FIA Formula One World Championship 2013 - Round 13 - Grand Prix of Singapore - Fernando Alonso - Ferrari F138 - S/N 299 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Circuit Marina Bay Street Circuit – Singapore
Date 21.09.2014
Laps 61
Distance 308,328 km / 191,627 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T Scuderia Ferrari .
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T Scuderia Ferrari .

 

Singapore GP – Into the night

Posted: 16.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula One World Championship 2013 - Round 13 - Grand Prix of Singapore - Fernando Alonso - Ferrari F138 - S/N 299 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 16 September – With the European part of this season consigned to history, it’s time for the Formula 1 circus to leave home and tackle the final six Grands Prix of the season, which involves criss-crossing the globe from the Far East to the West and back to its Middle East finale.

The first of those appointments is at the photogenic and floodlit Marina Bay circuit in Singapore and involves a move away from the tracks where power and top speed are the key factors, as Scuderia Ferrari’s Engineering Director Pat Fry explains. “After the two races in Spa and Monza, run on low downforce circuits, we now go to Singapore which is at completely the other end of the spectrum,” says the Englishman. “It’s a street circuit requiring very high downforce, where we will be running the Soft and Supersoft tyres on a track with similar characteristics to Monaco. There are hardly any high speed corners and only two turns that have combined lateral and longitudinal acceleration and therefore the challenge is more about straight line acceleration and good traction.”

The two standout features of the Singapore weekend are the fact that track action takes place at night and, being in the Tropics, it’s very hot. The former element is something that over the years has proved easy to adapt to, while the heat is tough on drivers, team personnel and the cars. “Even though it’s a night race, the temperatures are still very high, in the high 20s or low 30s, which puts heavy demands on the cooling systems for the engine and the ERS,” says Fry. “In addition, the start-stop nature of the layout puts a high loading on the brake systems, with the front brakes in particular taking a real pounding.”

The characteristics of the 5.065 km street track should be better suited to the F14 T than the fast flowing circuits of the past month. However, nothing can be taken for granted at what is one of the hardest events on the calendar and for the Scuderia crew the motivation to do well is clear. “Monza was a tough weekend for us,” admits Fry. “So now we are regrouping and we will keep pushing forward, concentrating on getting the best out of the package we’ve got.” While the team clearly wants to finish the season as high up the order in the Constructors’ classification, there are other reasons for wanting to push hard to the very end of the year. “At this stage of the season, the focus in the factory is shifting more towards next year’s car,” reveals Fry. “However, there is still quite a lot we can learn from track testing, therefore we will be bringing some specific test components for next year and other developments for the F14 T, which will help our understanding for next year.”

 

GP Singapore: Evening dress required

Posted: 15.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula One World Championship 2013 - Round 13 - Grand Prix of Singapore / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 15 September – The Formula 1 World Championship now leaves Europe and sets sail for Asia. Sunday actually sees the seventh running of the Singapore Grand Prix, round 14 of 19 this season. The race has always been run at the Marina Bay street circuit and its biggest claim to fame is that it is always run at night. The race starts at 8pm, with the track completely floodlit. Scuderia Ferrari can boast one win, two podiums and two poles here.

The win. It came in 2010, when Fernando Alonso dominated the Grand Prix, winning from pole, as well as securing a memorable triple, as he also set the race fastest lap. All race long, the Spaniard had to fend off the attentions of Sebastian Vettel, who never managed to get past, as they crossed the line separated by less than three tenths of a second.

A bitter memory. Singapore is also the scene of a bitter memory for the Scuderia. In 2008, Felipe Massa was leading, having started from pole, but at the refueling stop, he drove away before the mechanics had finished the procedure on the F2008. The Brazilian thus dragged the fuel line behind him and only realised at the end of pit lane. The mechanics had to run the length of the pit lane to get Felipe back in the race and so he could finish no higher than 13th in a race won, somewhat surprisingly, by Fernando Alonso in the Renault.

Long race. The Grand Prix is 61 laps long, equivalent to almost 309 kilometres and the race usually comes very close to the maximum time allowed of two hours. When it comes to the Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso loves this track and has won here twice, while Kimi Raikkonen’s best result is a third place last year.

 

Radio gu-gu, Radio ga-ga

Posted: 12.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Ferrari Formula 1 Steering wheel 2014 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 12 September – During the break between the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix, the FIA announced that instructions the teams give to drivers by radio must be significantly reduced. In fact, the FIA has simply decided to apply a more restrictive interpretation of rule 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations which stipulates that a driver must drive the car “alone and unaided”.

Certain radio communications, as from the Singapore GP, will henceforth be considered as “external assistance”. From what the FIA has indicated, although no precise guidelines exist yet, all information relating to fuel consumption and messages regarding settings and adjustments that could improve car performance will be banned. Currently, drivers make two or three adjustments per lap based on information given to them by the engineers who monitor the situation via telemetry.

In the same vein, engineers will not be able to give information to the drivers about in which corners or sectors they can improve, nor will they be able to give information to the drivers regarding the state of their tyres or what they should do during the formation lap. However, the driver will still be able to have access to some of this information via the LCD display on the steering wheel (although in fact three teams do not have this system) while the FIA will listen in on and record all conversations, being vigilant in checking for any coded messages. A zero-tolerance approach will be applied, with the possibility of a five-second penalty. Among the communications still allowed by the FIA is the message to come in for a pit stop, team orders relating to switching positions between team-mates, warnings relating to any potential hazards on track and information relating to traffic. The Scuderia Ferrari personnel are evaluating the effect of this technical directive relating to radio communications and are analysing the possible scenarios that could occur on track. There are still some uncertainties remaining especially regarding safety matters. Information about brake and tyre wear are among those currently banned but messages on these topics could prevent dangerous incidents. How to proceed? While awaiting further clarification from the FIA, we will only find out on track what effect these new regulations will have on the races…

 

Ferrari Board of Directors: a record first six months

Posted: 11.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Ferrari Factory - Viale Enzo Ferrari

USA remains largest market worldwide and records 13% growth.
Celebrations of Ferrari’s 60th year in America planned in October with both a special event and a special car

Maranello, 11th September – The Ferrari S.p.A. Board of Directors met today under the chairmanship of Luca di Montezemolo to examine the financial results for the first half of 2014.
The figures show growth in all indicators despite the planned reduction in car deliveries.
On June 30th, Ferrari recorded revenues of 1,348.6 million euro (+14.5%) and trading profit reached 185 million euro (+5.2%), both H1 figures completely unprecedented in Ferrari history.
Net income increased by almost 10% to 127.6 million euro too.
The company also set another new record for its net industrial financial position which stood at 1,594 million euro at the end of June even though product investment remains high, while net cash flow for the first half of the year amounted to 236 million euro.
A total of 3,631 homologated cars were delivered, 3.6% fewer than in the same period in 2013.
Significantly, any comparison with H1 2013 must also take into account the fact that the Ferrari California went out of production with deliveries of the new California T beginning only in summer. Added to this was the strategic decision to cut production taken in May 2013. However, an increase of 5% in deliveries is planned by the end of the year.
In Europe, Great Britain remains our largest market with a total of 408 cars delivered, 7 fewer than in the first half of 2013. Notably, as with the first quarter of 2014, deliveries to Italy rose after years of falling: +13% with 131 dispatched to their owners. However, the domestic market remains marginal accounting for only a little over 3% of total volumes.
In the Far East, Ferrari recorded double-figure growth in Japan (+13%, 195 cars) while Australia was up by 7.7% with 56 delivered. Greater China, however, is feeling the impact of the controlled reduction in deliveries to Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China to which a total of 285 cars went compared to 344 in H1 2013.
Results in the USA were excellent too with very brisk growth: 1,062 cars, +13%. 2014 is also a special year there as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the sale of the first Ferrari in the country. “It gives all of us here at Ferrari a sense of great satisfaction to continue to achieve record financial results, particularly given that production was limited. I am sure that in a few months’ time, we will be marking the end of a truly extraordinary and unprecedented year. Sales will also increase by several percentage points to avoid excessively long waiting lists,” declared Luca di Montezemolo, adding: “To celebrate Ferrari’s 60th year in the USA, we have developed a special car of which just 10 examples will be built, in addition to planning a major event in Los Angeles to bring together all our American clients and collectors, and a charity initiative.”
The figures from the company’s Brand activities (licensing, retail, e-commerce) remain positive too. In the retail sector, we are rapidly implementing our new strategy of taking over the direct management of the Ferrari Stores in some of the world’s leading cities. This soundness of this decision has already been confirmed by an increase of 7% in revenues in the directly-managed Stores in the first six months of the year, with the Ferrari Store in Maranello faring best with a figure of over 14%.
On the licencing front, H1 2014 also brought the signing of agreements to commence the building next year of Ferrari Land, a theme park just outside Barcelona, and the launch of our first Oakley sunglasses collection.
Online activities are also faring very well indeed: the Ferrari Facebook page has now broken the 15-million fan barrier and we also launched the site dedicated to the Scuderia in China. The social network channels continued to provide an exceptional insight into the world of Ferrari in the first six months of 2014 too with just under 900,000 people following us on Twitter.

Revenues: 1,348.6 million euro (+14.5%)
Trading profit: 185 million euro (+5.2%)
Net profits: 127.6 million euro (+9.8%)
Record net industrial financial position: 1,594 million euro – an unprecedented result
Homologated cars delivered: 3,631 (- 3.6%) but 2014 will close with deliveries +5%

 

Six leading Ferrari collectors visit Maranello

Posted: 08.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Six leading Ferrari collectors visit Maranello - 08.09.2014 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 8th September 2014 – Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari and CEO Amedeo Felisa met with the world’s leading Ferrari collectors today at the Maranello headquarters. The group included Jon Shirley, owner of the 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupé, winner of the prestigious Best in Show title at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance which took place last August at the famous Carmel Golf Course in California. The classic car market continues to flourish as borne out by auction results which put nine Prancing Horse cars in the top 10 most expensive cars of all time (first place going to the Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for 28.5 million euro last August at Monterey, California). Today’s meeting thus laid the foundations for a major project involving our international collectors and launching in the coming months.

 

Ciao, Don Emilio

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 5 - Grand Prix Spain - Fernando Alonso, Emilio Botín / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 10 September – “We mourn the loss of a great friend and an incredible entrepreneur, with whom we shared many great moments, both racing and others over the past few years,” said Luca di Montezemolo.

“Ferrari will always remember him as one of its most enthusiastic fans and it is thanks to him that we enjoyed such great support from Santander, which went above and beyond a straightforward commercial role.”

“My thoughts and those of everyone at Ferrari, are with his family and all his colleagues at the Bank, with great affection.”

 

Santander is sorry to announce the death of its chairman, Emilio Botín.

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Banco Santander

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 5 - Grand Prix Spain - Fernando Alonso, Emilio Botín / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Madrid, September 10, 2014. Banco Santander regrets to announce that its chairman, Emilio Botín, has passed away. In accordance with the procedures set out in article 24 of the board rules, the appointments and remuneration committee and the board of directors will meet today to appoint a new chairman of the bank.

 

Montezemolo quits Ferrari, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to become new Chairman

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Fiat

Museo Ferrari - California Dreaming Exhibition 2014 - Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Sergio Marchionne / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Turin, 10 September 2014 – Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has announced his intention to resign as Chairman of Ferrari with effect from October 13th following completion of Ferrari’s celebration of 60 years in America.
Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, will take over as Chairman of Ferrari.
Since 1991, Ferrari achieved significant results under Montezemolo’s chairmanship in terms of both financial performance and its standing in the world of racing. Under his leadership, Ferrari boasted a world-class team and numerous record-setting achievements.
“On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to thank Luca for all he has done for both Fiat and Ferrari”, said Fiat Chairman, John Elkann. He held several key positions with the Group, including serving as Chairman of Fiat from 2004 to 2010, and we shared many challenging but also rewarding moments. Luca leaves us with my most sincere and heartfelt wishes for his future professional endeavors and the hope, I am certain shared by us both, that Ferrari will return to victory very soon.”
“Luca and I were appointed to the Fiat Board of Directors on the very same day back in 2003”, said Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne. “One year later, he became Chairman and I became CEO. We worked side by side, sharing concerns, difficulties and successes. As Chairman of Ferrari, he drove the company to a new level of technological and organizational excellence which also brought with it outstanding financial results. Luca and I have discussed the future of Ferrari at length. And our mutual desire to see Ferrari achieve its true potential on the track has led to misunderstandings which became clearly visible over the last weekend. I want to thank Luca for all he has done for Fiat, for Ferrari and for me personally.”

 

Montezemolo backs the Scuderia

Posted: 11.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2013 - Round 5 - Grand Prix Spain - Luca di Montezemolo / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 11 September – Pride and determination were the key notes in a speech from Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo, as he addressed the staff of the Gestione Sportiva in a further show of support. The venue was symbolic, as it was the building site of the new Gestione Sportiva, a structure designed to reflect the concept of integration and constant evolution, a philosophy that stems from the president of the Maranello marque himself.

Montezemolo, who was joined by Team Principal Marco Matticacci, Ferrari Vice President Piero Ferrari and the company’s Managing Director Amedeo Felisa, spoke to the staff for around half an hour, occasionally interrupted by rounds of applause. He recalled all the battles fought out on track and the emotions shared with the team and the driver who was the main player in the team’s winning era in the first decade of this century, Michael Schumacher. After a brief look back at his long tenure as the boss of the company, the President turned his thoughts to the future. He repeated the need for everyone to give their utmost to take the Scuderia back to the top. “We have understood our mistakes and in the company we have everything needed to reach our goal, in terms of personnel, infrastructure and resources. We need to work more closely together, because that’s what is required with the new regulations. We must lay our problems out in a line and tackle them one at a time and, we must work like a real team and have the courage to dare. This is the only way we can embark on another winning cycle.”

The end of the speech was met with a long burst of heartfelt applause, showing what the staff felt for the President. Before taking his leave, Montezemolo shook every single one of them by the hand, as they stood in line to wish him farewell personally.”

