simply don’t know.

      At this stage it could turn out that Honda have the best engine by a mile, but we can’t see that. Fact is we don’t know, and I wouldn’t count on Ferrari winning that much at this stage.

      1. I hope for Fernando’s sanity McHonda give him something to fight with. If they can get into that bracket with Redbull, Ferrari and Williams I would consider it a success. Anything below that is a disaster for Alonso.

        1. It feels like there’s a definite division starting to form in the teams, everyone above Williams and everyone below them, with the two groups having an obvious difference in pace. Yet to see where McLaren will be, but the car looks like it has potential.

        2. I would think that FA was already living (and leaving) a ‘disaster’ at Ferrari, so I’m sure he has gone into this new Mac/Honda merger with hope and promise and eyes wide open that patience will be required. Nobody will have been able to do anything but speculate as to how they will be once they race in anger, especially from the viewpoint of months ago when FA decided to make this move, and even now that some testing has occurred. Ie. there has always been some percentage of chance that they will struggle initially, and they may even surprise us yet, but that was the chance FA knew he was taking and obviously decided that chance was worth taking vs staying where he obviously didn’t want to be. Besides, Merc is everyone’s target, and to FA Ferrari is now just another team they’ll have to be ahead of, toward wins and a Championship.

        3. Ferrari form must be hurting Nando so bad…

          1. Why would it? Nobody knows what Ferrari’s true form is. Nor does FA know the true form of his own car. So unless you are going to claim a Ferrari is going to win the Championship this year, why would FA care? The hurting FA experienced was when he was at Ferrari and they couldn’t put together a WDC. He’s moved on now. If Ferrari does somehow win the Championship this year FA will just have to chock that up to not having ESP, nor a crystal ball, but he’ll not likely be looking back and trying to figure out what led him to leave Ferrari. He already knows the reasons he left, one of them being he had an opportunity to go to another traditional top team. What was there at Ferrari that might have compelled him to stay? Wholesale changes, turmoil, and bad cars? What would have convinced him last year that this year was going to be better if he had stayed at Ferrari and lost an opportunity to move on? And had he stayed at Ferrari, is anybody of the thinking that he would have won the WDC this year? Anybody already convinced Ferrari is a Merc beater? Didn’t think so. Nor would FA have any reason to think that either.

    2. It’s easy to make the biggest step when previously you were on crutches… they had so much room for improvement !

      1. I hope the same too, for Alonso’s sake. Otherwise it would again be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It would be terrible to watch Ferrari (a team with with Alonso toiled for 5 years) winning and Alonso struggling in the McLaren failing to even finish races…would be nightmarish for me…

        1. I don’t see it that way. FA is a big boy, he had many reasons to leave Ferrari, and nobody has a crystal ball. Not to mention, we don’t know where anybody stands right now in terms of racing in anger and how that will affect reliability for everyone. Yet even Ferrari is implying 4 wins would be a miracle. Let’s give them those 4 wins, best case scenario, and then assume the rest will go to Merc, and FA will be no worse off in the end ie. it is likely neither a Ferrari driver nor a Mac driver will be WDC this year, so I think FA can relax and just put his nose to the grindstone as usual. And likely enjoy the change of scenery from a topsy turvy Ferrari.

        2. I could become a Ferrari Fan just to watch Alonso crack LOL

      2. Sounds a little harsh, but I think you are right. Forgetting relative pace, which we still have no idea about, it feels like Ferrari now have a competent package (both engine and chassis) that is operating at the designed level. I have to imagine the engineers are very pleased with the solid foundation they have created.

    3. I saw Rosberg’s interview and Ms Brooks asked a very leading question which went….’have you been surprised by any of your competitors……?’ What was he gonna say?……..’No, they are all beneath us and we are gonna trounce them again and give them a good hiding?’

      1. It’s all relative anyway. A big step can be from rock bottom to fairly competitive.

        Performance comparisions happen only at Melbourne’s qualifying.

        1. @fer-no65

          Damn right….lets judge after qualy in Melbourne. Apart from that, its all smoke and mirrors. I will be very surprised if it isnt a Merc on pole, and can expect another front row lock-out with with a Williams in 3rd.

      2. Well, he could’ve said the usual “To be honest, we’ve just been concentrating on our job and we haven’t really paid attention to what others are doing. Besides, this is testing, so it’s difficult to judge relative performances”, or something along those lines.

