Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Ferrari should discuss Raikkonen form – Marchionne

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In the round-up: Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne suggests the team should discuss the recent form of Kimi Raikkonen.

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Reader LuffieldOfDreams is really enjoying the new season so far – particularly how the drivers seem to be enjoying themselves again.

Can I just say how much I’ve enjoyed the added ‘joy’ there’s been in the first two races of this season?

Maybe it’s Liberty or the new rules or just drivers all taking chill pills over the winter, but everyone just seems to be enjoying themselves so much more than over the last couple of seasons.

Hamilton and Vettel laughing and joking on the podium, Chinese fans being in great voice all weekend despite the fog-out on Friday – even Kimi cracked a smile in the press conference! It’s just really nice to see everyone just enjoying being a part of Formula 1 again.

I have felt that over the last few years a kind of cynical shadow has begun to creep into the sport and I’ve noticed it especially online on Twitter and Facebook and popular F1 YouTubers doing rage videos and then we have had podiums with all three drivers looking really sad and frustrated about different things and it just really doesn’t feel right.

But after a race like today we have so many good vibe stories and I’m just so happy to see that joy back into my favourite sport.

So yeah, I hope you all enjoyed that race as much as I did and are looking forward to Bahrain as much as I am!
LuffieldOfDreams

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  • 109 comments on “Ferrari should discuss Raikkonen form – Marchionne”

    1. Räikkönen needs to get a move on if he wants to stick around in F1 never mind with Ferrari, Vettel has been comfortably quicker than him during the first two races.

      1. I know its only been two races but lets assume Raikkonen does not get back to at least the latter half of last year’s form, Vettel would effectively be their no.1 driver (if he is not already) but I think Ferrari will still hold on to him till the end of the season as long as he does not start costing them the constructors championship. Even if he does, who can they realistically replace him with, without it being so much of a gamble?

        I would suggest pay Red Bull for Sainz but I assume that would come at a hefty price. I reckon this is Kimi’s last year (I know some said this is in 2014/15) but it will almost definitely happen if he does not get near to Vettel’s pace.

        1. @khanistanf1 I can’t see who would replace him either. I think Sainz is too young for Ferrari, who have always preferred a more experienced driver. Grosjean would be, in my opinion, the best option, and they may be able to negotiate on that with Haas, however he might struggle with the move mid-season.

          The only person on the grid I can think of who would be ready to make such a move mid-season is the one man who they probably sadly wouldn’t want back. I’m referring, of course, to the man whose car is so bad that running in 6th is an achievement.

          1. +1 Agree with you there, love to see it but Alonso sadly won’t happen. Grosjean or Perez to step up from midfield, i’d favour Grosjean.

        2. @khanistanf1, I really don’t think Ferrari’s going to replace Kimi mid-season. Plus, the under-performing Kimi won’t perform that bad, most likely. But it’d be a massive surprise if Ferrari retains him after this season.

          Sainz is highly rated among the grid, for his age. He’s also got a contract that’s expensive to void. But Ferrari is most likely to get someone more experienced. My guess would be Grosjean or Perez, as other comments say. It’s not like there’s no better option than them, but these two are the best among the potentially available ones from next season.

          1. Plus, the under-performing Kimi won’t perform that bad

            As much as I like the enigma KR, he did cause Ferrari to lose the WCC lead yesterday.
            @praxis

            1. how would he cause them to loose..everyone is bashing kimi for no reason… his car was handling massively bad and their strategy was flawed to keep him out while redbulls had pitted. Team messed up again just like they did in last year many time…Even christen horner was surprised at Ferrari strategy :
              “At this stage in the race Ferrari and Mercedes were talking about going to the end and then obviously Sebastian triggered it with his stop, Lewis covered it. What didn’t appear to make any sense was why they left Kimi [Raikkonen] that long [on the first set of softs], because he sort of ended up in no-man’s land. To get our car ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes is a good day’s work. Solid pit work, good strategy, good racing from the drivers. I think that was the maximum we could get from it.”

            2. @salmantg
              Kimi ’caused Ferrari to lose the WCC lead’ by letting Ricciardo pass him on lap 1, and then Verstappen a few laps later.
              He also could not get past Ricciardo, whereas Vettel in the same car was able to do so quickly.

              It is time for Kimi to ‘loose’ (set free) his Ferrari, and join the fight at the sharp end.

      2. My crazy theory is that they will keep Räikkönen for the season and sign Rosberg for 2018. Nico will miss the F1 circus but not Hamilton.

        1. This is not entirely inconcievable, but the possibility is low.

          What about Ricciardo going to Ferrari next year?

          1. I’m sure Grosjean would try shoulder barging his way in.

        2. @dc not completely impossible, but I genuinely believe Rosberg is done with F1 now. He’s achieved what he wanted to and I can’t see him coming back

      3. Raikkonen to McLaren 2018?

        1. I think he will do some rallies or nascar instead of driving for team that can’t win.

          1. He probably wouldn’t win in a winning team either as he wouldn’t beat his team mate.
            No idea what Kimi Mr Charisma Raikonen is still doing in F1 – should have been replaced at Ferrari many years ago – he can hardly speak English, actually he can hardly speak at all.
            Bianchi should have been given the drive, would have saved wasted millions and probably would have saved Bianchi’s life.