 

23 years in a day

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sergio Marchionne and Luca di Montezemolo - Maranello 10.09.2014 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Luca di Montezemolo looks back and says thank you

Maranello, 10th September – It was a day that no one will easily forget. Not the Prancing Horse tifosi. Not the women and men that work in Ferrari. Particularly not Luca di Montezemolo who, after 23 years in the job, announced his decision to step down as Chairman of the company today. The day began very early. Well before the press agencies made the news public at around 8.50, Montezemolo had already met with the company’s directors to inform them of his decision. He did so alongside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne who takes his place after what the Chairman described as his “last day of school”, October 13th. The official public announcement came at 14.00 in a packed press room adjoining the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. Before an audience of around 70 international radio, TV and print journalists, Montezemolo attempted to hold his emotions in check as he explained that as one major cycle had ended, and in view of the new and very different season the FCA Wall Street flotation would usher in, it was time to pass on the baton. The Chairman looked back fondly on last 23 years which he said “went by very, very fast” and thanked all of Ferrari’s staff, particularly those closest to him: Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari, CEO Amedeo Felisa and Human Resources Director Mario Mairano. There were special words too for Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher, the driver that helped return the Prancing Horse to triumphant form after a long fallow period. Montezemolo also remembered the late Emilio Botin who was not only Chairman of the Scuderia’s sponsor, Santander, but a personal friend and a staunch Ferrari tifoso. He spoke too with great affection of the many, many tifosi who stood by the team even through the most difficult times. There was time for other memories also, including the call from Enzo Ferrari in 1973 to become sporting director of the team that took Niki Lauda to World Championship victory in 1975, and Gianni Agnelli’s tears of joy when Michael Schumacher won the title in 2000. Montezemolo and Sergio Marchionne also joked about everything from advice on how to dress (“As you can see, I didn’t listen to him,” quipped the Fiat CEO) to the rumours about Montezemolo’s professional future (“I suppose I could always head a major automobile group in Detroit,” he smiled). The Ferrari Chairman was also keen to underscore the uniqueness of the brand and its deep links with the surrounding area. He then announced upcoming exciting news at the Paris Show and celebrations for the Prancing Horse’s 60th year in the United States. After the press conference, Montezemolo returned to the factory where he met with the heads of the production department. While he had managed to remain composed in front of the world’s press, he did shed a few tears with “his” men. The Chairman then returned to his office to personally answer the many messages pouring in from all over the world. And, of course, to work. Something he will continue to do until that “last day at school”.

 

A special day but objectives remain the same

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sergio Marchionne and Luca di Montezemolo - Maranello 10.09.2014 / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 10 September – It was a special day for Scuderia Ferrari, as indeed it was for the entire company and for the fans and followers of the Prancing Horse. On the day that President Luca di Montezemolo announced his resignation, the staff of the Formula 1 team were hard at work, preparing for next week’s Singapore race, aware that, at a joint press conference held today, both Montezemolo and the CEO of the FCA, Sergio Marchionne stated the same objective, namely to start winning again.

Both men underlined that the medium and long term goals remain unchanged: to return to being competitive on track and to try and establish a new winning era. The President stated that, “in the company we have the framework, the means and the personnel to get back on top and I am convinced that it won’t be long before we are once again the benchmark team.” For his part, Marchionne added, “winning is essential for Ferrari and I have no doubt we are capable of doing that. We will do all it takes, also in terms of our resources, to reach this objective.”

 

Montezemolo: This is the end of an era

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

Luca di Montezemolo / Image: Copyright Ferrari

“I leave after 23 unforgettable years”

Maranello, 10th September 2014 – “Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street. This will open up a new and different phase which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group.

This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as Chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari’s side in the 1970s.

My thanks, first and foremost, to the exceptional Ferrari women and men from the factory, the offices, the race tracks and the markets across the world. They were the real architects of the company’s spectacular growth, its many unforgettable victories and its transformation into one of the world’s strongest brands.

A warm farewell and my thanks also to all of our technical and commercial partners, our dealers across the globe and, most particularly, the clients and collectors whose passion I so wholeheartedly share.

But my thoughts go also to our fans who have always supported us with great enthusiasm especially through the Scuderia’s most difficult moments.

Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life.

I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the Company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves.”

 

Montezemolo quits Ferrari, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to become new Chairman

Posted: 10.09.2014
Source: Fiat

Museo Ferrari - California Dreaming Exhibition 2014 - Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Sergio Marchionne / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Turin, 10 September 2014  – Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has announced his intention to resign as Chairman of Ferrari with effect from October 13th following completion of Ferrari’s celebration of 60 years in America.
Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, will take over as Chairman of Ferrari.
Since 1991, Ferrari achieved significant results under Montezemolo’s chairmanship in terms of both financial performance and its standing in the world of racing. Under his leadership, Ferrari boasted a world-class team and numerous record-setting achievements.
“On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to thank Luca for all he has done for both Fiat and Ferrari”, said Fiat Chairman, John Elkann. He held several key positions with the Group, including serving as Chairman of Fiat from 2004 to 2010, and we shared many challenging but also rewarding moments. Luca leaves us with my most sincere and heartfelt wishes for his future professional endeavors and the hope, I am certain shared by us both, that Ferrari will return to victory very soon.”
“Luca and I were appointed to the Fiat Board of Directors on the very same day back in 2003”, said Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne. “One year later, he became Chairman and I became CEO. We worked side by side, sharing concerns, difficulties and successes. As Chairman of Ferrari, he drove the company to a new level of technological and organizational excellence which also brought with it outstanding financial results. Luca and I have discussed the future of Ferrari at length. And our mutual desire to see Ferrari achieve its true potential on the track has led to misunderstandings which became clearly visible over the last weekend. I want to thank Luca for all he has done for Fiat, for Ferrari and for me personally.”

 

Italian GP – Montezemolo: “Still a lot to do for Ferrari and Formula 1″

Posted: 07.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 5 - Grand Prix Spain - Marco Mattiacci, Luca di Montezemolo, Antonello Coletta / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Monza, 6 September – Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo made his traditional Monza visit today, saluting the fans from pit lane, getting a very warm reception from all those in the grandstands, waiting for qualifying to begin. Naturally, he also spoke to the journalists, addressing various topics. “Of course I’m happy to be at Monza,” he said. “This track has a unique atmosphere and for me and for Ferrari it holds many great memories. It was here in 1975 that I won my first title as Sporting Director and assistant to Enzo Ferrari, with Niki Lauda driving. We went through amazing times here with Michael Schumacher, to whom I send all my heartfelt best wishes and in this I also speak on behalf of all the men and women at Ferrari. And it was also here that we enjoyed Fernando’s victory in 2010.”

As for the rumours doing the rounds in the paddock regarding the long term future with Ferrari, the President was brief in his comments. “I think this rumour is kicking up rather too much dust. Last March, I made it clear I was available to continue in my role for a further three years and if anything changes, I will be the first to let it be known.” Montezemolo then spoke of the work still to be done this year, talking about a year with record profits and other matters relating to the road car business, such as the new car that will be launched at the Paris Motor Show and events that are being prepared for October, to celebrate Ferrari’s 60 years in the United States.

When it came to the topic of Formula 1, the President had this to say: “We are working with the new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, to revitalize and reorganize our race team. There is still a great deal to do and we must do our best back in the factory to get back to the top.” Then, moving on to another racing topic, Montezemolo returned to the subject of how Formula 1 must change to be centre stage again as far as the media is concerned. “I have told Mattiacci to talk about the regulations in the appropriate environment. We need to put the fans and enthusiasts who watch the races on TV and at the tracks in centre stage. The priority therefore is to put in place simple rules that the public will find easy to understand. We must return to channeling excitement into Formula 1 and to make it clear that this sport is also a form of research. We must stop lowering the level of Formula 1. If someone doesn’t want to go testing, then don’t do them, if someone has excellent simulators they don’t have to do it, but this tendency has to stop. Yes, controlling costs is invoked but this year we have ended up with the most expensive engines of all time.”

The Ferrari President also met with the two drivers and, when asked by the media about Alonso’s contract, he replied, “Fernando has a contract with us to the end of 2016 and wants the same things I want and that the fans want, namely a competitive car.” As for Raikkonen: “I am happy that he is beginning to feel more at ease with the car and I hope that on Sunday he will be able to have another strong race, like he did in Spa-Francorchamps.”

 

President Montezemolo says thanks for his birthday wishes

Posted: 31.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 5 - Grand Prix Spain - Luca di Montezemolo / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 31 August –Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo, wishes to thank all staff and fans for the best wishes sent to mark his 67th birthday, via the Maranello company’s official website and the Ferrari social network channels, the method also chosen by Scuderia drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.

The top man at Ferrari received messages from all over the world, both from the business community and from the racing one, especially Formula 1. Among the many well-wishers were former Scuderia drivers Gerhard Berger and Felipe Massa, as well as three times world champion Niki Lauda. Montezemolo also received a personal message from the President of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile,) Jean Todt.

 

Luca di Montezemolo’s 67th birthday

Posted: 31.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 3 - Grand Prix Bahrain - Luca di Montezemolo/ Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 31 August – “Happy Birthday to our Chairman, Mr. Montezemolo”, is the message going out today from all the men and women who work at Ferrari.

The chairman turns 67, actually the same age as the company he has led since 1991, having previously been the Formula 1 team’s Sporting Director back in the Seventies.
This Sunday, everyone at Ferrari sends best wishes to the man with whom, every day, they share the company’s growth, success, passion and values, but above all the pleasure of working for the best company in the world.

Once again, we wish you a happy birthday!

 

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Circuit Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
Date 07.09.2014
Laps 53
Distance 306.720 km / 190,628 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 308 Scuderia Ferrari 9.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 307 Scuderia Ferrari retired /
Energy Recovery System

 

Italian GP – In debt to Monza

Posted: 07.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Marco Mattiacci: “In Formula 1, as in sport in general, there are days to forget and this was certainly one of them. Unfortunately, we had no way of predicting the problem that affected Fernando’s car, but I am sorry that it happened right here in Monza at our home race. Even though we are making progress, we knew that these last two races would be very difficult. Therefore, while it’s impossible to accept a result like this, now our only thought is to get back to being competitive as soon as possible. First and foremost, we must continue to work and to improve, because I’m sure the working practices put in place these last few months will help us get back to the top.”

Fernando Alonso: “After a long run of trouble-free races, it’s a real shame I had to retire just here in Monza, in front of all our fans. I would have liked to have put on a very different race for them. In the first stint we were competitive, but when you find yourself in a group of cars where everyone is using DRS, overtaking becomes nearly impossible. After the pit stop, I found myself at the back of a train of cars and at that point we changed the strategy, deciding to drop back from the group to conserve the tyres and try and attack at the end of the race. But then came the problem with the ERS system. It’s never nice for the team to have a reliability problem, because the guys work night and day to give us the best car possible. What happened doesn’t change my will to win and in order to try and have that happen soon, we will continue to work as hard as we can, always giving our all.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We knew this would be a difficult weekend and today in the race, we saw the proof of that. Overall, I was happy with the handling of the car and the balance was good, but we lacked speed down the straight and I didn’t have much grip. As soon as I got close to the cars ahead of me, I lost aerodynamic downforce and the car was sliding all over the place. I think I did the most I could today, even if unfortunately I was unable to get the result I would have wanted for our home race, for the team and all our fans. Now we must think of the upcoming races and continue to work nonstop, because we are coming up to tracks that should better suit the characteristics of our car”.

Pat Fry: “On a weekend which we knew would suit the characteristics of our opponents’ cars, trying our best was unfortunately not enough. Having pulled off a brilliant passing move on Perez round the outside at first Lesmo, Fernando then spent the whole first stint in a group of cars all doing the same lap times, with all the drivers benefiting from the DRS effect on those cars ahead of them. Unfortunately, his race ended after the first stop, because of a failure within the ERS system. Even if it’s been a long time since we’ve had a reliability issue, this incident shows how important it is to continue to focus on this aspect. Thanks to a good getaway, Kimi managed to make up one place at the start and another by passing Hulkenberg on lap 6, but he could not make up enough ground to attack those in front. We finished in the points with him, however it’s disappointing that we were unable to do more for the fans. Now, all we can do is look to the future and try and do well starting with the very next Grand Prix in Singapore.”

 

Italian GP – Kimi ninth, Fernando’s first retirement

Posted: 07.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 7 September – While every race carries the same number of points, except for Abu Dhabi, and all teams try equally hard at all Grands Prix, it’s particularly galling to have a disappointing afternoon in front of the home crowd. Therefore, to come away from Monza with just two points thanks to Kimi Raikkonen’s ninth place is not what Scuderia Ferrari wanted for its fans, who are naturally more numerous here than at any other race of the season.

Despite the F14 Ts showing well in free practice, Saturday’s qualifying produced a clearer picture of the hierarchy, which featured nothing but Mercedes-powered cars further up the grid that seventh placed Fernando. Neither Alonso nor eleventh placed Raikkonen were able to make up ground at what was a muddled start to the race, with pole man Hamilton and third placed Bottas dropping back into the pack. Therefore, moving up the order was going to be a very difficult task.

Stuck in the pack with the DRS effect cancelling out anyone’s passing potential, Fernando was cemented into seventh place, making his only pit stop to switch from the Medium to the Hard tyre on lap 21. The Spaniard rejoined eleventh, but four laps later he was forced to park the car at the first chicane, with a problem on the Energy Recovery System. It was Fernando’s first retirement of the year” a bad blow, but it highlighted an incredibly positive statistic, namely that Alonso had not retired from a race with a mechanical problem – in other words, not counting collisions – for 86 races, dating back to the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kimi found he lacked top end speed and when he did close on those ahead, his car lost downforce. It led to an entertaining early race duel with fellow Finn, Valtteri Bottas, who eventually got ahead and went on to finish fourth. The Ferrari man made his only stop of the afternoon, to take on the Hard Pirellis, on lap 20 while in ninth place and he rejoined fourteenth. He worked his way up to ninth, but had to give best to Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages, crossing the line in tenth place, before promotion to ninth, courtesy of a penalty for Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.

After his poor start from pole, Lewis Hamilton recovered to pressure Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg into a mistake, which allowed the Englishman to go on to record his sixth win of the year ahead of the German, who still leads the Drivers’ Championship. In the Constructors’ classification, the Scuderia has dropped to fourth, 15 points behind Williams, thanks to Felipe Massa finishing third to secure his first podium with the English team. In fact, the Monza fans, who packed the main straight under the magnificent Monza podium, gave the Brazilian former Ferrari driver the warmest reception of all, with the possible exception of the one they reserved for another “ferrarista,” the ever popular Jean Alesi, who conducted the podium interviews.

 

Italian GP – A bitter Monza for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 07.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 7 September –The Italian Grand Prix proved a bitter pill to swallow for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team leaves Monza with a meagre two points courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen’s ninth place. Fernando Alonso failed to finish, after a technical problem saw him retire at the start of lap 29.

At the start, the two Maranello team drivers were unable to make up any places and after the only pit stop they dropped a few. When he retired, Fernando was lying tenth, the position that Kimi then took over. The Finn had a difficult start but fought back in the second part of a race that featured plenty of battles. The Finn crossed the line in tenth, but was promoted to ninth, as McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen had to add a 5 second penalty to his race time.

Lewis Hamilton took his sixth win of the season, the 28th of his career, crossing the line ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The German thus maintains the lead in the championship, while Felipe Massa was third for Williams. The next round is in Singapore in a fortnight’s time.

 

Italian GP – A splash of yellow amidst the red as Nibali visits Ferrari

Posted: 07.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 7 September – After welcoming Gregorio Paltrinieri and Andrea Iannone to the Scuderia Ferrari pits at the Italian Grand Prix, today another sports star was with the team to cheer on Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Vincenzo Nibali, winner of this year’s Tour de France arrived this morning, meeting Fernando and Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. This July, “The Shark” as the Italian cyclist is known became the seventh Italian to win the Tour de France, after Bottecchia, Bartali, Coppi, Nencini, Gimondi and Pantani.