      3. understanding context when reading quotes??? madness!

        1. I don’t find the question leading at all. Have you been surprised by any of your competitors…doesn’t imply anything to me. It’s a mundane question that could have a yes or no answer. I would have expected NR to say something, like he has, to the effect that Merc is expecting all competitors to be closer to them due to the stability in the rules. So…no surprise. Or, yes, Ferrari seems to have improved the most.

    4. Ferrari may be closer to achieve top performance in 2015 than most teams but it really doesn’t matter. 2015 is still a year to aim high and Honda has the best chance of making a true challenge in 2016.

    5. Did Ferrari do some long runs, or just lots of short ones?

    6. We can’t say much about Ferrari if we don’t see how they are in terms of pace.
      You read somewhere that Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams achieved good results, but nothing about Ferrari.

      It’s not like people aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. News about Ferrari are all about the engine upgrades and flying lap times. Wonder why.

    7. It appears to me that most contributors on here don’t want to acknowledge Ferrari’s apparent pace, downplaying it to the max. In my opinion, the Merc’s have very little room left to increase the pace but have to improve on reliability, probably why they are so intent on improving on this aspect by running long runs and ensuring the engine is reliable. Ferrari and Redbull may have found a way to catch up pacewise with the Mercs but still don’t have the reliability issue resolved. The good thing I can see is that we wont have the Mercs speed off into the distance, gaining 3-4 second advantage over everyone. As most state, one of the Mercs may end up getting the WDC but I can bet they will not win as many as they did last season.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        21st February 2015, 2:04

        the Merc’s have very little room left to increase the pace

        That’s not what the guys at Mercedes are saying.
        They are planning significant improvements as well (happy to look up the original articles).

      2. I find it slightly ominous that Mercedes, using medium tyres, were only around 0.15 – 0.35 seconds slower than Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams (who all set their best times on soft tyres) – the difference between tyre compounds is estimated to be at least a second. Not to mention that Hamilton’s race-simulation average was 1:29.647, while Ricciardo’s race-simulation average was 1:30.463.

        There are so many variables that we can’t use these times as concrete suggestions of anything yet, and Ferrari in particular look like they have made a big step, but I can’t shake the feeling that Mercedes still have a considerable advantage.

        1. @polo, And, as others have pointed out, Ferrari have not actually proven that they can sustain their performance over a long stint – Kimi’s longest stint on the first day of testing, for example, was 15 laps, and in general their stints have been shorter than their rivals (which would be consistent with the observation that Autosport made, as Mashiat points out below, that Ferrari seemed to be running with a lighter fuel load).

          Yes, overall I suspect that Ferrari will have improved – the resources they’ve thrown at their 2015 campaign should ensure that – but there are still big question marks over how well they will perform in race trim.
          After all, their 2014 car tended to perform more strongly over a short stint compared to their race trim, so the questions remains whether their 2015 car will also be better in that regard, or fall back into the same issue.

        2. Hamilton’s race-simulation average was 1:29.647, while Ricciardo’s race-simulation average was 1:30.463.

          If that carries over to the real racing it will represent a large closing of the gap to Mercedes. Last season they were frequently two to three seconds a lap faster than everyone else. if that drops to “only” 0.8 seconds a lap it will make things a little bit more interesting.

      3. Ferrari have always been a team about essentially showing off, after the worst season they’ve had in decades last year they were always going to come out of the box looking like they had a good car this year – They are clearly running around with lighter cars, using more power to make themselves look good prior to the start of the season. It is a safe assumption to make that they have significantly improved, but then the car last year was so poor that significant improvement still doesn’t get them within touching distance of Mercedes.

        Mercedes have not done any hot quali laps at all, they’ve shown no inkling of their 1 lap pace throughout the entire test programme to date yet every team is acknowledging that they are still a good way ahead

        Melbourne will show Mercedes are still well ahead of the field, with Ferrari probably in the P5/P6 battle – still a significant improvement for them but people expecting them to be fighting for pole are quite frankly deluded Ferrari fans desperately grasping onto the memories of a Ferrari team of old that no longer exists.

    8. With Ferrari agreeing to supply Manor with their 2014 engine – which will allegedly be used in a modified interim car while they get their 2015 car finished – it is looking more and more hopeful than Manor may just make it back onto the grid. If you’d told me a month or two ago that Manor might be coming back I wouldn’t have believed it; they were in administration and were scheduled to have their assets auctioned off. Yet they’re still around fighting to come back.