      4. So the guys back at the office are strutting about like peacocks after two races and nit picking when they’ve been letting their drivers down for three years.

        1. Typical ferrari then?

    2. Even though I agree we need to look at kimis form. Because other than last year his form hasn’t really been worthy of a Ferrari drive. But for Marchionne to call him out is disrespectful to Kimi. Do it behind close doors. It especially disrespectful because it’s the top boss, maybe Kimi should ask Marchionne why Ferrari haven’t made a competitive car for 10 years.

      1. @jamiejay995 +1, I don’t approve of him publicly saying it, especially before they have actually talked to him.

        There is, of course, no doubting that his form needs to be reviewed. It was embarrassing today, for both Kimi and Ferrari. I just made a similar comment on another article saying that unless he had some bad setup issue, I cannot see any reason why he didn’t make any overtaking attempts. Vettel managed within a few laps, so it seems Kimi’s old form is long gone.

        Last year he was fast in the later part of the season, which really saved his drive, but he needs to carry that on immediately. Ferrari may well have a shot at the constructor’s championship this year, and it’s no good if Raikkonen’s two or three places further back. It’s even more crucial to capitalise now while Bottas and Red Bull are still getting up to speed.

        1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
          10th April 2017, 1:26

          @strontium and to add up to your idea, when Kimi was strong at the end of 2016 you could see Vettel’s frustrations also helped to make Kimi look more balanced, more in his environment. But it seems to me Seb hired a good psychologist or therapist during winter because he looks more focused than ever. And obviously the car looks on par with Mercedes, at least during races.

          1. “a good psychiatrist” : I believe it’s called a race winning car :)

          2. The therapist is called Gina!

      2. I agree, maybe Kimi does deserve a reprimand, but this is one sided. I don’t recall ever hearing Kimi criticising Ferrari, yet here we have the head of Fiat-Chrysler using his position and media comment privileges to criticise an expert driver over one race, when Kimi doesn’t have the same right of reply.
        Just because Kimi couldn’t pass Ricciardo, and then when Vettel tried he could doesn’t mean Kimi couldn’t have as well if he’d stayed in the front position, it simply means Vettel managed to pass Ricciardo when he did. Kimi had repeatedly complained there was a problem with the performance of his car, so how would Vettel have faired if his car had the same problem?
        The racing this year is different from last year, so the tactics and strategies from last year won’t work, we saw that at Melbourne. It will take a little while for the teams and drivers to get used to the new tactics and strategies required to win a race.

        1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
          10th April 2017, 11:22

          Im sorry but Kimi is employed by Ferrari and not the other way around. They have the right to question him and he does not have the right to question them, that’s how it works.

          1. Not correct. Team messed up his car and strategy … its a team support .. Even Christen horner was surprised why they kept kimi out for so long as it played into their hands.. Kimi was easily gona be third if they had pitted him early ” “At this stage in the race Ferrari and Mercedes were talking about going to the end and then obviously Sebastian triggered it with his stop, Lewis covered it. What didn’t appear to make any sense was why they left Kimi [Raikkonen] that long [on the first set of softs], because he sort of ended up in no-man’s land. To get our car ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes is a good day’s work. Solid pit work, good strategy, good racing from the drivers. I think that was the maximum we could get from it.”

          2. @offdutyrockstar just because someone is an employee, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a right to question their boss. Sometimes it’s needed to help the organisation as a whole.

            Ferrari certainly were partly at fault with their strategy

            1. F Kobayashi (@)
              10th April 2017, 21:16

              Kimi doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this instance, he was unable to do anything about Daniel, was embarrassed by Vettel and moaned the entire race about supposed technical issues which, as far as the feedback from the team suggests, did not exist.

              The Kimfosi have been beating the drum that the iceman is back for years now and while there are certainly flashes of form, he has long since melted.

      3. He wasn’t great in Australia, but if he did have a deployment issue or whatever it was in his car in China, then he did pretty well to keep ahead of Bottas and finish just behind the Red Bull’s.

        1. And given that the team seemed to leave him hanging out to dry with the tyres, probably risking him dropping down even further, I rather feel that it was Kimi who was wronged this race than him somehow not being up to it.

          He certainly is not performing at Vettels level but does get a points result, despite the team clearly not paying too much attention to optimising his race strategy only too often. And wasn’t being a solid man in the other seat exactly what Ferrari signed him up for?

          1. If Ferrari hadn’t left Raikkonen out 10 laps too long he would have easily finished on the podium and nobody would be talking about his lack of form.

            This is on Ferrari.

            1. +10 Ferrari bosses are hiding behind kimi ..putting blame on him rather checking there strategy..redbull boss was equally surprised by their strategy and said they left kimi in no mans land.. I hope Ferrari loose again and redbull out smart them both on races and on development..they favor seb and mess up kimi..they forget who got the the WDC after shumi…no respect

      4. @jamiejay995 – I like them talking openly about it but I agree, it shouldn’t be one sided. What Marchionne has just done is to effectively say to Kimi “you can say whatever you want about the team now.”