The win means Vincenzo joins a select band of those who have won all three Grand Tours, as he also came first in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
It was Vincenzo’s first visit to a Formula 1 race. “I like this sport a lot but I’ve never got to see the cars this close up and it’s incredible how much technology there is in a Ferrari Formula 1 car. When my racing schedule allows me, I am a keen follower of the main Grands Prix, the ones on the historic track and I even get them recorded. Ferrari represents Italy all over the world and I always cheer on the Scuderia.”

Cycle racing is one of Fernando Alonso’s great interests. “I know him well and he came to see me at the Worlds in Florence. He always watches our races and it’s nice to know that just as I follow his progress, he is also pays attention to what is going on in the world of cycling.”

 

Italian GP – Montezemolo: “Still a lot to do for Ferrari and Formula 1″

Posted: 06.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 6 September – Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo made his traditional Monza visit today, saluting the fans from pit lane, getting a very warm reception from all those in the grandstands, waiting for qualifying to begin. Naturally, he also spoke to the journalists, addressing various topics. “Of course I’m happy to be at Monza,” he said. “This track has a unique atmosphere and for me and for Ferrari it holds many great memories. It was here in 1975 that I won my first title as Sporting Director and assistant to Enzo Ferrari, with Niki Lauda driving. We went through amazing times here with Michael Schumacher, to whom I send all my heartfelt best wishes and in this I also speak on behalf of all the men and women at Ferrari. And it was also here that we enjoyed Fernando’s victory in 2010.”

As for the rumours doing the rounds in the paddock regarding the long term future with Ferrari, the President was brief in his comments. “I think this rumour is kicking up rather too much dust. Last March, I made it clear I was available to continue in my role for a further three years and if anything changes, I will be the first to let it be known.” Montezemolo then spoke of the work still to be done this year, talking about a year with record profits and other matters relating to the road car business, such as the new car that will be launched at the Paris Motor Show and events that are being prepared for October, to celebrate Ferrari’s 60 years in the United States.

When it came to the topic of Formula 1, the President had this to say: “We are working with the new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, to revitalize and reorganize our race team. There is still a great deal to do and we must do our best back in the factory to get back to the top.” Then, moving on to another racing topic, Montezemolo returned to the subject of how Formula 1 must change to be centre stage again as far as the media is concerned. “I have told Mattiacci to talk about the regulations in the appropriate environment. We need to put the fans and enthusiasts who watch the races on TV and at the tracks in centre stage. The priority therefore is to put in place simple rules that the public will find easy to understand. We must return to channeling excitement into Formula 1 and to make it clear that this sport is also a form of research. We must stop lowering the level of Formula 1. If someone doesn’t want to go testing, then don’t do them, if someone has excellent simulators they don’t have to do it, but this tendency has to stop. Yes, controlling costs is invoked but this year we have ended up with the most expensive engines of all time.”

The Ferrari President also met with the two drivers and, when asked by the media about Alonso’s contract, he replied, “Fernando has a contract with us to the end of 2016 and wants the same things I want and that the fans want, namely a competitive car.” As for Raikkonen: “I am happy that he is beginning to feel more at ease with the car and I hope that on Sunday he will be able to have another strong race, like he did in Spa-Francorchamps.”

 

Italian GP – Still all to play for

Posted: 06.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Fernando Alonso: “We knew that, as usual in qualifying, it would be tough and that the encouraging signs we saw in free practice should not create false expectations. Unfortunately today, we could not have done better, because even though I was trying my hardest, we set very similar times with all four sets of tyres. Now, we must look ahead to the race, which will be a tough one and, given how small the gaps are, it could also be very interesting. Usually here, at the first chicane, there’s a lot of action and you need to be very careful if you want to be in the game. On top of that, it will be very important to manage the tyre degradation, given that the best strategy would seem to be a one-stop. Because of that it means doing a lot of laps on both compounds.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “After a definitely positive start to the weekend, today in qualifying, I was expecting a better result. I experienced some difficulties in the afternoon, as the car was harder to drive, I was struggling to find the right grip level and I was locking the fronts. That’s why, on my last run on the Medium tyres, I made a few small mistakes which prevented me getting further than Q2. Starting eleventh is not ideal but all the same, I will give it my best shot tomorrow. We know we are up against some very strong opponents, but the long run went well and even if the race is another matter, this factor means we can be confident. It will be very important to get off the line well and choose the best strategy. It would be very nice to produce a good result for all our fans who have come to support us here in Monza.”

Pat Fry: “Compared to the morning session, we experienced a few more difficulties in qualifying, in terms of the balance of the car, especially in the fast corners and under braking, areas that are more complicated to manage on a track where you run low downforce. I don’t think Fernando could have done any more with his car. With the race pace we saw in Friday’s practice, let’s hope that tomorrow he can make up a few places and manage the Red Bulls behind him. Unfortunately, with Kimi, we didn’t make it to Q3, which is a real shame after what had been his first trouble-free free practice sessions of the season. Today he suffered a lot with locking the front wheels and at the vital moment in Q2, he lost time going into Roggia. With both compounds we experienced reasonably linear degradation, so even with the high temperatures expected tomorrow, it should not influence our strategy. If we want to score as many points as possible with both cars in the race, it will be important to manage the reliability parameter and try and get a good start.”

 

Gregorio Paltrinieri a guest of Scuderia Ferrari in Monza

Posted: 06.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 6 September–There was a special guest in the Scuderia Ferrari garage today: Gregorio Paltrinieri is the newly crowned 800 and 1500 metres freestyle swimming European champion, titles he won in Berlin in August. While the Scuderia is well used to having sporting champions in the garage, Gregorio is something special, as he comes from the same Modena region as Ferrari, born in Carpi on 5 September, twenty years ago.

“It’s my first time at a Formula 1 Grand Prix and I couldn’t be anywhere else for it but in the Ferrari pits. I’m from Modena and my passion for this marque runs through my veins as it does for all of us from this part of the world. Despite my busy sports schedule, I always follow what’s happening in Formula 1, even if that means recording it. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid and it will always be the case.”

Gregorio was amazed by what he saw in the pits. “From the outside it seems easy when you watch the cars on track, but behind the scenes, there’s an incredible amount of work taking place. One hour before qualifying, the cars were still in bits, then, like an orchestra, the mechanics put everything together with incredible speed and precision.” As an athlete, the champion was particularly interested in what the drivers did. “I watched Alonso and Raikkonen closely, specially in terms of how they managed to concentrate in the middle of all the frantic activity. Even in long swimming races like the ones I do, freeing one’s mind and thinking only about what you must do is vital. I found that both of them were incredibly cool and prepared true champions.”

 

Italian GP – Fourth and sixth rows for Fernando and Kimi

Posted: 06.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 6 September –It was a complicated qualifying session for Scuderia Ferrari at Monza, the scene tomorrow at 2pm of the Italian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso managed to get his F14 T onto the seventh spot on the grid, while Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for twelfth, although he will start eleventh as Daniil Kvyat has a grid penalty in the Toro Rosso.

Both Ferrari men got through Q1 without any problems: Fernando was tenth and Kimi thirteenth. In Q2, things got more complicated: all the drivers were on the Medium tyres, going for the fastest time possible. Alonso’s first run produced a 1.25.525 which would see him safe, but with a 1.26.110, Kimi was tenth for a long time. At the flag, Fernando got into Q3 in fifth place, but Kimi was unable to improve and ended up twelfth and therefore outside the zone. In the final part, Alonso was seventh after his first run behind Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

On his second attempt, the Spaniard improved, getting ahead of the German to go sixth, but then dropped back to seventh when Kevin Magnussen managed to improve in the McLaren right at the end. Fernando is therefore the best placed non-Mercedes powered driver: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have monopolised the front row for Mercedes, with the second row featuring the Williams duo, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa, while the third row sees the McLaren pair of Magnussen and Jenson Button. Between the Englishman and Raikkonen come Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull and Sergio Perez in the Force India.

 

Italian GP – Fernando and Kimi second and seventh

Posted: 06.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 6 September –The Ferrari F14 Ts of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen set the second and seventh fastest times respectively, in the final free practice for the Italian Grand Prix. In total, the Scuderia cars covered 28 laps of the Monza track. Both men started on Hard tyres, switching to the Medium compound, the softest of the two tyres supplied by Pirelli, after half an hour.

Fernando Alonso did 13 laps, the fastest in 1.25.931, while Kimi Raikkonen did 15, the best being a 1.26.327. Around halfway through the session, President Luca di Montezemolo arrived in the garage, before crossing the pit lane to wave at the fans, to warm applause. He then stayed to watch the rest of the session.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes in 1.25.519. Splitting Alonso and Raikkonen were the two Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, Jenson Button (McLaren) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull.) Qualifying begins at 2pm.

 

Italian GP – Monza, as special as ever

Posted: 05.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 5 September – The Italian Grand Prix is always a unique event on the Formula 1 calendar and for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact it’s the home race for the most famous team in the sport – you know who that is – so the fans play a particularly important part in creating the atmosphere over the weekend.

Then, this year, there are other factors to throw into the mix, because even if you want to run a car with low drag and low downforce, the fact the cars have inherently less downforce this year, by virtue of the new technical regulations, meant this Friday saw the engineers and drivers heading into uncharted waters.

It was an interesting three hours therefore and, with the usual proviso that Friday times mean little, the tifosi can be allowed a little bit of optimism at seeing the two F14 Ts produce respectable lap times, ending the day running together behind the dominant Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, who inevitably topped the time sheet.

But one still needs to remain cautious about what the Saturday and Sunday scenarios will be, because even if third placed Kimi Raikkonen and fourth placed Fernando Alonso posted times that were closer than usual to the Mercedes, one has to consider that, this afternoon, the top 12 cars all qualified within the same second. Tomorrow will provide a clearer picture, as despite the fact it began to rain a few hours after FP2, a warm dry day is forecast for tomorrow, which means Qualifying should produce a thrilling fight, a fight in which hundredths of a second could make the difference and just getting to the final top ten shoot out should not be considered a foregone conclusion.

 

Italian GP – A Friday unlike any other

Posted: 05.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Fernando Alonso: “For various reasons, Friday in Monza is always a bit different to the others, with a special significance for our team in the weekend of its home race. The track characteristics also make it one of a kind: here you run with low aerodynamic downforce, you feel the car is quicker down the straights and lighter in the corners and, as was the case today, you need to try different downforce levels. In general, I’m happy with the work we did on set-up and tyres and especially with the time I did with a heavy fuel load. Towards the end, we were worried we had a problem, but to banish any doubt, we went out for another lap and everything seemed back to normal. Now, we are preparing for tomorrow and we hope to do well for all the fans who were already here today cheering us on from the stands.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a very busy day, but a positive one. We made the most of every minute available to us in both sessions, managing to try everything we had on our programme. In the morning, we concentrated on assessing different aero configurations, in search of the best level of downforce. Then in the afternoon, we opted for an intermediate solution that seemed to produce the best results on both compounds. The difference between the Medium and the Hard is more or less what we expected; the softer one behaves well, but in terms of driveability, I found the Hard wasn’t bad either.”

Pat Fry: “Monza is a special circuit with unique characteristics. The long straights and the small number of corners mean that on Friday one has to work on finding the best aerodynamic configuration. Even if in general, the cars have less downforce, this year it’s more complicated than usual to find the right set-up and decide what is the right level of downforce for the fast corners such as Ascari or the Parabolica. Therefore, in the morning and the afternoon, we worked to improve the cars’ stability and now we will try and optimise our package based on the data gathered from both drivers. Fortunately, we encountered no problems today and it was important to get through the programme, including evaluating tyre performance, as the ability to generate grip from the tyres is even more important when the cars are running in low downforce configuration. Overall, we are pleased with today’s work, but we know we still face a particularly demanding weekend.”

 

Italian GP – Scuderia Ferrari third and fourth

Posted: 05.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 5 September –Kimi Raikkonen set the third fastest time in the second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, while Fernando Alonso was fourth. Temperatures were slightly higher this afternoon than in the morning at Monza, as the F14 Ts completed a total of 57 laps between them, which is more than a race distance. Kimi and Fernando continued to work on set-up and ran a comparison between the two compounds Pirelli has supplied this weekend: the Hard, which was also tried in the morning and the Medium, which is faster over a single lap.

Raikkonen did 31 laps, the best in 1.26.331 and Alonso did 26, the fastest being a 1.26.565. In the final half hour, both Scuderia drivers did long runs so as to evaluate the behaviour of the car and tyres over a long run.

Quickest was championship leader Nico Rosberg, who stopped the clocks in 1.26.225 for Mercedes, beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 61 thousandths. The third free practice starts tomorrow at 11.

 

Italian GP – Fernando and Kimi fourth and seventh fastest

Posted: 05.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 5 September – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the first free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix in fourth and seventh places. Under overcast skies, but in dry conditions, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen completed 23 and 27 laps respectively, working on set-up, while also starting work on evaluating the Hard Pirelli tyres. Fernando’s best time was a 1.27.169, which puts him fourth, while Kimi stopped the clocks in 1.27.493 to take seventh place on the time sheet.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes in 1.26.187. Jenson Button was second in the McLaren, ahead by whisker of Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes. Between Alonso and Raikkonen we find Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull.) The second session starts at 2pm.

 

De la Rosa: “Monza, unique and special”

Posted: 05.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Maranello, 5 September – “Monza is a beautiful circuit,” Scuderia test driver Pedro de la Rosa tells www.ferrari.com. “It has several unique features; it is situated in a park, it is very fast and the fans manage to get really close to the drivers. In fact, you usually see them perched in the trees to get a better view of the track, something you never see at any other circuit.”

Brakes, the key. As for the technical side, Monza is definitely a track that puts heavy demands on the brakes. “It’s extremely important to have an efficient system,” continues Pedro. “And you have to do everything down to the finest detail when it comes to cooling the discs so as to have maximum efficiency next time you need them. The car set-up features very low aerodynamic downforce, because there are few corners and you have to favour straight-line speed. On the main straight you hit the highest speeds of the season, as a result of the low downforce aero package and the length of the straight itself.”

Maximum concentration. Physically the race isn’t very difficult for the drivers, although they have to maintain maximum concentration at all times. “You have to pay particular attention to how you tackle the kerbs,” explains the Scuderia Ferrari test driver. “Especially the inside ones. You need to tackle them decisively and do it so that the car literally jumps over them. To do this the driver needs to be very good at calculating the right angle and to ensure that, when the car is back on the ground, he can immediately get back on full throttle.”

Tricky in the wet. “If it rains, then Monza become very difficult, because you have to brake earlier everywhere, at speeds that are still very high,” concludes Pedro. “Furthermore, the Curva Grande cannot be taken flat and the two Lesmos become extremely slippery. Strategy plays a vital role, but now it’s become pretty much obligatory to run the race on a one-stop.”