      It really makes me think… the sole reason why Manor has a chance of coming back, the one reason why they haven’t completely dissolved and disappeared is because of that fateful day in May last year where Jules managed to finish 9th at Monaco. Jules’ efforts that day may well prove to have saved the entire team. There’s still a long road ahead for Manor in order to get back onto the grid, and staying there is another matter entirely, but it was all made possible by Jules scoring those points and putting Marussia/Manor in the position to claim the prize money they so desperately needed. Forza Jules

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        21st February 2015, 2:06

        @polo, good point linking Jules’ performance to a possible come back of Manor (aka Marussia).

      2. @polo I agree.. it’s such a shame that we never got to see him race a Ferrari. I’m sure he would have surprised a lot of people with his pace! #ForzaJules

        1. @polo Great point(s). Forza Jules!

    9. Don’t really understand the position of Manor in F1…why are they trying to re-establish themselves…what kind of business model would they use…the F1 team does not support any type of business…Spyker tried it…Marussia tried it…F1 teams need big businesses behind them…Teams like Sauber and Force India are suffering…as was Williams who have many Engineering business offshoots that support their effort…quite a daunting project for sure.

    10. Of course Kimi is happy, he just became a father and he’s got a quick Ferrari for this season!

      1. And a teammate that is also a friend :)

        1. And actually likeable ;) I meän easier to work with ;)

      2. No Alonso everybody’s happy.

        1. So true.
          In Indonesia Kimi’s picture start to be in commercials board again everywhere, even more than he was with Lotus or previous Ferrari stint.

    11. According to Autosport, one of their men that were standing trackside noted that the Ferrari seemed to run much lighter than the Red Bull. The Red Bull it seems was running heavy on fuel and still managed that time. So, possibly Red Bull will be the closest challenger to Mercedes along with Williams?

      1. @mashiat2 I think McLaren will do well as well, considering the times they’ve gotten on such low mileage so far. The 2nd-5th positions in the team standings will be another big dogfight! The key for Ferrari is the race pace that we haven’t yet seen.

      2. How can you manage to know the amount of fuel in a car standing trackside? According to me the autosport man was probably high or it’s just rubbish with the latter being the most likely…

        1. It’s all the smoke from the Honda power unit…

        2. They can pay attention to the height of the car and how it touches the ground and aceleration at the exit of the turns. Nothing absurd.

            1. You don’t have a clue how this guys can be precise pal.

              If i were you i would spent some time reading technical foruns on the web to try to understand some things.

            2. Man, don’t joke with me. You either have a laser caliber in your eyesight or you won’t be able to tell how much fuel is left in the tank of a racing car, particularly a Formula, due to the huge aerodinamic loads these car can produce. Not even Newey can tell exactly how much fuel they are running (he can have a “feel”) let alone an “Autosport man”. We’ll know the truth in Melbourne (and IMHO they are about 1 second off the pace of the Merc), not before.

      3. And another report says Ferrari believe they had more fuel than RB. Tell us in a few months after a few races. Also reports RB very unhappy with Renault power and Ferrari engine has made a large gain putting them ahead of Red Bull. Would be good to have the sports greatest team battling the new dominant force in F1.

      1. Good on nascar for doingit, it happened on their turf. Men physically hurting their partners are scum

    12. I wonder what would be kimi’s reaction to 2014 car.
      Like Niki Lauda said, “It’s amazing. All these facilities and you make a piece of crap like this!”

    13. Seems to me that Alonso was the problem for Ferrari. He would of known of their 2015 plans yet still left. Now the 2015 car is looking much better than the 2014 car, good enough to have challenged for more podiums. Will be interesting to see how well McLaren improves once Alonso leaves again.
      It’s like he’s cursed or something.

      1. Cursed… Or overrated?

        1. Good point. Once Fernando isn’t involved in the development of a car, things start to get better for the team …

      2. @Chris, I’d rather ascribe the change in Ferrari’s performance to the complete overhaul of their aerodynamics department, the team finally completing the latest round of upgrades to their wind tunnel, the major changes to their engine design team and hiring AVL, a specialist Austrian mechanical engineering company, to completely revamp their engine testing program.