        As this is likely Kimi’s last year, I imagine he won’t hold back.

      5. I think there are not too many here who would disagree that Ferrari should have a look at Kimi’s performance. But then, since it has been much the same for the last 3 years (although he did show a short resurgence in the last season), why on earth did Sergio sign him again and again.

        They know Kimi perfectly well. They know exactly what he wants from a car to perform to the best of his abilities. Either the team should go with that, and give him the car he wants, or shouldn’t act surprised when he doesn’t do better. Or instead they could have signed a different driver, who was more willing to push for success, instead of settling for driving at a high level as support driver for Sebastian.

        1. He signed him again because Vettel likes him and knows he can beat him. Ferrari doesn’t want displease vettel.
          Next year will be tricky for Red – they will look for a driver who is good but can’t beat Vettel – much like the Hamilton situation.

          1. Off course they did Luke. That is why I feel Ferrari management should look at their own choices rather than looking at the driver and his performance, because i didn’t see kimi do anything clearly better or worse than he has been doing recently

    3. Neil (@neilosjames)
      10th April 2017, 0:41

      Giving out reprimands – three of which equal a 10-place grid penalty, if two were for driving offences – for failing to be on time for the utterly pointless, disruptive national anthem ceremony is really, really, really not good.

      Be nice if someone could quietly remove that particular requirement from the Sporting Regulations next time they’re addressed.

      1. Everyone must respect the anthem of their host. It is common courtesy.

        1. No, it’s fascism.

        2. Neil (@neilosjames)
          10th April 2017, 7:49

          Maybe so, but I don’t believe being late for something like that should ever have the potential to lead to a race-ruining penalty.

          Beside, they managed to respect the anthems just fine in the past, chilling around their cars (where they want to be) before Bernie decided to pander to his favourite Crimea thief, made them all go stand at the front and set a precedent that we somehow ended up stuck with.

          1. It wasn’t because of Russia they changed the code. Football players don’t wait in the dressing room when anthems are played. What do you know about Crimea

            1. Why was it changed then? Not sure how it’s relevant, but I’m aware of a few things about Crimea.

          2. Maybe so, but I don’t believe being late for something like that should ever have the potential to lead to a race-ruining penalty.

            It won’t lead to a race-ruining penalty! @neilosjames
            Or at least not on it’s own, even if missing all 20 anthems.

            There will only be a grid penalty if “at least two of the reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement”, which these reprimands are not!

            1. Yes it will. 3 reprimands is a grid penalty, no?

              Anyway, I do think drivers should be present for the anthem (much like international football games, it’s just a nice tradition) but I don’t think missing it should intervere with the racing through reprimands. I think a fine should be enough.

            2. I know, my original post said that (about the two out of three thing). What bothers me is that missing the anthem could, in any way, ruin a driver’s race. Which it certainly could.

      2. It’s considered equally important to the press conferences in that it’s a PR/marketing bit for F1 – the FIA found out some time ago that the only way to get some people to turn up promptly for the PR/marketing stuff was to attach a sporting penalty because the richer non-PR-interested drivers would simply show up when they wanted to do so.

        The whole “standing for the anthem in one nonchalent line” bit is silly, but lots of other sports do it in close proximity to their competition start times. I just wish they’d do it at the start of the competition like they do (i.e. Friday, just before FP1) instead of waiting until 80% of the weekend is done, because it makes the mandatory anthem feel like a token gesture meant to appease the circuit owners instead of a genuine sign of respect for them and their nations. (They could still re-play the anthem just before the race, and even require the competitors to stand respectfully wherever they happened to be at the time. But the full formalities belong to the start of the competition, not a stage well beyond the mid-point).

        1. I think you have a point. But F1 is the main event and fir TV too, I guess this is the best compromise.

        2. I don’t like this anthem garbage at the start at all – the only anthems I want to hear are for the winners! However, I have got a cunning plan to make use of it…

          For the anthem, the grid is cleared. All the drivers stand in front of their cars, and as the last note of the anthem plays, the lights go green, and the drivers have to run to their cars, get strapped in, start their engines and then they can go. Spice things up a bit ;).

          We’d have to make the cars self starting, but that’s surely not impossible?

          (Please don’t tell me why this is silly. It’s just a joke).

    4. Overall a pretty great race! Even my non-race-fan friends took their time out from medical school with me at 2am to watch, which is really saying something. Will they be eventual converts? Who knows, but the combo of Vertsappen’s heroics and these meannnnnn looking cars were enough to draw and keep their attention. We’re also in Grenada here, where Hamilton claims some heritage, and the locals are slowly but surely getting into the action too. My gut says that if these sort of things are happening, it bodes very well for the sport.