 

Italian GP – Again in Monza, Ferrari honours the Carabinieri

Posted: 04.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 4 September –As was the case in Canada back in June, the Ferrari F14 Ts of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will again carry a special logo on their sides, near the mirrors, in this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. It celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Carabinieri. Apart from the traditional grenade with a flame above it, and the initial letters of the Italian Republic, along the bottom there is also the Carabinieri motto “Nei secoli fedele” and dates with an Italian flag: 1814, the year they were formed and 2014 the year of the bicentenary.

Ferrari chose to carry the logos to stress the links that have always united it to the Carabinieri, both bodies sharing the values of respect for their tradition and history and the fact they are both symbols of Italy around the world.

 

Italian GP – Raikkonen: “Difficult, but hopefully we are wrong!”

Posted: 04.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 4 September -The last championship round in Belgium saw something of a return to form for Kimi Raikkonen and at today’s press conference in the Monza paddock, the Finn reckoned the improvement actually pre-dated that race. “We had a pretty okay feeling in the races before Spa, but something always happened, being hit by another driver, or other small issues,” said the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “It’s very hard to get a good result when you have problems like that. In Belgium, the race itself was probably the first one where we had no issues at all and the result was a bit better. We can have a good race here. We need a clean weekend, so that we start by running our normal programme on Friday.”

The Finn admits the high speed nature of Monza will present some engineering challenges. “We expect to have a little bit more difficult race here because straight line speed is what we are lacking a bit, not so much in qualifying but in the race, where we have a bigger disadvantage,” he explained. “We expected that situation in Spa, but it turned out to be surprisingly good for us, so hopefully we will find something similar here, but we need to wait and see tomorrow. So it should be difficult, but hopefully we are wrong!”

Kimi was generally positive about the fact that part of the run-off area to the famous Parabolica corner has been asphalted. “It’s a pretty fast corner, easy to run wide in the final part and you can have a nasty accident there, when there is just gravel and so tarmac will help a lot. But then we can start getting complaints if people have four wheels over the white line and whether or not they gained an advantage. It’s better because you don’t damage the car and if you go off, you just lose one lap in free practice or qualifying and your race won’t be over, but maybe you just lose a place. So, there are two ways of looking at it.”

As for the rest of the season, Kimi reiterated the team’s intention of simply working as hard as it can over the remaining rounds of the 2014 championship. “Our aim is to be nearer the front because we are not where we should be as a team and we are working hard on that,” he concluded. “If it’s not for the end of the year, then it will be next year, because it will be hard to make big steps from now to the end of the season. We are improving little by little and hopefully we can be in the fight for podiums later in the year.”

 

Italian GP – Alonso: “One of the toughest races for us”

Posted: 04.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Monza, 4 September – It’s an unwritten rule that a Scuderia Ferrari driver has to be on the panel for Thursday’s FIA press conference at Monza and that duty fell to Fernando Alonso this afternoon. The Spaniard has a great record here, having finished on the podium in his four last races on the high speed Italian track, including a victory in 2010. But, given the current hierarchy in Formula 1, he was realistic about his chances of making it 5 out of 5. “This is definitely one of the most important races this year for us in front of the tifosi,” began Fernando. “We want to give them a good result on Sunday, but it will be very hard to repeat what we did the last four years and this will be one of the toughest races for us this year.”

However, apart from the specific difficulties of dealing with this high-speed circuit, there were positives emerging from Maranello, reckoned Alonso. “There were signs we were more competitive in Hungary and then we nearly got a podium with Kimi in Spa.” The “main attraction” of today’s conference was the fact that Rosberg and Hamilton were making their first joint public appearance since their controversial collision in Spa a fortnight ago. With Fernando sitting between them on the stage, the Spaniard seemed to be accorded the role of mediator by the journalists. “I don’t know why I’m getting all these questions about them,” said the Ferrari man with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders. “All we can do is watch their beautiful battle from the outside. The problem they have is a good problem – they are fighting for the world championship!”

Alonso was also asked what he recalled about racing at the back of the field, when he began in F1 with Minardi. While admitting it was difficult, not being able to fight at the front, he reckoned life was harder to deal with when he was a reserve driver for Renault: “watching the races from the garage, that was very tough.”

 

Italian GP – Allison: “Clear ideas and a lot of work to do”

Posted: 03.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

FIA Formula 1 World Championship 2014 - Round 1 - Grand Prix Australia - James Allison / Image: Copyright Ferrari

Maranello, 3 September – Before the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the Scuderia Ferrari Technical Director James Allison met up with some journalists. Here are some of his responses.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about the power unit, with the engine getting most of the blame. Is that really the case? What is lacking in the F14 T?
A: Mainly, we are behind our rivals Mercedes in terms of power, but also when it comes to aerodynamic downforce. It’s difficult to split the blame in percentage terms, as it’s the car as a whole which is not competitive enough. We need to work on every aspect, it’s not just a question of the engine or just the aerodynamics, but also the suspension and the systems. Every part of the car has to be improved so that it can become more competitive next year.

Q: What stage are you at with the 2015 car?
A: We have taken most of the key decisions relating to its design and we have chosen the path to follow to find the performance in the coming months. At the start of the project we made choices as to which areas we have to work on to end up being competitive. We have decided on the architecture of the car and in the coming months we will work on its performance based on the decisions we have taken.

Q: Will a lot change?
A: It will be different in every area.

Q: Fernando has said he is working on renewing his contract. How important is it for you to have a driver like him?
A: A team like Ferrari always needs first class drivers and that’s always been the case. We have always had champions of the calibre of Fernando and it will always be the aim of this team. Having said that, having a driver like him is a big advantage because his ability is beyond question. And to this one can add the fact that he has an in-depth knowledge of the company, which makes everyone’s job easier.

Q: What’s the realistic target for Monza with this car?
A: To find the realistic target for the F14 T at Monza, one has to look at Spa-Francorchamps, as the characteristics of the two tracks are similar, although in Monza, the engine maybe counts for a bit more and the aerodynamics a bit less, so in Monza we can expect a similar level of competitiveness to Spa. We have improved a few things since the last race, but the others will have also made progress and so it’s hard to see the hierarchy being any different to what it was at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Q: Of the remaining tracks, is there one where one can hope for a bit more, to get a win this year?
A: One must be realistic. At every track this season, we have seen a significant gap, usually over a second, to the Mercedes. So I believe they must make a major mistake for us to have a chance of winning. To do so, even with some luck, would be great for all of us, however our aim is to concentrate on improving the car to come to every track with a more competitive car than at the previous race. We must try and get the maximum performance out of every weekend and certainly we can say that in the last two or three, we have improved our car, as can be seen from the fact that both drivers have been more competitive compared to the start of the season and I hope that continues. But, we will need some luck to win.

Q: After the mistake on the grid in Spa on Fernando’s car, are you working with Mattiacci on a change of approach and working method?
A: Yes, we are all working together to maximise any opportunity that comes our way. Having said that, our car’s reliability has never been a weak point, I think we have finished more races than anyone else. We have never had to retire with a technical problem linked to the car in the race and generally, our team at the track is one of the strongest ever seen in Formula 1. It’s a team that doesn’t make many mistakes. At Spa we had a technical problem which helped us find some aspects linked to the way we are organised that can be improved; to be specific, the difficulty in bringing in the equipment we needed to solve the problem in a matter of minutes.

Q: How much ground can you make up in 2015, taking into account that only 48% of the engine can be changed? Is catching Mercedes a realistic target?
A: It’s true you can’t change every part of the engine, but the regulations say the majority of parts that can make a difference in terms of performance on the engine are still free. The 48% is not a binding figure and can be misleading compared to what are the real opportunities to improve the power output of the power unit. The way is completely open when it comes to the rules.
In fact, our problem is not the rules, it’s the time needed to close such a big gap. Therefore we must make the most of every available minute from now to the final moment before the homologation date, which is 28 February 2015. But as I said at the start, it’s not just the engine which has to improve, the chassis needs to also, as does the suspension and every part of the car. I don’t know if we can close the gap in just one year. We are trying, but as Mattiacci said, we are also looking at the medium to long-term future, not just the short term. He wants to get this team back to being ahead of all the rest and to have it stay there for many years. Having said that, we are working as hard as possible for next year, to have a much more competitive car. At the same time however, we are establishing the basis to make Ferrari the benchmark team in Formula 1.

 

Italian GP – Alonso: “I want to win with Ferrari”

Posted: 03.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Maranello, 3 September–Before the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Fernando Alonso was in Maranello where he met the President, Luca di Montezemolo, the Scuderia heads of department and went through things with his engineers. Before setting off for the historic circuit set in the Royal Park, the Spaniard also met with some journalists and here is an extract of their conversation.

Q: What is the braking point for the first chicane at Monza?
A: At the first one, more or less 130 metres before the corner in qualifying and 150 in the race, because you always have to brake a bit earlier with a full fuel load.

Q: What have you got to say to and what can you do for the fans who will, as usual, flock to Monza to see you and Ferrari?
A:Saying is easier than doing. Definitely we must try and have our best race of the year in front of the home crowd. We know what a great experience it is to stand on the podium at Monza, seeing the straight packed with people. I’ve been lucky enough in these last four years with Ferrari to get to the podium four times and it would be fantastic to make it five. It’s a very optimistic goal because unfortunately this year, we haven’t been on the podium too often. We must be realistic, as this will be another defensive and uphill race for us, but anything can happen.

Q: Is it not a bit frustrating to come to Monza at this point in the season, being so far behind, wondering whether or not you can finish on the podium, when in in the past at Monza, you were fighting for the title or for a win in front of your fans?

A: Yes of course. This year has definitely been the toughest in the five I’ve been with Ferrari, in coming to Monza in greater difficulty and without having a really clear idea of what the race can hold for us. In the other years, we were fighting for the title or a podium was definitely within our grasp or maybe even a win. This year however, it’s all much more up in the air and there is no certainty as to what we might be able to do. One can say this situation is frustrating, it can be seen as sad or simply as the reality of the situation. For eleven races now we have been fighting to sort out the situation and become more competitive and I think we have done that. I would say the progress is visible, because in the last three or four races, we have become more competitive: in Hungary, we got a podium finish, in Spa we came close and even at Hockenheim and Silverstone we went quite well. So in the recent races we have recovered and have a better feeling. It’s definitely not enough, because everyone is improving, especially Mercedes, who are dominating the season, given that, while we were two seconds off their pace, now we are still 1.6 or 1.4 behind, therefore the improvements we have made are definitely not enough yet.

Q: Do the improvements seen so far this year give you cause for some optimism regarding next year, or is it still too little?
A: Everything helps, not just us drivers, but also all the people in the factory who are working day and night. If there are improvements, it’s because these people come to the office every morning at 8 with a different feeling and that’s why all these improvements are helping. It’s positive to see that, unlike in other years, at least there is a correlation between the aerodynamic data from the track and the wind tunnel. Everything fitted to the car is giving the results we expected. There is a question mark over the power unit, which, given that development is frozen, means we can’t touch anything and so the inferiority which characterised it at the first race is more or less the same today. For next year, all the changes one can make to the engine remain a question mark: we can do something and so can the others, so we must try and do a bit better than the others.

Q: In your opinion, in 2015, when the power unit will be sorted, what can one expect from Ferrari? Can you fight at the front or what do you expect. Would you settle for a car that can get to the podium and which fights at every race? What is your feeling?
A: As of now, September 2014, the expectations are to have a front running car with which we can fight for the world title, which is what is expected of us and of Ferrari. What’s certain is that we must reduce the gap over the winter and much more than in other winters, because it’s a gap of around one and a half seconds. I don’t know if it’s possible to do that in 6 months. It’s a major challenge for the whole team, because I think we have the ability, we have the structure, so it’s just down to us to work hard.

Q: Based on what you’ve seen of the new project, are you optimistic? Are there elements of the new car that mean you are optimistic and that you like?
A: In all projects there are interesting things. By this point of the year, we know what are the weak points of the current car, we know what doesn’t work and what aspects have put us in difficulty for the whole season. Therefore many problems will be solved for next year. With the radical rule changes for 2014, one could see several build and development philosophies from the three engine manufacturers and also from the various constructors on the aerodynamic front. Maybe, with hindsight, those who are winning now made different choices to us and they turned out to be better. Clearly, the expectation for next year is to improve a lot.

Q: Even though you have a contract for next year, there’s a lot of talk about your future with other top teams interested in you. What do you think of this?
A: I think since last summer there have been stories and news almost all the time and so it’s now been going on for a year. It’s not nice, because it creates a bit of stress and it means it is disruptive for me, the fans and for the people in the team. I am proud there are some teams that say they’d like to have me, because it means they appreciate the job I’m doing. However, on this topic, it’s a year now that I’ve been saying I want to stay at Ferrari and extend my contract. That’s my wish, I repeat it every two weeks, at the end of every race, yet it’s never said, in fact there is a tendency for the opposite to be said. Talk of other teams has never come from my lips, in fact it’s always been the opposite.

Q: You want to renew the contract, as does Ferrari. Why hasn’t it been done?
A: In fact, we’re working on it.

Q: So you are working on the next contract. And so, until the current one expires you are a Ferrari driver and will stay at Ferrari?
A: I have a contract for another two years and as I always say on the subject of rumours and to ensure calm, what I want is to continue for the necessary years. Let’s see if that can happen, but for the next two years at least, there is no problem.

Q: Necessary years for what? To win again? The aim is to stay as long as you are not at the top?
A: Obviously, the most important thing is to win, because that’s the same for all sportsmen. However, I think there are also other things that can make one have confidence nevertheless and be happy in one’s work and I think Ferrari can offer a lot more than “only” winning. Because there is a passion for this team, which as a driver, means you are already proud of what you are doing, independent of the results. The most important thing is to fix the things that are not going well on the car and in the team and to do everything that is needed. Mattiacci also shares this desire to change things and to be more aggressive in our approach to our work. This renewed will to win makes staying at Ferrari even more attractive.

Q: The Monza circuit looks straightforward. But is it?
A: No, not at all, because you drive with very little aerodynamic downforce and so it feels a bit like driving in the wet at another track. Furthermore, when you are travelling at such high speed, it’s harder to be precise. It’s not easy to start your braking at the right place when you approach the first chicane at 340 km/h or the second one at 330. The unique thing about Monza is that, for us, there are five corners: the first chicane, the second one and the two Lesmos and the Parabolica, because Ascari, apart from the first kink to the left, is completely flat. With only five corners, even if you fit new tyres, in qualifying you gain half a tenth in a corner, half in another, but in the end, new tyres are only worth two or three tenths. Or you can do a perfect lap and find you have gained a tenth on a lap when you didn’t give your utmost. That’s the main difference with Spa: there, when you do a perfect lap, you have gained a second over a normal lap and this gives you a nice shot of adrenalin, because you realise when you are on the limit.

Q: Alonso wins in Monza if…
A: I don’t know, it’s not easy. Something unusual would have to happen, maybe with a bit of help from drivers in the top teams, while we need to concentrate on ourselves and give our utmost over the weekend, as we did in Spa and Hungary during qualifying. At Monza we cannot make any mistakes.