        Then, asides from that, Ferrari purposefully slowed down development of their 2014 car to focus on 2015 – Ferrari stated that, in late 2014, they were using the F14T as a test bed for components for their 2015 car rather than trying to develop the 2014 car – and also changed their simulation equipment, tyre performance analysts and their vehicle dynamics team. When you take all of those factors into account, it would be surprising if the team didn’t make a significant jump forward.

        In fact, given that Marchionne has staked part of his reputation on bringing about an improvement in form, the increase in resources being allocated to the team is perhaps not surprising given that he needs Ferrari to perform to advance his program within the Fiat Chrysler group.

        1. I highly doubt FA was the problem, nor that he could possibly know, even knowing the changes they were making, how the car would be. And we don’t know the answer to that question to this day. We haven’t seen them race in anger and they may turn out to be greatly improved but still not enough to podium regularly. And the wholesale changes made at Ferrari may have been looked at by FA as akin to a new team needing time to gel which is what he is doing anyway, but with a fresh outlook away from the strife at Ferrari. It was likely about more than just the level of the car for FA at Ferrari. Let’s not forget they’ve been in turmoil.

          If two Mercs take two spots only one other driver will be on the podium on average, per race. That leaves good odds it won’t be a Ferrari…. nor a Mac.

      3. There was an article in Italy a few weeks ago with Forghieri saying Alonso was bad for development and what Ferrari really needed in 2010 was a new Schumacher. Load of BS to me as to simple an explanation if you see the article, maybe elements of truth but only elements. F1 is too complicated for such black and white scenarios. If Ferrari are good this year it’s just timing. Funny that Vettel would profit….what with the fact he won in a Torro Rosso when it was better than RB for the only time in it’s history and has done nothing before or since or when he did lose to a team mate at RB the car was not capable of a championship. Heaven forbid he wins with Ferrari in under 5 years when Alonso could not it would make his luck ridiculous.

        1. I think there will never be another MS/Ferrari scenario and anyone who suggests it is really shading what went into that effort. Never has more money and resources been thrown at one driver on one team to end a WDC drought. Unlimited spending and testing, a designer car because his teammates were under contract to not compete against him, and eventually designer tires for said designer car. Anybody that thinks MS didn’t have unprecedented help compiling his numbers hasn’t got a clue and shouldn’t be flippantly suggesting all it takes is a ‘Schumacher’ when it took an awful lot more than that for him to amass the numbers he did. Not to mention that scenario robbed us of racing between the teammates and caused rule changes when everyone saw that the predictability of only one driver from one dominant team winning was not good for viewership. Many became disgusted by it, taking Austria 02 as the most extreme example.

    14. Surely after the design issues of the ferrari last year they cant help but improve enormously. From what I understood the engine designers were compromised by the chassis/aero designers. Why? Madness! Who would possibly want to be a customer of their engine? As such this year you’d expect that the engine team gave the finger to the chassis team, said here, this is the most powerful efficient internal explosion device we can make, now bolt some wheels onto it. And the law of diminishing returns always suggests that teams will catch merc faster than they can pull away. Merc could be at 90% theoretical max, which means the rest at early 80%.

    15. @keithcollantine
      You might find this an interesting warning on the perils of moving away from terrestrial TV http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/boxing/31133135

      1. @george

        Great link

        Just change a few words to”F1″ and it’s written about Bernies show,

        I can’t help but think (guess) that Foxtel’s F1 viewership is counted by those subscribing to a sports service,
        I admit I don’t have Foxtel so have no idea how it’s rating F1 viewers ,
        I also just want to state I’m in Australia so when half(?) the races get switched to pay view those are the ones I will miss out on live, and I’ve been watching live since the 80’s ,

        A quick look at Foxtel prices indicate I may be able to get a service for $50 a month plus equipment and install, that’s to much for ten(?) races
        With 4 young kids, that’s a lot of school shoes and clothes from Target ,

        Also ,(just one more)
        Good point about superstars and tv viewership

        How many people would know of Dan Ric without Tens (tv) coverage ?

    16. I am loving the look of the cars this year. The shot of the Lotus above is stunning!

    17. Re: COTD

      Quite excited by going to the Formula E this year. But IMMENSELY frustrated by not knowing when the tickets will be released, how much they will be or where they are. Does anyone know any more about this?

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