      1. Greetings! It’s hard to find or make fellow F1 fans in the U.S. (or Canada?) haha!

        1. I agree Raph, pretty tough (I’m from the U.S.), but the best we can do is draw attention to the positives and share the good vibes! Hopefully FOM will help us out a bit too hahah

    5. What a great way for Sainz to put himself out there today. I love it when a driver takes a risk like that. It’s easy for fans to understand strategy like that, and fun to watch the driver work through it
      Great drive.

      1. I’m a fan of Sainz, and there is no disagreement that he had a great race good race finishing “P1 of the rest” as he put it, but did anyone else see the replay of his start? I had second-hand embarrassment watching him getting left behind at the start, running wide at turn 1, and then pinging off the wall as he spun his way through the turn 2-3-4 complex. I think the camera cut away to save him a slice of dignity. I haven’t been able to find it in any replay clips either.

        1. To be honest I think the camera cut away because the director hadn’t realised that he was about to clip the wall.

          That said, it can be said that trying to spin back around is hard in the wet. It must be so easy to over spin and go around again, especially in new cars and unknown conditions. That’s probably why he took a wide line on the grass. The onboard of Bottas’ spin (which I don’t think was played on the live feed but was uploaded to YouTube) showed how slippery the grass was. When Bottas tried to correct himself on the grass, he just basically pirouetted. I think Sainz went onto the grass and just slid towards the wall. Very lucky to still be in the race afterwards.

        2. @eriko Yes I got that impression. Carlos Sainz jr as the snr likes to laud his own achievements, Kvyat has been looking strong and all of the sudden because of this end result, his banging his own pipes all over us.

          1. What happened to Kvyat though? They showed a glimpse of him sitting in the car by the tire wall and that was it – no mention or replay.

            1. @zimkazimka, Kvyat seems to be listed as having retired due to a hydraulics failure.

            2. Kvyat, suffered from hydraulic issues until everything stopped. He always seem to suffer most of the team’s reliability woes.

        3. Well to be fair he was the only one on Slicks, so it was a calculated risk which turned out to be just the right decision to end up where he did, and after that he drove very well

        4. Neil (@neilosjames)
          10th April 2017, 7:41

          If it helps the replay search, Sainz didn’t hit the wall on the first lap. The brief replay on TV didn’t say when it happened, and the commentators on Sky seemed to think it had happened on Lap 1 too, but I noticed there was a McLaren behind him on the track when it happened. So I’m 99% sure it happened somewhere around Lap 6, which explains how Alonso (it must have been his McLaren) was able to pass Sainz despite the Safety Car being out on track at the time.

        5. Carlos Sainz’s first lap was the worst first lap I ever saw not to result in a DNF or damage to anyone else’s car. After I saw the “highlights” of it, I was astonished he finished, let alone ahead of several drivers who had trouble-free runs!

    6. Hamilton and Vettel laughing and joking on the podium

      COTD are you new? These are the first races. Wait until they’re “really” fighting for the championship. Every year is the same, new rules have nothing to do here. And Vettel is obviously enjoying his first podiums in ages.

      1. Poor form to disparage another commentator just because you don’t agree.

      2. On top of what @maciek mentions (I agree, not great form at all), you might want to check up on things before you make such a statement @esteban.

        In the last couple of years we really haven’t seen even the podium finishers telling themselves how they enjoyed the race etc at all that many occasions. Instead we heard about saving fuel, saving tyres, stewards desicions, team orders, engines playing up, struggling with SW settings, radio messages etc.

        I think it IS significant that the drivers seem to enjoy driving these cars a lot more than they have been doing the last few years. And if the competition is a hard, tough, but ultimately fair fight, I don’t really think either Lewis or Vettel (nor Verstappen, Ricciardo or say Bottas) will have much reason to not enjoy where they are.

        1. Yeah I agree although @esteban isn’t wrong – as soon as Vettel and Hamilton put each other out of a race, things will change pretty quickly!

          Vettel is smiling because he can actually fight for the title this year and Hamilton is smiling because the battle will be against another team. He won’t have his main competitor copying him and the team deciding who wins races (I’m not saying that happened but it’s something Lewis blamed his losses on)

      3. @esteban @bascb @petebaldwin – Vettel is in a good mood because (for now) the Ferrari isn’t as far behind as recent years and they are doing well, and Hamilton is in a good mood because he still has the best car overall and (sadly) no one to challenge him from the other side of the garage. The COTD is a bit ‘pie in the sky’ in my opinion. Yes, I think we all hope that Vettel and Hamilton are close all season and it’s a real fight, but 1) we aren’t there yet, let’s wait a bit and see, and 2) it should really be at least 4 cars (Mercs and Ferraris) in the fight.

        1. I rather expect Ferrari to lose contact gradually during the season @hobo. And hopefully Red Bull to get closer to make it less of a battle of Hamilton against himself (Bottas might still find a groove and challenge him a few races, but probably not enough to ever feel like a genuine competitor for Lewis)

          1. I am assuming very similarly, @bascb. Everything is great when everyone is having a good time. But let one of the teams lose an engine or two, let Ferrari fall back, or let Red Bull miss out on being competitive this season and we’ll see how jovial everyone is to see Hamilton run away with it again.