Q: Have you set a time limit for your career?
A: No, I haven’t. I am much older than I look from the outside, I’m only 33 and up until five years ago, you only started in Formula 1 when you were in 26 or 27. The fact, is I started when I was 19 and it seems I’m very old, but given my actual age, I’ve still got lots of seasons ahead of me. I could have another ten: Michael Schumacher stopped when he was 43, Pedro de la Rosa is in the simulator every day and he’s 43, so it’s not a question of age. It’s a question of enjoying what you do and to still want to get up in the morning to train, to get on planes and fly to Australia and Malaysia, to race with a top car and to still get a good feeling from it all. As Iong as I have that desire and these feelings, I am not setting a time limit. Sure, this year’s been a bit less fun because the cars are a bit less quick. We need adrenalin and we hope the sport heads back in the direction of more extreme performance so that we go back to Formula 1 really being at the top.

 

Italian GP – High speed European finale

Posted: 02.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Maranello, 2 September – Formula 1’s final European appointment of the season takes place at one of the most evocative, atmospheric and historic venues on the calendar, the Monza ‘Autodromo.’ To sum it up in one word, it’s all about speed. For Scuderia Ferrari’s home race, the grandstands will be the usual sea of red, but you don’t necessarily have to be a Prancing Horse fan or Italian to enjoy the magic of Monza: long before he came to Maranello, our English technical director, James Allison, even spent his honeymoon here, working at the 1992 Italian Grand Prix!

Putting aside affairs of the heart, Allison and his team of engineers are working hard to ensure the relative competitiveness seen in Belgium can be replicated this weekend. “Spa and Monza, are both tracks that have characteristics that perhaps don’t bring out the best in our car and so we approached Spa with a little bit of trepidation,” he explains. “Spa has a very high dependency on power and aerodynamics, but actually the F14 T performed respectably in Spa. There are differences between Spa and Monza, but overall the characteristics are such that we hope to have a respectable weekend before heading on for the remainder of the year, racing at tracks whose characteristics we hope will suit us a little bit better.”

The differences between Spa and Monza that Allison refers to essentially come down to the Italian venue having longer straights and fewer high speed corners. “This means it’s extremely important to set the car up in a way that allows you to benefit from those long straights, running the cars with lower downforce and less drag to get good top speeds on the straights,” continues Allison. “Having good top speed on the straights also means you have to be able to slow down for the corners, so setting the car up to be stable under braking is extremely important, as is retaining enough mechanical and aerodynamic grip to be able to wrestle your way round the corners before heading off on another one of the long straights.”

The high speeds involved means this race puts the Power Unit and the car’s aerodynamic efficiency squarely in the spotlight. Apart from demanding total reliability as always, managing the harvesting and discharging of the energy and controlling fuel consumption will provide taxing engineering and strategic challenges, while in pure strategy terms, the high cost of time spent in the pits means a one-stop, switching from the Medium to Hard Pirellis, is the most likely scenario. However, while Sunday’s race will be the shortest of the year in terms of time, it’s by no means the easiest. “Don’t be fooled into thinking that because it’s short, it’s easy or because it has relatively few corners it’s less demanding for the drivers,” says Allison. “Managing cars with small wing settings to suit the challenging corners and chicanes of Monza is not an easy thing.” And on the topic of our drivers, Allison took heart from their Spa showing: “Fernando produced his normal exemplary performance, while Kimi in the race was strong, producing good results as well. We’ve been improving our car over the last several races and that improvement is starting to tell with both of our drivers. It’s something we hope will produce better results in the remainder of the season.”

 

Home race for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 01.09.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP ITALIA F1/2014

Maranello, 1 September – This Sunday’s race is the 65th Italian Grand Prix to count for the Formula 1 World Championship and, along with the British GP, they are the only races to have featured on the calendar every year of the championship. With the exception of 1980 when it was held at Imola and won by Nelson Piquet in a Brabham, it’s always been staged at Monza. Over the years, Scuderia Ferrari has won 18 times, a hit rate of 28%, to go along with 19 pole positions and 64 podiums.

Speed, slipstream and scares. With the demise of the old Hockenheim, Monza is the last of the truly old style Formula 1 circuits, although Spa-Francorchamps is also a contender for this category. Down its straights, before they were interrupted by the three chicanes we have today, some of the closest battles in history took place, with dozens of passing moves every lap as cars were able to slipstream each other: the 1971 edition is famous for the closest ever finish, when Peter Gethin won for BRM, finishing just a hundredth of a second ahead of Ronnie Peterson in the March, with the top five all within six tenths. The high speeds have also led to tragedy and the victims include Alberto Ascari, Wolfgang Von Trips, Jochen Rindt and the aforementioned Peterson.

The first wins. Ferrari took its first Monza win in 1951 courtesy of Alberto Ascari in the 375, while second placed Jose Froilan Gonzalez made it a one-two. The Italian won again the following year and after that, there was a pause until 1960, which produced an easy victory, as the British teams boycotted the race in protest against the use of the high-speed oval, built in 1955 and considered too dangerous. Ferrari took the top three spots with Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and Willy Mairesse. The following year, everyone was present, but tragedy struck. Von Trips collided with Jim Clark in the Lotus, dying along with 14 spectators. Hill won in the 156 to become the first American World Champion, but there were tears instead of celebrations.

Key victories. In 1964, Scuderia Ferrari was back to winning ways with John Surtees, who dominated the race in the 158 having shaken off the attentions of Dan Gurney. The win was key to the Englishman getting back in the running for the title, which he won in thrilling fashion in the final race in Mexico. Two years later came an equally important win for Ludovico Scarfiotti, who scored a one-two with Mike Parkes in the 312, which saved the day in an an otherwise lacklustre season.

The Seventies. After three barren years, the Maranello marque won again in 1970 courtesy of Clay Regazzoni who, in the final stages got the better of Jackie Stewart in the March. Five years later, the Swiss driver did it again which was cause for great celebration, as by coming third, Niki Lauda brought the Drivers’ title back to Maranello, eleven years on from Surtees. It was the same scenario four years later in ‘79, this time the title going to winner Jody Scheckter, with team-mate Gilles Villeneuve riding shotgun in second.

The 1988 “miracle”. Scheckter’s win was the last for a very long time for the Scuderia at Monza. In September 1988, Ferrari turned up in Monza with a heavy heart, as it was the first race following the death of the founder Enzo, back in August. In qualifying, the McLarens that had won every race that year, monopolised the front row with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Prost retired with a problem, but Senna seemed to be heading for an easy win. However, with three laps to go, the Brazilian came up behind the backmarker, Jean-Louis Schlesser in the Williams. The Frenchman moved over but ended up t-boning Senna who had to retire. It left the door open for Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto to take their Ferraris to a one-two. The next day, some journalists wrote that, looking down, Enzo Ferrari had orchestrated Schlesser’s misfortune.

The Schumacher era. There would be an eight year break before seeing a Ferrari on the top step of the Monza podium. It was 1996 and the winner was the great Michael Schumacher, who won again in Monza in 1998, with a fabulous passing move on Mika Hakkinen’s McLaren at the Roggia chicane. In 2000, another win meant Schumacher equaled Senna’s number of victories and he couldn’t hold back the tears in the press conference. He also won in 2003 and 2006, while Rubens Barrichello made his mark in this era, winning in 2002 and in 2004, when the Ferraris had to fight their way back up the order after Rubens had made a poor tyre choice and Michael spun at Roggia.

The Alonso era. The latest win for Ferrari at Monza was down to Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard had previously won in 2007 and in 2010, he had a long duel with Jenson Button in the McLaren, the Englishman finally having to give best to Fernando’s pressure and the performance of the F10. As for Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn has never won at Monza, his best result being a second place in 2006.

 

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Circuit Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Date 24.08.2014
Laps 44
Distance 308.052 km / 191,456 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 308 Scuderia Ferrari 4.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 307 Scuderia Ferrari 7.

 

Belgian GP – Roles reversed

Posted: 24.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Marco Mattiacci: “At the end of a weekend in which the topic of young drivers was very much in the news, I want to start by congratulating Raffaele Marciello on his first GP2 win and Jules Bianchi for his strong showing in yesterday’s qualifying. As for the race, we are very pleased for Kimi: today, he came close to the podium and scored his best result of the season, a result which sees us maintain third place in the Constructors’ classification. Unfortunately, Fernando’s race was compromised by a problem at the start. Without that, I firmly believe the podium was within his reach. We know we have missed out on a great opportunity, but we will learn from this incident to pay obsessive attention to our procedures, as we strive to improve reliability. The next race will be complicated because top speed is a strong point of the Mercedes-powered teams. We will try and defend with every means available, because the efforts of the team in terms of improving the car are producing encouraging signs.”

Fernando Alonso: “Today my race started on the back foot as the car did not fire up and we had to use another battery. It’s a shame because we had a strong pace all weekend and, starting fourth, we could have finished on the podium. With a penalty to take and on a circuit where top speed is our weak point, we knew we didn’t stand much of a chance, but all the same we did our best. Unfortunately, towards the end there was some rather questionable driving and after my front wing was damaged in a coming together with Vettel, the important thing was to get to the chequered flag. I know the Stewards acted on what happened, but I don’t think it’s that important when you are fighting for sixth and seventh places. Now we must look ahead and prepare for Monza. Even if it’s a track that won’t suit our car, it’s our home race. We will have the support of all the fans and so it’s a race where we want to do better. Let’s hope we succeed in that.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “We had decided to tackle this race more aggressively, making an early stop to get ahead of the cars that had yet to pit and that meant I was able to stay with the leaders for much of the race. When Bottas in the Williams began to close on me, I knew I didn’t have the speed to defend on the straight and with a few laps to go, he managed to pass me. In general, I’m happy with how this weekend ended. We knew it would not be easy on this circuit, but we did our utmost and for the first time, we managed to have a clean race without any problems. The car has improved and today the pace was good. Fourth place shows we are going in the right direction, but it doesn’t mean we can settle for that. Today, we scored a good number of points, but we are here to win and we will continue to work to reach the top.”

Pat Fry: “Fourth and seventh places can’t be seen as satisfactory, especially given that circumstances today meant we could have delivered more as a team. Clearly, Fernando’s penalty, because of a problem with the charge from the external battery we use on the grid, cost him the chance of fighting for a place on the podium and from this incident we must learn to improve our procedures. From then on, his race was compromised and whatever strategy we went for would have seen him in traffic: that’s how it turned out and unfortunately, he suffered a lot behind Magnussen, who could count on better straight line speed. Despite this, Fernando pulled off several overtaking moves and drove a great race. It’s a shame about the contact with Vettel at La Source, which cost him places right at the end. Kimi ran a clean race and we are pleased his feeling with the car is improving. It was precise and he made no mistakes: we came close to a third place with him, which he maybe deserved. Now we will continue to develop the car to give both our drivers an ever more competitive package, even if we have to be realistic when it comes to the rest of the season. Monza will be a very tough race, but there too, we will try and get the maximum out of our available package.”

Race
  Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 8th (7th) 1:25:37.718 + 61.162 44 1.53.879 29
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 12 New Soft
2nd stop Lap 25 New Medium
RAIKKONEN 4th 1:25:13.371 + 36.815 44 1.54.090 39
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 8 New Soft
2nd stop Lap 21 New Medium
Weather: air 17/19 °C, track 24/32 °C. Sunny

 

Belgian GP – Kimi’s best of the year, Fernando fights back

Posted: 24.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 24 August – Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix to secure his best result of the season so far, while team-mate Fernando Alonso salvaged a few points, in a race compromised before the start, when a problem on the F14 T meant his mechanics stayed on the grid too long and the Spaniard was given a stop-go penalty. He took the flag in eighth spot, but a post-race penalty for Magnussen moves him to seventh. With the Mercedes duo tripping each other up, the way was clear for Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull to take his third win of the season, joined on the podium by Nico Rosberg, second for Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas third in the Williams.

Fernando’s car would not start for the formation lap and the mechanics had to stay on the grid longer than allowed to sort the problem. After Vettel briefly split Hamilton and the slow starting Rosberg, it was back to a Mercedes one-two as the cars came through to end the opening lap. The internecine battle at Mercedes saw Rosberg clip the back of Hamilton’s car, giving the Englishman a puncture, which ruined his race.

From the leader to sixth-placed Kimi the gap was just 4 seconds on lap 7, with Bottas in the Williams passing Fernando on lap 8, so the two Ferraris were now running fifth and sixth. The stewards announced a stop-go penalty for Fernando for having his mechanics on the grid after the 15 second signal. Temporary leader Bottas came in on 12, along with Fernando to take on fresh rubber and to sit out his penalty. The Spaniard emerged in tenth place but soon got by Perez to go ninth. Kimi had got as high as second, benefiting from having pitted early, before making his final tyre change on lap 21. The second time, the early stop would work against him in the closing stages, as Rosberg and Bottas, on fresher rubber, both passed him to push the Ferrari man off the podium.

Fernando made his second stop on lap 25, taking on a set of Mediums and rejoining ninth. In the closing laps Fernando was caught up in a fight for fifth, behind Magnussen and ahead of Button and Vettel, the cars four abreast for a moment. The Ferrari man lost a position to Button but then got it back in the most exciting scrap of the race. Fernando then lost more places on the final lap, when the hectic scrap between world champions saw Vettel’s car remove most of Fernando’s front wing as the two men touched, which dropped him to seventh and then eighth as Button got by one more time. Magnussen’s moves on Fernando were later deemed irregular and the Dane was given a 20 second penalty, promoting the Ferrari man to seventh.

On a track where a lack of top speed for the F14 T was going to make for a difficult weekend, the actual performance level shown by Kimi and Fernando during the 44 laps was better than expected, proof that the team is making progress. It’s come at the right time with the all important home race next at Monza in a fortnight.

 

Belgian GP – Raikkonen just off the podium, Fernando eighth

Posted: 24.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

140205_new

Spa-Francorchamps, 24 August –Kimi Raikkonen came very close to a podium finish in the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track. Having started eighth, the Finn did an excellent job of making the most of every opportunity that came his way in an action-packed race, in which he spent much of the time in third place. Fernando Alonso on the other hand, had a decidedly difficult time of it, eventually finishing eighth.

A problem on Alonso’s F14 T before the start meant the mechanics had to stay on the grid over the time allowed. He managed to get away before the last car passed him and so was able to take up his correct fourth place on the grid. However, because of the rule infringement, the Spaniard was given a 5 seconds stop-go penalty, which he took at the first pit stop.

The opening laps were action packed, as the two Mercedes collided, so that Hamilton had to pit with a puncture and Rosberg struggled with front wing damage. That meant it was all very close at the front, with both Scuderia Ferrari drivers in the mix, as the top six were all within 3 seconds of one another.

Raikkonen was always a front runner, even getting as high as second for a while, spending much of the race in third. However, in the closing stages, Kimi had to give best to the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and settle for fourth, which is nevertheless his best result of the season so far. Alonso paid a heavy price for that 5 second penalty, finding himself locked in battle with Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren who was still in front of Fernando after the second pit stop. That cost the Spaniard a lot of time and in the closing stages he was involved in a four way fight, but had to also give best to Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Jenson Button (McLaren) thus finishing eighth. Daniel Ricciardo took the third win of his career. The next round is at Monza in a fortnight’s time.