            I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m hoping for a good fight this year. I’m just not counting those chickens quite yet.

      1. “He talked too much”.

        1. Yes :) but they are not just stating the same in the way autosport does in that article thats what im saying.
          Although as i stated below they should really think long and hard whether kimi can deliver now or not, if not i expect them to take a risk and pair seb with carlos so that they can have a long term strong driver

    7. Overall i think if Kimi cant stand up he should be replaced, he has to overtake if he got stuck simple as that if he cant overtake the cars ahead he cant get points ferrari wanted. Also the strategy has to be better as well but in hindsight they wanted him to go to end which he couldn’t so they changed it to another stop with few laps later which is what the issue is with the Ferrari strategy team. Although the Big Point is Kimi has to make sure that he feels comfortable in all areas and all conditions this might be decided on which finn makes least mistakes.

    8. I’m completely with COTD. You sense that Vettel and Hamilton are enjoying their challenge, their rivalry. The podium yesterday was excellent, full of honest praise for themselves and Verstappen. It was less tense and terse than in previous seasons. Bernie is gone, the cars are a challenge again and you feel that this season will be the first since 2012 where talent is the decisive factor in who will be world champion. Lovely.

    9. I’m totally down with the COTD from LuffieldofDreams (great name!), I can’t also sense that intangible positivity when tuning in and it is SUCH a nice refreshing change. Long may it last, here’s hoping.

    10. Curious thing about the overtaking at Turn 6 rather than Turn 14 is that we may see more overtaking in future races based on the shape of the tight corners, not on DRS placement.

      Because of the much shorter braking distances with 2017 cars, the only way to make a move and have it stick is the have a tight corner where the driver can move the braking into and maybe even past the apex of the corner (T6).

      Corners where drivers have to do all of their braking before turning (T14) in will provide no result as there is only one braking line and cars are not able to pull up beside one another after DRS.

      The type of corners I am thinking of as being beneficial to overtaking are Turn 10 hairpin in Canada, Turn 1 at Hungary and 1st & last corners at Sepang.

      Even this weekend, I expect more moves into T4 rather than T1 of Bahrain.

      1. @kazinho I love T4 in Bahrain, especially because you can take different lines on exit and battle on traction towards the sweeping T5 & T6.

        The following sharp and slow T7 is a bit like T4 at Shanghai so if you are right in terms of breaking/steering we might see great action through that section next sunday.

    11. I am not sure of the Kimi hate here. He did badly in Melbourne (although he did complain about the car setup there as well) but in China he was only .27 lesser than Vettel in qualifying (if I am not wrong). He is significantly older and generally reserves his best for the race. Vettel is one of the fastest out there when he is on song. So it is normal for him to be slower than Vettel in qualifying.

      He was complaining throughout the time he was behind Ricciardo about losing torque and there must be some weight to it. His second pitstop was significantly delayed for reasons unknown to me. Ferrari need to get him comfortable in the car. I am sure he will be fine if he has a car that does what he says.

      He did well in Bahrain in 2015 and I am hoping for a similar result from him this time around as well.

      And Ferrari need to adopt the switch back if you can’t overtake policy. They wasted a golden chance to get Vettel further ahead in short time. They either do extreme team order or none.

      1. @evered7
        I’m a Kimi fan for nearly 15 years running, but….
        There’s no Kimi hate in this comment thread. Also, neither Arrivabene or Marchionne’s actual interview suggests the same.

        He is significantly older and generally reserves his best for the race. Vettel is one of the fastest out there when he is on song. So it is normal for him to be slower than Vettel in qualifying.

        Funny thing is, I’ve made same argument for a while now. But let’s be realistic, this ins’t Kimi in his McLaren days. And a front-running team can’t afford under performing driver in a good car for years in a row. Specially when he was paired with Alonso, it was painful to watch him getting comfortably beaten throughout the season. Since his return I’ve rejoiced his accomplishment bit too hungrily. And found excuses & justifications when he kept under-performing. Ferrari really needs to replace his from next season, a few worthy drivers are going to be available for that seat.

        Anyway, read up on this article from motorsport magazine online, if you have the time: Kimi: is he worth it?

        “I believe that if Robert Kubica had still been there for those cars, he would have won at least one world title,” said Mercedes’ Toto Wolff in 2013.

        Having said all of that, I’m still a fan. But it’s not pleasant to see him as 2nd best for last few years.

        1. @praxis as a fellow kimi fan since 2002,…. that article was weirdly soothing :D And also kinda consistent with the feeling he just can’t be bothered at times since 08.

          1. Yeah, that’s the great Mark Hughes. Written coverage of Motorsports don’t usually have the literary journalism compared to….let’s say cricket.

        2. @praxis I am not talking of this thread exactly. It started from the time qualifying was over. Check the comments on the China starting grid post.

          He is not in his prime and Ferrari would have done well to do the switcheroo to get Vettel in front for a few laps to get a shot at Ricciardo. Rather, they let Kimi hold Vettel back.

          I am asking Ferrari to manage their expectations with Kimi rather than expecting him to match Vettel turn for turn.

          Getting him comfortable in the car would be a start.

          And I haven’t seen any driver consistent enough to replace Kimi on the grid. Perez might be one, maybe.

          1. @evered7
            I agree that Ferrari have been doing badly in the strategy front for last few years. Kimi often seems to get the short-end of it.

            But, about giving him the car he can deliver with, I don’t agree with it. That isn’t really about giving him a “fast car”, more about setting & building one according to the preference of an under-performing driver. Let’s face it, Kimi isn’t that good enough to maximise a car’s potential anymore.

            Yeah, Perez is probably better suited than Romain Grosjean.

    12. Have we considered Marchionne doing the Mourinho here? Deviating attention away from the players, in this case the Ferrari strategy team, by making the press discuss the referees or coaches or surface etc, in this case Kimi. Ferrari have made some shocking cars out of the box recently, both aerodynamically and with the power unit. Their development in season has also lacked where they tend to abandon the campaign early to focus on the following year.

      Normally, or certainly under Domenicalli, Ferrari maximised results with great strategy and pit stops which tended promote their cars into the Whitmarsh McLaren battles seemingly without the same outright pace. Yesterday Ferrari called it wrong again by being too conservative and it has been a theme under Arrivabene. I wonder if Marchionne has thought that blaming the unflappable, experienced, popular driver will divert attention from the main issues likely to derail the Ferrari championship bid: development and strategy.

      Of course, Kimi is not without blame. I can’t remember the last time he genuinely went for a mid 2000s Raikkonen overtake since he partnered Grosjean during his crashing period. Verstappen’s win in Spain was the real alarm bell. He made contact with Bottas in Russia the previous year and got it wrong and I felt he settled for second that day. I couldn’t help think there are at least 8 drivers on the grid who would have attempted the pass that afternoon.

      In China he struggled with the front. I remember reading an article by Martin Brundle in F1 racing about a decade ago saying, “I understand why Kimi hates turn in understeer because I used to hate turn in oversteer” and have always seen Kimi try to get his set-up to reflect this. Likewise China is one of the few massively front limited tracks and Ferrari should have heard the word “front” with 25 to go and boxed him.

      I don’t think Kimi is finished as a driver but he needs greater consistency. His performances before signing the contract were insufficient and he should have been replaced. However, if I were Ferrari the driver I would be looking at would be Sainz. He would offer a reluctant second fiddle who could step up if Vettel moves to Mercedes in the future. Grosjean and Perez won’t offer that luxury.

      Perhaps, Sergio has been The Master of team management and is playing the long game ;)

      1. @rbalonso If you’re right and Marchione is indeed trying to keep his strategy team out of the firingline by throwing Kimi under the bus I think that would be poor teammanagement.

        Ferrari cost Raikkonen the podium by leaving him out too long. Strategists and the computer algorithems they use can be replaced/improved more easily than racing talent in this equation imho.

        1. @jeffreyj It’s all a question of perspective. Personally, I feel that Kimi is unlikely to make scathing statements about the team but will sharpen his focus. If that results in a stronger Raikkonen then the statement has achieved something. If he continues to be well off the pace for the 3rd consecutive round then Marchionne taps into the popular belief that the team could do with fresh blood. I agree Ferrari cost him a podium but I don’t think he’s been on par with Vettel in any session this season and I attribute that to Vettel’s change of mindset as much as Raikkonen’s age.

          I guess it comes down to what percentage of a result you believe is strategy and what is driver talent. In my mind they are even and therefore you are as likely to improve the result by employing a new driver as you are a new strategy team. I say that as I believe it is better to be on the right piece of track at the right time than having greater pace with nowhere to use it. Hamilton at Monaco 2015 being a classic example. I’d rather have my driver on the right tyres in clear air than not so whilst strategy can cost you results it can make them too. Gaining 3 seconds on an equal driver through the pit stops under this regulation set is much more likely to come through strategy.

    13. As for this national anthem business, I hear cries that we shouldn’t be honouring dictators or places with poor human rights and I agree with them. But how many of you can say you agree with every decision your government has made in the last 50 years. I’d hope no-one.

      Formula 1 is a sport and should be there to alleviate stress and entertain trackside. It is a common courtesy to be at the anthem on time to show respect to the fans who have paid their wages to see you. I like the anthem, I find it brings the drivers together next to each other in the final minutes before they go out risking their lives.

      If you have an argument against the countries we visit, bring it up in the negotiation stage, ask media outlets to pursue Chase Carey on why we are there and boycott watching the race. Don’t wait til a driver is 30 seconds late for the anthem because he’s trying to work out whether or not to go onto slicks and make it into a political statement about what’s wrong with the world.

    14. It’s easy for Vettel and hamilton to be happy. There is no treat from their teammate and they have a race winning car.

      I also don’t know why they publically call out Kimi after 2 races, while they haven’t sorted out his car or strategy. Marchionne is already piling up the pressure, while most of us appreciate that ferrari has done a great job, but Mercedes is a tough cookie and RB can’t be disregarded as the season progresses. I would not be surprised if marchionne makes unrealistic demands which would cause a stress induced meltdown in the middle of the season

    15. “He appears to have an almost sixth sense in the wet. He doesn’t seem intimidated by it in any way, and is prepared to explore all the boundaries of the circuit available to find where the grip is.”