 

Belgian GP – Classic Spa

Posted: 23.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Fernando Alonso: “I think today’s qualifying went well, even if it wasn’t easy, because every time you went out on track, you didn’t know what conditions to expect and exactly how much grip you would find from the track surface. Fourth position is a great result and now I think we can expect a very interesting race. We tried various aerodynamic configurations and, if we seemed more competitive, maybe it’s because we managed to adapt better than some other teams. The rain certainly helped, but we also had good pace on the long run in the dry yesterday. Tomorrow, whatever the conditions, we must simply try to run a perfect race and above all make the right tyre choices. We have all new sets available and, of the two compounds, I think the Soft will be the one to use at the start and in the early part of the race. The Medium is a bit slower, but similar to the Soft in terms of degradation, so it will be a case of running it for as little time as possible in the race and to make the change at the right moment.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “After lots of unforeseen incidents on Friday, this morning I was reasonably happy with the handling of my car. In the afternoon, the arrival of the rain made everything more unpredictable, the car was sliding all over the place and putting together a good lap wasn’t easy. On my last run in Q3, I tried my best, but some mistakes cost me a few places. Even if I’m a bit disappointed, now I want to just think about tomorrow’s race, which will be a long one, with the chance of very variable weather. I will try and make up as many places as possible and in order to do that, it will be very important to make the right decisions at the right time.”

Pat Fry: “We are reasonably pleased with the outcome, even if we cannot ignore Mercedes’ performance, given that we want to get back to being in the top positions. Fernando only just missed out on third place, having produced a fantastic lap. I hope he can have a good race from fourth on the grid. Kimi lost out a bit in all three sectors, but I believe he drove as hard as he could, even though he wound up eighth. Certainly, we can’t forget all the difficulties he experienced yesterday, because I’m sure that with a bit more track time, he could have been a bit higher up the order. Tomorrow’s race will be long and difficult: the forecast is for less chance of rain than today, but here at Spa, it’s impossible to be sure. The important thing is to be ready to adapt our strategy to whatever conditions we encounter.”

 

Belgian GP – Wet weather welcome

Posted: 23.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 23 August – The two Ferrari F14 Ts will start tomorrow’s twelfth round of the World Championship from the second and fourth rows of the grid and fourth placed Fernando Alonso admitted that the rain which, almost inevitably affected qualifying, helped him today. The Spaniard was pleased with his performance and so he should be, because his lap time was only fractionally slower than third placed Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

However, looking at the bigger picture, the two Mercedes were once again in a class of their own and, with the very long lap here, their advantage looks even bigger than elsewhere. Pole man Nico Rosberg put in a lap over 2 seconds faster than Vettel, with second placed Lewis Hamilton just under three tenths slower than his team-mate.

On paper therefore, especially as the race should more than likely be run in the dry, one could expect the silver cars to clear off into the distance. However, this is Spa and anything can and usually does happen. Add in Fernando’s fierce determination and his reputation for breathtaking opening laps and there is a good chance the Ferrari fans in the forests will have something to cheer about, come the end of the 44 laps.

The good news on Kimi’s side of the garage is that in this morning’s dry FP3 he was happy with the car. This afternoon, but for a few little driving mistakes, possibly the lingering effect of not having a trouble-free Friday, he might have been higher up the order than eighth. The two Prancing Horse runners are separated on the grid by three different cars; the Red Bull of fifth placed Daniel Ricciardo, the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.

 

Belgian GP – Second and fourth rows for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 23.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 23 August –At 2pm tomorrow, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the second and fourth rows, after the Spaniard was fourth fastest in qualifying, 69 thousandths off third placed Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull,) with the Finn in eighth spot on the grid.

Rain affected qualifying, having fallen before the start and then intermittently during the session. Neither Ferrari man had any trouble in Q1, getting through with Kimi sixth and Alonso ninth. Q2 also went smoothly, with Fernando making the cut to Q3 in third place, with Kimi fifth. In the top-ten shoot-out, the sun reappeared and the track gradually dried out.

For the eleventh time in his career, Nico Rosberg took pole in 2.05.591, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Behind Vettel and Fernando (2.07.786,) the third row features Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams.) Row 4 sees Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) on the inside of Kimi who stopped the clocks in 2.08.780. Behind them are Felipe Massa (Williams) and Jenson Button (McLaren.)

 

Belgian GP – Kimi and Fernando fourth and sixth

Posted: 23.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 23 August – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers finished the final hour of free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix in fourth and sixth places. The track was damp at the start after earlier rainfall and hardly anyone went out on track therefore for the first 30 minutes. With 25 minutes left, the track was dry enough for slicks and the track finally got busy. Raikkonen and Alonso did 9 laps each, first on the Medium tyres and then simulated qualifying on the Softs. Kimi’s best time was a 1.49.817, while Fernando stopped the clocks in 1.49.890.

Valtteri Bottas was fastest for Williams in 1.49.465, while Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) was second with Nico Rosberg third in the Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton split the two Ferraris in his Mercedes with the same time of Raikkonen. The fight for pole gets underway at 2pm when rain might well be on the agenda again.

 

Belgian GP – The challenge of the Ardennes

Posted: 22.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Fernando Alonso: “Compared to the other race weekends, the story is a bit different here, because Spa is a high speed circuit and, after a month off, getting back to racing at a fantastic track like this is a real pleasure. It was nice to be able to run in the dry today. The weather is always changeable here and in fact, the possibility of rain is forecast for tomorrow, therefore, as usual, we will ensure we are ready for whatever comes our way. At this track and at Monza, engine performance counts for a lot. We know there is no magic solution but we will nevertheless try to optimise everything. The car behaved as we expected from our simulations and that is definitely something positive.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “A difficult day, complicated by a series of setbacks which cost us valuable track time. In the morning, I had a brake problem, but once it was sorted, we were able to get through our planned programme for the first session. The new components we brought for this race seem to be working, but only after we have cross-referenced all the data will we be able to work out what is the best package to use for the rest of the weekend. In the afternoon, an electrical problem complicated our work, preventing us from carrying out the race simulation. Tomorrow, we can expect a busy free practice session, in which we will do our best to prepare the car for qualifying and the race.”

Pat Fry: “The Spa circuit is a very enjoyable one for the drivers and at the same time it presents a great challenge for we engineers, especially this year because of the parameters linked to the new Power Unit. In order to gather as much data as possible, we chose to run different programmes with our drivers. Unfortunately, in the second session, Kimi’s work was affected by an electrical problem, which although it didn’t prevent him running, did mean he couldn’t make the most of all the systems. In the first and third sectors, top speed counts the most, while in the middle one, driveability and aerodynamic downforce come into play more and that makes finding the right set-up especially demanding, even more so when looking to the race, because while extra downforce can be an advantage in the second sector, it slows the cars on the straights, making it harder to attack and defend in the race. We are working hard on the efficiency of the car in general and on the thermal energy side of the Power Unit, but I think that at tracks like this one and Monza, which highlights these characteristics on our rivals’ cars, we will have to try and defend with all means available and attack where and when possible.”

 

Belgian GP – Talent will out

Posted: 22.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 22 August – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers both completed 35 laps today which, to put some perspective on it, is 9 laps short of Sunday’s race distance. They say the driver can make a difference on this 7 kilometre Belgian rollercoaster and the talented Mr. Alonso would seem to have proved that, given that on a track where top speed counts for a lot, he still hauled his F14 T to third place on both of today’s time sheets, even though the Ferrari car is known to lack some high speed pace. Kimi Raikkonen is no slouch round here either, as he’s won the Belgian Grand Prix four times, but we will now have to wait until tomorrow to see what the Finn can do, as he was slowed by an electrical problem this afternoon.

Inevitably the two cars that were quicker than Fernando’s were silver, with Lewis Hamilton fastest at the end of the day, followed by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. This trio were the only drivers to break the 1minute 50 seconds barrier. Rounding off the top six were the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, fourth and sixth, split by the McLaren of Jenson Button.

Rain is a distinct possibility for tomorrow, which could make qualifying very interesting as a wet track will diminish the importance of the horsepower factor. There were two new names on the timing sheets today: after some confusion, Alex Rossi drove only FP1 for Marussia, before handing back the car to Max Chilton and, at Caterham, three times Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer has replaced Kamui Kobayashi this weekend.

 

Belgian GP – Mixed fortunes for the Scuderia

Posted: 22.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 22 August –Mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari in the second Friday session. Fernando Alonso was again third, while Kimi Raikkonen had an electrical problem, which did not stop him running, but meant he could not push to the maximum, thus affecting his lap times, so that he ended up fifteenth fastest.

Alonso did 19 laps this afternoon, his best being a 1.49.930, one more than Raikkonen, whose fastest lap was a 1.52.234.
Both drivers continued to work on set-up and completed tyre evaluation work, this time also running the Soft Option brought here by Pirelli.

As in the first session, a Mercedes was fastest, although this time it was Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.49.189, to beat team-mate Nico Rosberg by six tenths, eight faster than Alonso. Behind the Spaniard came Felipe Massa (Williams,) Jenson Button (McLaren) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams.) Free practice 3 is tomorrow at 11am.

 

Belgian GP – Fernando and Kimi third and fifth

Posted: 22.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 22 August –Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen ended the first free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix in third and fifth places respectively. On a sun-kissed Spa track, the Spaniard completed 16 laps and the Finn 17.

Alonso’s best time was a 1.51.805 while Raikkonen stopped the clocks in 1.52.818. In the morning, both Scuderia Ferrari drivers worked on set-up as usual and concentrated on assessing the Pirelli Medium tyres, which are being run this weekend along with the Soft compound.

Quickest in this session was Nico Rosberg who posted a 1.51.577, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was just under a tenth slower. In between Alonso and Raikkonen, we find Jenson Button in the McLaren. The second session starts at 2pm.

 

Spa, the drivers’ circuit

Posted: 22.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 22 August – Being an average driver is not enough to win at Spa-Francorchamps, you need to have that little something special,” is what Scuderia Ferrari test driver, Pedro de la Rosa, had to say about the historic Belgian venue, when talking to www.ferrari.com. “This track is special and that’s why it always produces a very close fight between the drivers. At Spa, the driver can make the difference, which is why everyone reckons it’s a drivers’ track. Coming out on top here is like winning in Monaco: it is unique and you need to be a complete driver, one who can tackle the high speed corners as well as pulling off passing moves and keeping your foot down.”

Thrills and difficulties. “Personally, I still consider Suzuka is the most difficult circuit, but right behind it on this chart is Spa,” continues Pedro. “It is extremely difficult for the driver, as extreme forces are exerted on his body and it’s equally hard on the car, especially the engine. In the first section you are pushing very hard and, at least up until last year, Eau Rouge was taken flat. We will have to see if that is still the case with these new cars. One of my favourite parts is the uphill Pouhon corner, which is taken in sixth gear. You cover a lot of ground without braking and it’s very difficult, because there are two points where you have to hit the apex and it puts a serious strain on your neck.”

Strategy and tactics. At Spa, strategy plays a key role and is a real test of car and driver. “Even tactically, you have to be right on it, keeping an eye on the temperatures at all times. For example, the brakes are not used much, but when they are, you need to use them very hard, such as at the first hairpin and, especially at the Bus Stop (the final chicane before the finish line) which comes after a long flat out section.”

 

Belgian GP – Raikkonen: “The sport is more straightforward now”

Posted: 21.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 21 August – The Spa circuit is famous for its high speed challenge and, at his usual Thursday meeting with the media in the Belgian paddock, Kimi Raikkonen was asked if he regretted the fact the current cars are a bit slower than in the past. “In a way yes, if you think of F1, you’d think we would have everything possible in the car to make them go faster, as it was in the past,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “But obviously, now the rules have changed aimed at making the cars slower, while improving the show. I think the cars looked nicer in the past and were much more challenging to drive and it was more fun in some ways. On the other side, maybe we have more overtaking now, but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and race with the cars from the past.”

When Kimi made his F1 debut there were concerns voiced about his lack of experience, so he is ideally placed to comment on the story of the day, next year’s arrival of the currently 16 year old Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso. “I did one full year, 23 races in a car before coming to F1,” recalled the Finn. “He has probably done more. I did well; time will tell how he will do. The sport is more straightforward now than in the past, the points are given out to more finishers. So I don’t think he will have problems and I hope he does well.”

Kimi’s last win at Spa came at the wheel of a Ferrari in 2009, which at the time he described as “a miracle.” He was asked what a victory would represent on Sunday. “It would be a similar story!” he said. “That year, we were one of the few teams running KERS and that was a good help for us here. Hopefully we can have a good weekend overall and a good race, so that we start improving. But here and Monza are probably not the easiest places for us as we are missing some straightline speed, which is very important at this circuit and the next one. I think that the final part of the season can only be better for us, especially as I’ve had a much better feeling from the car at the last two races.”

 

Belgian GP – Alonso: “To finish third, an ambitious target”

Posted: 21.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 21 August – The first part of Fernando Alonso’s usual Thursday press meeting was taken up discussing a 16 year old Dutch boy! The news that Max Verstappen will be 17 years old when he makes his debut with Toro Rosso next year has been making all the headlines. “We will have to see how he gets on next year,” was Fernando’s view. “For now, I welcome him and wish him the best. Probably I wasn’t ready at 17. Maybe I felt I was at the time, but now, after 14 years in Formula 1 you can see areas where you improved a lot. But today, Formula 1 cars are a lot easier to drive, not so demanding physically, so that can help the new arrivals.”

Team Principal Marco Mattiacci recently comment that the team has to adopt a more aggressive approach in how it goes racing, and the Spaniard agreed that this was the right way to move forward. “Actually, I think we have already been quite aggressive in recent years, with such examples as running pull-rod suspension on the front of the cars since 2012 and a new concept for the exhausts at the rear,” he said. “Now, we just need to keep improving the car and our facilities in the factory in order to be a stronger team, with new ideas.” The Ferrari driver then had this to say about Luca Marmorini being replaced by Mattia Binotto. “All the changes made recently are aimed at making us more competitive and stronger. So if the team decides to replace someone, it’s because it feels a new person can do better. The power unit development was frozen but from next year, we need to unlock some more of the potential from the power unit, because we are not at the performance level of some of our opponents. Hopefully, the new people can find the extra horsepower!”

As for the rest of the season, Alonso restated his aim to help the team finish as high up the Constructors’ classification as possible. “I think the fight with Williams will go right to the end,” he reckoned. “These two races in Spa and Monza should favour them more, so we must try and score good points. As for the Drivers’ championship, I would like to finish third, fighting Ricciardo, but that’s quite an ambitious target.”

 

Belgian GP – A teaspoon per lap

Posted: 21.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Spa-Francorchamps, 21 August- For Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, energy saving was the first item on the agenda at Spa-Francorchamps, the backdrop to Sunday’s twelfth round of the Formula 1 World Championship.