      Including the AstroTurf but turns out there was none out there.

      1. Not for him anayway. I’ve seen Sainz, Palmer, Hulkenberg and Bottas spin on their own though and most drivers were struggling on the brakes and with traction on corner exits in the early stages, whilst Verstappen seemed to be simply better in those areas.

    16. Kimi one is pretty straightforward.. I say steal Verstappen. Or Seinz… Kimi just hasn’t shown proper racing aggression in ages. They need another Vettel.

      If they want WCC, They need their drivers to be on average better than Mercedes guys… Maybe hire Nico Rosberg…

    17. One has to question the wisdom of airing this out in public. RAI is clearly still very talented and the question is more how the team could ensure he has the car to his liking. The case of setups not completely in synch across the garages should be considered since it could very well be the difference between first and second place in the WCC in what promises to be a close-run championship.

    18. I may have missed it but I didn’t see much chatter about the Sky article where Hamilton says Alonso won’t be coming to Mercedes next year and lavishing praise on how great it is with Bottas. I’m not anti-Hamilton, and I can see how drivers seem to like having mellow Finns on the team (see: VET cool with RAI). And I can also appreciate Hamilton not throwing Bottas under the bus at this point or calling his drives poor. But I think we can call this for what it is; Hamilton enjoys having no competition internally for the first time in years and wants that to continue.

      If Ferrari develop at the same pace as Merc, Hamilton still only has to beat Vettel. And if Ferrari falls behind, Hamilton has a cakewalk to a title. Had Rosberg stayed, or if Bottas was more competitive, Hamilton would have to beat two drivers in a development war, and would still be challenged even if Merc pulls away.

      I get that Hamilton wants a fight with someone besides Rosberg, someone besides a teammate. But I think it is less interesting, less fun, and less in-tune with Senna to want a lesser driver as a teammate. I find it more fun and more exciting to really do my best and compete against others at the top of their game, win or lose, than to beat those who are not at the same level (due to equipment, experience, or capability). I hope Merc brings Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo, someone at a very high level into the team.

      McLaren brought Senna in with Prost; later, they brought Hamilton in with Alonso. Maybe a more direct comparison would be for Merc to bring in a younger talent like Verstappen or some other lightning in a bottle, rather than a veteran. But the fact remains, Hamilton and his hero both got to where they were because a team with a multiple world champ allowed another talent to join the team alongside. Imagine if Prost or Alonso had said, “No!” Even though I’m a huge Schumacher fan and loved his battles with others, his iron-clad No 1 status within the team was always artificial. If Hamilton made it clear that he was happy for Merc to chase the best driver available to fill the seat he would still get to have a challenge (which he says he wants but I’m not so sure he really wants). And if he beat Alonso or Vettel in the same car, he would stamp his authority on this generation of F1 drivers.

      1. To be clear, I invoked Senna here, because Hamilton often has, because Senna is his hero, and because there are some career similarities.

        1. @hobo I think for now any criticism against VB is premature. Of course he is less competitive for now. He has had two races with the team so far, and he is only in a competitive podium car for two races so far too. He may be challenging LH before too long for all we know. And it seems LH is expecting that, such are his praises for VB.

          But for him to talk of Merc beyond 2018 is I think premature too. LH will have nothing to do with driver decisions made by the team. It is still an unknown as to whether or not they’ll retain VB for next year.

          Personally I can see them going for FA and having two WDC’s on the team again, while FA is available and has some time left in his career. Merc are racers after all. They’re not afraid of a rivalry on the team, and I certainly don’t think there is any leftover angst from the previous LH/FA pairing. There might potentially be sparks between them but only of the same kind that is possible with any rivalry. They may want to retain FA so nobody else gets him. If Merc doesn’t win the WDC/WCC this year they may decide they better get two WDC’s for 2018 to develope the car as well as take points away from Ferrari. I will not be one bit surprised to see FA go to Merc for 2018, Bottas back to Williams to replace Massa.

          1. @robbie – I think your word of caution against criticism is fair. Bottas may yet turn up the wick and prove a good challenge. I don’t think it will happen this year though, and he may (or may not) only get the one season. I feel like talented drivers tend to have something that indicates their abilities. Sometimes that’s an astonishing long run during practice, or a blistering qualifying performance, or a great race (whatever that may mean on a particular day). Bottas hasn’t shown that this year, and to think of it, not much recently prior to that. I hope he can push Hamilton, but even if it were to happen in the second half of this year, it would be too late.

            And I hope Merc hires a big talent next year alongside Hamilton as that would be great to see. I’d prefer Vettel but he may want to stay at a resurgent Ferrari (if they remain close) so maybe a Ricciardo or Alonso from a team that is off form or way, way off form. We’ll see.

          2. You write “LH will have nothing to do with driver decisions made by the team” when just today he stated Alonso would not be his teammate in the future.
            Do you really believe he wasn’t influential in the Bottas selection? He made statements to the media as who he thought would be “disruptive.”
            There isn’t a snowballs chance in hell Merc would hire Alonso if Hamilton doesn’t want it to happen.
            Merc works for Hamilton…

            1. @Henry Doubt it. He spent last year accusing Merc of conspiring against him by swapping crews and favouring Nico. They gave him a team order in the last 2016 race. He may have his opinion of course but he certainly doesn’t have final say if any as to who his teammate will be. Anything can happen. They might even take FA next year while they can get him, and not re-sign LH. That way they’ll only have one season of dealing with any rivalry issues. If I were TW that’s what I would do. Massive headlines…massive marketing for Merc. A little friction thrown into the mix and cha-ching, cha-ching. FA and someone else after 2018.

      2. Hamilton doesn’t want a challenge from his teammate. He must have ranted on about being up for anything, but there were interviews where he made it clear that he didn’t want Alonso in the team.
        So, the fact that he’s heaping praises on Bottas comes as no surprise. The only other time he’s praised another teammate as much was in 2008 when Heikki was his teammate.
        It would be absolutely fantastic if Bottas lost them the WCC though, as it would put some serious pressure on Wolff to hire another Tier 1 driver.

        1. Lol if SV is the car to beat under normal circumstances on Sunday’s it will be Merc that will have lost the WCC not LH and VB.

    19. Go home Kimi and thanks for your great races.
      Welcome to Ferrari, Sergio Perez.
      (Next year).

    20. Right it might be controversial but I have often thought that Kimi is a bit overrated. I know he has quite a big following but I think it’s as much to do with his unique personality as his driving. I think he’s now beginning to look past his use by date. Here’s my prediction.

      I think Ferrari will look elsewhere next season. In my view the possible candidates at the moment are: Ricciardo, Sainz, Grosjean, Perez and possibly even Bottas.

      RBR won’t want to let Ricciardo go although for him it will depend how competitive they are this year. He’s an outside possibility. Similar with Sainz to an extent but it will depend if there’s a vacancy at RBR. I suppose Grosjean and Perez are the most likely candidates. Both pretty reliable and could I am sure produce steady results without being sufficiently competitive to really keep Vettel awake at night. The same for Bottas.

      Despite Lewis’ views on the subject, I still think Alonso could get a seat at Merc next year. After all it is widely rumoured (or is it a fact?) that Merc went after him when Rosberg left suddenly. I cannot see Alonso going to Ferrari or RBR so I think Merc is his only hope of one more top drive before his career is over. This would leave Bottas free so he could slot back into Williams or possibly be the ideal replacement for his fellow Finn at Ferrari.

      1. The continual British bias for Lewis Hamilton, although understandable is tiring. To me it is very clear that Hamilton is apprehensive of the possibility of having to compete with Alonso in equal machinery, whereas he thinks he has the wood on Valteri. I long for the day Valteri can go past Hamilton.

        1. Yeah I think VB is owed patience, and I think he is already showing great potential for having only a relatively small number of weeks driving a win-capable car.

          I don’t believe Merc feels they owe LH anything after his attitude last year that at one point caused them to publish a letter defending the whole team after he shaded their integrity with his conspiracy talk. And certainly if indeed LH is right and they favoured Nico, isn’t that about as big a hint as any that he is replaceable? LH threw Merc under the bus last year. Sure they might have worked their way past all of that by now, but I sure won’t be surprised when they hire FA either. They are racers at Merc and they probably think it would be great for F1 if FA had a competitive car for his last number of years in F1, and as most would agree he’s not likely going back to Ferrari, and RBR/Renault is lagging.

        2. To me it is very clear that Hamilton is apprehensive of the possibility of having to compete with Alonso in equal machinery

          @davidkilpatrick
          Okay, I’ll bite. Care to provide evidence of this apprehensiveness?

    21. Red must have a driver in mind who could fill Kimi’s seat and not challenge Vettel. Another Bottas type scenario.

    22. If they don’t want Vettel to be challenged and you don’t think KR will find a way to do that, why would they replace him? And how do you know Bottas won’t become a thorn in LH’s side?

    23. i personal take here is

      1) Ferrari expects Kimi to consistently on podium which we haven’t seen yet.
      2) In Australia, Kimi accepted that he was not comfortable with SF-70H.
      3) Ferrari Engineers should have given priority to make both their drivers comfortable in SF-70H (losing Friday practice had effect on this)
      4) Chineese GP issue is puerly down to the strategy Ferrari chose with kimi, I belive if Kimi had been called in before the results would have been different for both Vettel and Kimi.

    24. i personal take here is

      1) Ferrari expects Kimi to consistently on podium which we haven’t seen yet.
      2) In Australia, Kimi accepted that he was not comfortable with SF-70H.
      3) Ferrari Engineers should have given priority to make both their drivers comfortable in SF-70H (losing Friday practice had effect on this)
      4) Chineese GP issue is purely down to the strategy Ferrari chose with kimi, I believe if Kimi had been called in before the results would have been different for both Vettel and Kimi.

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