Along with Shell Project Leader Mike Evans, they met students who had designed highly efficient cars to take part in the Shell Eco-Marathon, in which teams from all over the world compete to see who can cover the furthest distance using the equivalent of one kW/h of energy or one litre of fuel.

Before having a go at the wheel of six of these unusual prototypes near the famous La Source hairpin, Fernando and Kimi spent a long time talking to the young engineers, about environmental sustainability, at the event organised by Scuderia Ferrari’s technical partner Shell.

Much less powerful but greener than a Formula 1 car, the best of these innovative cars can cover one lap of the track using just 2.2 millilitres, or about a teaspoonful, whereas a Formula 1 car requires around two to three litres to cover the same distance.

 

A lap of the track at Spa with Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 21.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Maranello, 21 August – Spa-Francorchamps is one of the tracks the drivers love most, thanks to its high speed corners, its drops and climbs and its historic points such as Eau Rouge and the Bus Stop chicane. Fernando Alonso and four times winner here, Kimi Raikkonen were keen to try the track ahead of time, racing model cars on a track made by licensee Carrera, the leader in the field of the latest generation of electric racing car tracks. The layout was built up in one of the Logistics buildings at Maranello. The two Scuderia drivers were teamed with their respective data engineers, Edoardo Brosco and Giuliano Salvi as they fought a thrilling duel and they made the most of the occasion to describe the key points of this legendary track. Enjoy!

 

Belgian GP – Back to work

Posted: 19.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Maranello, 19 August – Eight races in fourteen weeks; that’s the schedule now facing the F1 circus as battle is joined again and it gets back to work for the second half of the season, after the official summer break. It leaves hardly any time to pause for breath as the teams crisscross the globe from east to west.

However, before the final six “flyaways” we come to two of the most evocative and historic events on the calendar, starting with this weekend’s race at Spa-Francorchamps.

The objectives. For Scuderia Ferrari, the objectives for the hectic dash to the 2014 finish line are clear: to finish as high up the order as possible in the Constructors’ classification in which it is currently third and, given that the technical regulations are more or less unchanged for 2015, to use development of the F14 T to learn valuable lessons for next season. This weekend’s race in the Ardennes takes place on a track that often throws up surprises, because of its high speed nature, that sees cars run in low downforce configuration, so that even teams usually regarded as backmarkers can be in the mix. It means the current front-runners are not necessarily the odds-on favourites and in terms of the show, spectators usually get to witness a fiercely competitive weekend.

A track for real drivers. It is also true that the challenges posed by the 7.004 kilometre track tend to highlight the abilities of the most talented drivers, but strangely enough, in this case Fernando Alonso is the exception that proves the rule, as he has never won here, his best results being two second places in 2005 and again last year. But given the Spaniard’s incredible driving this year, nothing can be ruled out this weekend. On the other hand, team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with four wins in Belgium is the most successful of the current drivers, equal with Jim Clark, one win behind Ayrton Senna and two behind Michael Schumacher. “Spa is probably my favourite circuit because it’s an old-style track which climbs and drops through the forest and I like the fact it’s fast and flowing,” says the Finn. “Also, it usually provides good racing to watch for the spectators. I think you can make a difference as a driver at every part of the circuit, but as with every track, it’s a combination of factors. At Turn 1, the hairpin, you can actually lose or gain a lot of time and you need good speed out of it because after it comes the very long straight including Eau Rouge. That corner has been easily flat out for quite a long time now, although actually, with this year’s cars, that might not be the case. Last time I drove here in a Ferrari (in 2009) I won, and that was in a year when we had been struggling since the start. But in Spa we managed to get things going a bit more in the right direction and it would be good if the same thing could happen this year. That would hopefully mean the racing would be a bit more fun. It’s always more fun when we get the results!”

The weather factor. Of course, no Spa preview can be complete without a nod to the weather: not only is rain a frequent player, but given the fact this is the longest track on the calendar, parts of the circuit can be bone dry and others wet, all adding to the unpredictable nature of the race, which means teams have to really be on top of every situation. Another effect of the long lap is that those who do the best job of managing the Energy Recovery Systems could reap the benefit of a performance advantage. All in all, Spa is a great way to end the holidays!

 

Championship resumes at Spa-Francorchamps

Posted: 18.08.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP BELGIO F1/2014

Maranello, 18 August – After the summer break, Formula 1 action resumes at one of the most historic venues on the calendar, Spa-Francorchamps, home to the Belgian Grand Prix. Sunday’s race will be the 59th and Scuderia Ferrari has won 16 times, making a hit rate of 27.5%. Over the years, the race has been held at three venues: Spa (46 times,) Zolder, in the Flemish part of Belgium (10 times) and twice at Nivelles-Baulers on the outskirts of Brussels.

The Fifties. The first ever Belgian Grand Prix was held in 1950 and was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo. Ferrari then won in 1952 and 1953 with Alberto Ascari at the wheel of the legendary 500. The Italian had a special feeling for this track and reckoned that Eau Rouge, the uphill esses which are still a challenge today, as the nicest corner he had ever tackled. Ferrari also won with Peter Collins in 1956.

The Sixties. In 1961, Ferrari was totally dominant taking the top four places with the 156 F1. Phil Hill won from Wolfgang von Trips, Richie Ginther and Olivier Gendebien. The first non-Ferrari finisher was John Surtees in the Cooper. In fact it was the English ace who took Ferrari’s last win on the old Spa layout, which was 14 kilometres long. It took place in 1966 and was one of the toughest races of all time. Surtees, partly down to the sensitivity he had developed from motor cycle racing, was the only one not to have any problems when, on the opening lap, the pack ran into a proper storm at Bourneville corner. Surtees got through unscathed, while Jochen Rindt who was behind him, spun several times but without any major consequence. Nine drivers went out, including Jackie Stewart who rolled his BRM and had to be pulled out by Graham Hill just seconds before the car caught fire.

The races at Zolder. The 1966 race and those after it led to Spa being considered too dangerous for Formula 1. So the Circus set up its tent at the 3.7 km Nivelles-Bauliers track, which was definitely safer, but not very spectacular. So another solution was tried in 1973, moving the race to the 4.2 km Zolder track. It suited Niki Lauda perfectly and he won for Ferrari in 1975 and ’76. At the end of the decade in 1979, came another win, this time courtesy of a bit of Jody Schecker magic.

The tragedy. What had seemed to be a lucky circuit for Ferrari was sadly also the scene of one of the greatest tragedies that befell the team. Saturday 8 May 1982, qualifying took place for the Belgian GP and the mood between the two Ferrari drivers was not great after Didier Pironi had disobeyed team orders, passing Gilles Villeneuve on the last lap at the previous race in Imola. There were just a few seconds to go and Villeneuve asked to go back out on track, some say to try and out-qualify his team-mate. The Canadian set off but clipped the back of a March that Jochen Mass was driving back to the pits. The German had moved right to give Villeneuve the racing line, but the Canadian did the same. The Ferrari 126 C2 was launched into the air and flew through the air with Villeneuve thrown out of the car still in his seat. He was still alive when transported to hospital but died during the evening. Ferrari pulled out of the race as a sign of respect. Formula 1 went back to Zolder one more time, in 1984 when Ferrari won with Michele Alboreto.

The Schumacher era. From 1985 onwards the race was always held at the new 7 kilometre Spa, which still maintained much of its old style with the La Source hairpin immediately after the start, Eau Rouge and the Kemmel straight, which is where the track diverts from the old one, goes into a very difficult mixed section, before rejoining the old layout with a series of flat out corners which lead to the Bus Stop chicane, so named because an actual bus used to stop there. The Scuderia returned to winning ways having joined forces with Michael Schumacher, at this track where the German made his Formula 1 debut in 1991 and took his maiden F1 win in’92. He won here in 1996, his first season with Ferrari, doing it again the next year. He’d have made it a hat trick, except that in appalling visibility, he ran into the back of David Coulthard, going slowly on the racing line, the Ferrari losing a wheel. It almost came to blows in the pits! Schumacher did it again in 2001 and 2002, while in 2004, finishing second was good enough for him to take his seventh world title.

Kimi and Felipe. Ferrari won again at Spa in 2007, courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen and the following year, it was Felipe Massa who was eventually declared the winner after Lewis Hamilton was given a penalty for an incorrect passing move on Raikkonen. The last win to date for the Scuderia was also down to Raikkonen in 2009, when he had to fend off Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India for several laps.

 

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Circuit Hungaroring – Budapest
Date 27.07.2014
Laps 70
Distance 306,630 km / 190,572 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 308 Scuderia Ferrari 6.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 307 Scuderia Ferrari 2.

 

Hungarian GP – A gamble that paid off

Posted: 27.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Marco Mattiacci: “It was a great race and very pleasing to see our team fight back from an extremely complicated Saturday. Kimi and Fernando demonstrated just what they are capable of and the whole team was up to the task. However, this result is just a step on a journey which started a few months ago. Fernando’s second place is a confidence booster and a sign that the major effort everyone is making to bring Ferrari back to the top is moving in the right direction, however we have to be realistic about it. Here, the weather and the track conditions leveled out the performance differences and that’s why we must not delude ourselves. Now we must just go back home, set on always doing better.”

Fernando Alonso: “This podium means a lot to me and the whole team, because after so many difficult races, we managed to get the most out of everything, also taking a few risks and second place seems like a win. To do 31 laps at the end on used Soft tyres was a great challenge. At that point, the strategy suggested that if we had made a third stop, we could have finished fourth, but we decided to run to the flag instead. This race shows that anything is possible when there are unusual conditions like today, with a wet start and the appearance of the Safety Car. We managed to make the most of all opportunities that presented themselves, taking the best decisions even at the most difficult moments. Sure, the characteristics of the circuit, with its limited overtaking opportunities, helped us and that’s why we have to be realistic and continue to work on the car, to improve in all aspects.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was difficult, but much more fun than the others, as I had a good feeling with the car, the pace was good and I felt I could push. After the way qualifying went yesterday, sixth was the most we could hope for. At the start, I got away well but then I lost vital time behind a Sauber and when I caught Massa’s Williams, I couldn’t get past: here in general, overtaking is not easy and we lack speed down the straights. Sure, this is a good team result, but we must not get too excited, because even if there are signs of improvement, we still have much work to do in a lot of areas to get to where we want to be. We’ve had a very complicated start to the season, but I hope the second part of the championship will go better. I have great faith in the team and I feel we are going in the right direction. Even if it’s going to take some time, I’m sure the results will come.”

Pat Fry: “After mixed fortunes in qualifying yesterday, today the team showed it could react extremely well and keep a cool head when faced with the variable situations that arose during the race. It’s never easy in cases like this, with rain at the start, the Safety Car, having to avoid traffic and especially with having to keep faster cars behind us, but the team performed very competently. The F14 T demonstrated the good race pace it had already shown on Friday and that has helped us re-take third place in the Constructors’ classification. After the summer break, we come to two races that will be difficult for us, on two tracks where it will be important to make the most of any opportunity, just as we did today. On behalf of the team, I wish to congratulate Fernando and Kimi. We had promised them redemption and we were true to our word. We know that there is still a long way to go, but we will spare nothing in our efforts, continuing to work hard to improve, day by day.”

Race
  Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 2nd 1:53:10.283 + 5.225 70 1.27.419 40
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 9 Old Soft
2nd stop Lap 38 Old Soft
RAIKKONEN 6th 1:53:36.549 + 31.491 707..111 1.27.983 47
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 8 New Soft
2nd stop Lap 41 New Soft
Weather: air 23/25 °C, track 27/35 °C. Cloudy

 

Hungarian GP – Alonso: “Like a victory for us!”

Posted: 27.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 27 July – Fernando Alonso finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in second place to give Scuderia Ferrari its second podium of the season after China, a fantastic morale booster going into the summer break. It was a truly incredible drive from the Spaniard who made the most of the slippery conditions at the start to create the building blocks for the rest of the race. He led for a total of 27 laps, only giving best to eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo on lap 67, the Australian Red Bull driver running on much newer tyres, having made three stops, while Fernando fought off strong opposition from the returning Mercedes duo behind him. To complete a very positive day for the Scuderia, Kimi Raikkonen also put in a strong drive from sixteenth to sixth, to bring home valuable points for the Constructors’ Championship in which Ferrari re-takes third place. Lewis Hamilton completed the podium trio. Alonso is now the only driver to have scored points in every race this season.

The 70 lap Hungarian Grand Prix turned out to be a fantastic advertisement for the sport of Formula 1 with battles and overtaking throughout the field, with people running different tyre strategies. This weekend’s duel between Fernando and Ricciardo was never going to last as long as their fight in Germany last weekend, as the Australian had a huge tyre advantage. As for third placed Hamilton, the Englishman took his Mercedes from a pit lane start to the podium, a remarkable achievement….nearly as remarkable as Fernando’s! In the post-race press conference, the man from Oviedo didn’t feel it was one of his best races, although the assembled media didn’t agree.

Fernando got a fantastic start from fifth in the wet, with everyone running Intermediates and was third by Turn 2 behind Rosberg and Bottas, as Vettel had a poor start dropping to fourth. Kimi made up two places to be 14th. On lap 2, Fernando lost fourth to Vettel when he ran wide and Kimi was 13th.

On lap 8, the Safety Car come out after Ericsson had a huge crash in the Caterham after Turn 3. This worked against Alonso and the other leaders, as they had just gone past the pits, while those further back, including Kimi, all charged straight into pit lane to fit slicks, so that Fernando had to wait a further lap before pitting.

Lap 23 saw the return of the Safety Car as Perez had a huge crash coming onto the pit straight. Ricciardo and Massa came in for fresh rubber, as did Bottas, which promoted Fernando to the lead, ahead of Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel and Hamilton so that Kimi was ninth.

Fernando came in for his second stop, taking on new Softs on lap 38 and it was here that he and the Ferrari strategists secured his podium finish. Realistically, he would have to make one more tyre stop, aiming for a possible fourth place finish. But with his usual skill and grit he did an incredible job of nursing a set of Soft tyres for a massive 32 laps all the way to the chequered flag.

By lap 56 Alonso’s lead over Hamilton came down to 1.2 seconds. Lap 61 the gap was just 0.8 with Ricciardo only 0.5 behind Hamilton. Lap 66 and Fernando’s mirrors were finally full of Red Bull as Ricciardo managed to get ahead of Hamilton. The Australian was on much fresher rubber and inevitably went past Fernando on lap 68. That left three nail-biting laps for the Spaniard to make his Ferrari as wide as possible, just holding off Hamilton to the flag.

 

Hungarian GP – Fernando so close to victory, while Kimi charges up the order

Posted: 27.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 27 July –Scuderia Ferrari recorded its best result of the season today. Fernando Alonso finished second, having led for a while until three laps from the end, while Kimi Raikkonen staged a great charge up the order to go from 16th on the grid to sixth at the flag.

It was a spectacular race, in part because it started on a wet track with everyone running Intermediate tyres. After a few laps, the Safety Car was required when Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily in the Caterham. The SC came out after the top four, including Fernando, had passed the pits, which jumbled the order, promoting Ricciardo to the lead.

The Safety Car came out again when Sergio Perez crashed the Force India on the pit straight, with Ricciardo changing tyres and mixing up the strategies. When the race was on again, Alonso therefore found himself leading, although Ricciardo, on a different strategy, retook the position, handing it back to the Spaniard with 15 laps remaining. Raikkonen meanwhile had his best race of the year, making the most of the run of pit stops to get as high up as third at one point.

On lap 60 of 70, Alonso led from Hamilton and Ricciardo, who on fresh rubber was catching the leaders. The battle was very close as Fernando’s tyres were worn out as he still defended bravely from Hamilton. Then, when with four laps to go, the Australian passed the Englishman, it was more difficult for Alonso who could not hold off the Red Bull which sailed past one lap later to give Ricciardo his second career win. However, Alonso used all his skill to fend off the Mercedes. The second and sixth places mean Scuderia Ferrari is back in third ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ classification. Now comes the three week break, so that hostilities resume with the Belgian Grand Prix on 24 August.

 

Hungarian GP – Two sides to Saturday

Posted: 26.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

140066ung

Fernando Alonso: “After a chaotic qualifying like today’s, you always think you could have done better. But if you then analyse everything that happened, finishing fifth is a good result, because we made the most of every opportunity that came our way. Getting to start on the clean side of the track is very important as it gives you a chance to make up places at the start and to race with the leaders. The rain expected for tomorrow definitely has an effect on strategy: so far, in the hot and dry conditions, there was talk of two or three stops, but tomorrow everything changes. Both Kimi and I need to score points for the team, because we want to get back the third place in the Constructors’ championship that we lost last weekend. Even starting far back, a good strategy could help us reach that goal.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with the outcome of qualifying, especially because this weekend I was going well and had a good feeling from the car. After the first run on the Medium tyres the team told me that my time should be good enough to get me through to the next part and so we decided to take a risk and not go out for a second run on the softer compound. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off and I couldn’t get past Q1. It’s going to be difficult, because there’s not much chance of overtaking here at the Hungaroring. We definitely made a mistake, but now I only want to look ahead. Tomorrow, even if it will be tough, we will do our best to try and move up the order.”

Pat Fry: “Mixed fortunes for our team in today’s qualifying, with our drivers ending up no less than twelve places apart. In the first part, the fact that Maldonado and Hamilton were out led us to keep both cars in the garage, banking on the times set with the Medium tyres. With Fernando this worked, but unfortunately, with Kimi we were caught out by the evolution of the track. It’s very disappointing not to have got through with him because he’s been going better this weekend. Clearly tomorrow he will be on the attack: on this track, it’s not easy to move up the order because of the traffic, but our race pace is good and we will do all we can to turn things around. In the second part of qualifying, the track continued to improve and Fernando got into Q3 easily enough. In the end, when the rain came, we decided to go out immediately, but then it was impossible to finish the lap. The hot track dried out very quickly but, concerned it might rain again, we decided to go out on track earlier than planned and Fernando ended up fifth. Rain is forecast for tomorrow which means it is even harder to make predictions, but whatever the weather we must try and get Kimi back up into the points and to get a good haul with Fernando.”

  ALONSO – Chassis 307 RAIKKONEN – Chassis 308
Q1 P10 1:26.087 New Medium – 4 laps P17 1:26.792 New Medium – 5 laps
Q2 P6 1:24.249 New Soft – 3 lapsNew Soft – 2 laps - - -
Q3 P5 1:23.909 New Soft – 2 lapsOld Soft – 3 lapsNew Soft – 3 laps - - -
Weather: 28/31°C, track 39/50 °C. Cloudy, light rain at the end

 

Hungarian GP – Mixed Fortunes in Mogyorod

Posted: 26.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

140056ung

Budapest, 26 July – For the fourth time this season, Fernando Alonso qualified fifth this afternoon to secure a place on the clean side of Row 3. It’s a good place to be to pick up points in the final race before the summer break. Possibly making life easier for the Ferrari man tomorrow is the misfortune of others, in the shape of Lewis Hamilton failing to set any time, after his Mercedes caught fire.

It means the championship leaders have only one Silver Arrow to their bow at the front of the grid, in the form of the inevitable Nico Rosberg, on pole for the sixth time this year. It’s an all-German front row, with Sebastian Vettel in second place for Red Bull after a somewhat frantic session, when a light rain shower hit the track just as Q3 was starting. Row 2 features the consistent Valtteri Bottas, third for Williams, with the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo alongside him. Fernando shares his row with the Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa and the Spaniard will be hoping to use the advantage of the clean side of the track to beat the Williams in a drag race off the line.

Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s race from a long way back on the grid because he was bumped out of Q2 after Marussia’s Jules Bianchi put in a very good lap right in the closing moments of the first session. The Ferrari strategy at this point, like that of other front runners, was to secure a place in Q2 without resorting to using the softer compound Pirelli. In simple terms, it was a gamble that worked with Alonso but not with Raikkonen, as the track conditions evolved more than expected.

On the positive side, Raikkonen has clearly been much happier with the handling of his car this weekend, out-pacing his team-mate in one free practice session and being very close to him in the other two. Therefore expect some fireworks as the Finn tries to fight his way up the order, something he is certainly capable of. If it’s dry for the race then the tyres he was unable to use this afternoon will come in useful and if it’s wet, then the skills of world champion might come in useful! In fact, it looks as though Kimi has already moved up one place to sixteenth on the grid, as Kevin Magnussen, who crashed after qualifying tenth, starts from pit lane.

 

Hungarian GP – Fernando fifth, Kimi towards the back

Posted: 26.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 26 July –Mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. When the lights go out at 2pm tomorrow, Fernando Alonso will start from fifth on the grid, while Kimi could do no better than 17th, after taking a strategic gamble that didn’t pay off.

The sky looked threatening at the start of Q1, with the forecast claiming a 30% chance of rain. There was drama right away, as Pastor Maldonado stopped his Lotus at the side of the track and Lewis Hamilton had to park his Mercedes at the entrance to pit lane with a fire at the rear, not even having set a time.

Midway through Q1, Fernando was comfortably in a Q2 position, with Kimi 14th. The team then decided to keep the Finn in the garage, confident that the Caterhams and Marussias would not manage to beat his 1.26.792, which would have seen Kimi no lower than 16th. However, Jules Bianchi put in a great lap which meant that, by just a handful of hundredths, Raikkonen failed to make the cut to Q2. Now, the Finn has nothing to lose and will be attacking all the way in tomorrow’s race.

Alonso then proceeded into the final part of the session which started on a damp track, as a few drops of rain had begun to fall. He managed a 1.23.909, which would be good enough for fifth place on the grid. Ahead of him, Nico Rosberg took his tenth career pole in the Mercedes, with a time of 1.22.715, followed by Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull,) Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull.)

 

Hungarian GP – Fernando and Kimi sixth and seventh

Posted: 26.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 26 July –Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished the final free practice session prior to qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in sixth and seventh places respectively. Fernando did 11 laps, the best being a 1.24.769, while Kimi did 19, the quickest in 1.24.818.

In the first part of the session both Scuderia Ferrari drivers did a race stint simulation using Medium tyres, the harder of the two compounds Pirelli has in Hungary. Then, in the final 15 minutes the focus switched to qualifying, doing some laps on the Soft tyre.

Quickest once again was Lewis Hamilton with a 1.24.048 in the Mercedes, with team-mate Nico Rosberg 47 thousandths of a second slower in second place. Third and fourth were the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Also ahead of the Ferrari duo was Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. The battle for pole begins at 14h00.

 

Hungarian GP – A slippery start

Posted: 25.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Fernando Alonso: “Going from one race to the next doesn’t usually involve many changes, but here, unlike what usually happens on a Friday, we had to work a lot on the set-up, to try and adapt the car to the circuit, the tyres and the high temperatures. So there was rather more work than usual, but it produced results and we improved run after run. Sure, there’s still a lot to do to be as competitive as we’d like, but I think we’re on the right road. There’s less grip here than in previous years, but it’s the same for everyone and now we have to try and prepare the car as well as possible for qualifying and the race. High temperatures like those we saw today are always challenging for the tyres, but the forecast is for cooler conditions from tomorrow and maybe rain on Sunday, so we have to be ready for every eventuality.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “In the first free practice session, we managed to do a good job, testing various solutions on the programme and I was feeling reasonably pleased with the handling of the car. Then, in the afternoon, I went out for a second run on the Medium tyres, because the behaviour of this compound seemed worse as the temperature went up and that affected the handling of the car, while on the Soft I had no problems. In the second part of the session I did a race simulation with both compounds: unfortunately when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”

Pat Fry: “The Hungaroring always presents a major challenge for drivers and also engineers, especially during free practice. All the teams know this track lacks grip and, especially on Friday, one has to adapt to the gradually improving conditions, as the rubber gets put down on the surface. Today, because of instability that seemed to affect other cars as well as ours, we had to pay particular attention to set-up, trying to improve the balance at the entry and exit to the corners. This track is very demanding on the aerodynamic front and today’s high temperatures had a significant effect on tyre behaviour, although it’s due to get cooler for the rest of the weekend. The lap is particularly short and will make managing the ERS system very interesting during the race and this is an area where we are learning a lot race after race. The performance level over short and long runs are similar to those seen in recent races and it looks like being a very tough weekend. Overtaking opportunities are strictly limited and so, more than elsewhere, you need to get the best possible result in qualifying.”

  ALONSO – Chassis 307  RAIKKONEN – Chassis 308
First Session P4 1:26.872 23 laps   P3 1:26.421 29 laps
                                      Weather:  air 26/28 °C, track 36/47 °C. Sunny
Second Session P4 1:25.437 26 laps P6 1:25.730 30 laps
                                       Weather:  air 29/30°C, track 53/54 °C.  Sunny

 

Hungarian GP – An engineering puzzle

Posted: 25.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 25 July – A Formula 1 car is a temperamental beast at the best of times, but getting one set up properly for the Hungaroring uses up a lot of brain power. On a Friday, with changing weather conditions and an improving track, getting the cars in shape is like doing a Crossword Puzzle: it doesn’t matter if the “Across” answer seems correct, if it does not line up with the “Down” solution.

That was definitely the case today and although the Ferrari crew can only really know what its own cars are doing, you only had to watch the TV screens to see that, throughout the length of the pit lane, teams were facing similar conundrums. Essentially the two conflicting factors here are that, as more and more laps are completed, not just by the Formula 1 cars but also by those in the support races, the very dirty and green track surface gradually cleans up and provides more grip. However, at the same time, during the day the temperature rises – the track exceeded 50 degrees this afternoon – which had a negative effect, mainly on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds on offer this weekend.

The engineering “trick” is not to over react to the changing conditions, but to estimate where the track will be for qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s race. That’s no easy task either as it’s meant to get cooler and possibly even wet on Sunday. For the record, Fernando Alonso completed 49 laps today and ended up fourth fastest, behind the inevitable pace-setting Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, doing ten laps more than his team-mate, with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen keeping the two Prancing Horse apart.

 

Hungarian GP – Almost 60 laps for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 25.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 25 July – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the second free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix in fourth and sixth places. As expected, it was hotter this afternoon, with the track hitting 56 degrees.

Fernando did 26 laps with a best one in 1.25.437, while Kimi completed 30, stopping the clocks in 1.25.730.

This afternoon, the Scuderia drivers and indeed the others too, continued working on set-up and running a tyre comparison, using the Softs as well as the Mediums.

In the last half hour the focus switched to long runs and a simulation of the first stint of the GP, running on a heavy fuel load. Kimi and Fernando also worked on the start procedure, coming through the pit lane several times to practice getting off the line.

Just like in the morning, Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes in 1.24.482, again with team-mate Nico Rosberg second ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull. In between the two Ferraris came Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.

 

Hungarian GP – Kimi and Fernando third and fourth

Posted: 25.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 25 July–The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the first free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix in third and fourth places. Kimi Raikkonen completed 29 laps, with a best time of 1.26.421, while Fernando did 23 on his way to a 1.26.872. It was a trouble-free session for both drivers.

The track was still very dirty during the 90 minutes of the session, while temperatures were not too high. The team worked on set-up and on evaluating the Medium tyre supplied by Pirelli this weekend, along with the Soft.

Fastest was Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.25.814 in the Mercedes ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg (1.25.997.) The second session gets underway at 14h00 when track temperatures should hit the levels that can be expected for tomorrow’s qualifying and the start of Sunday’s race.

 

De la Rosa: “A race run in high temperatures”

Posted: 25.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Budapest, 25 July No drivers are indifferent to the Hungaroring, either they love it or hate it, along with the hot weather that it’s famous for. “The Hungarian circuit is definitely my favourite,” says Scuderia Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa, making his feelings clear to www.ferrari.com. “And that’s not just because I got on the podium, but also because I think it’s a fantastic track, with lots of different corner types, some requiring hard braking and some that are low speed. There is no lack of fast turns, especially number 5, which is also blind and there are some changes of incline, which increase the impression of speed.

“As for the asphalt, it usually offers little grip when running starts on Friday, but then improves bit by bit as the cars put rubber down,” continues Pedro. “Furthermore, the quality of the surface is very good now, while in the past it was full of irregularities. Overtaking here is very difficult, because the straight after turn 15 going to the first corner is not very long. As a result, qualifying well is particularly important in this race. Normally, it’s very hot when we race in Hungary, at the end of July or early August and the drivers need to stay hydrated, drinking the entire litre and a half of liquid available in the cockpit. Luckily the climate is dry and so, less tiring from a physical point of view.” Of course, it’s not only the drivers that can suffer in the heat, as the cars do too. “One very important aspect in Hungary is cooling for the engine and brakes, because the lack of any significant straights means there are few opportunities to push air through the radiators and cooling ducts.”

 

Hungarian GP – Alonso: “Kimi and I work together a lot”

Posted: 24.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Mogyorod, 24 July – Just four days after talking to the press about his crowd-pleasing duel with Ricciardo in Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso was back in front of the media for his usual Thursday meeting to kick start the Hungarian GP weekend. The Spaniard’s view on the upcoming weekend was as analytical as usual. “Obviously the car will be identical to Hockeinhem with only four days between the races and the circuit layout is not particularly good for us with a traction-demanding circuit,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “On the other hand, every race has been a bit of a surprise. Some circuits we thought we’d be more competitive and we were less and vice versa so we just go into the weekend with a positive mood and see what the final result is.”

As the sport heads into the summer break, Alonso was asked what had surprised him most so far this season. “Probably Mercedes has surprised everybody,” commented the Spaniard. “When we were at the Jerez and Bahrain tests with these new cars and very complex technology that we were all struggling with, they were straightaway quite OK and obviously in 9 races, they won 8 and they’ve always been on the front row so probably that is the biggest surprise in this year. It’s also motivation for us because we can do a much better job. We’re making some progress, but we need to get on top of the problems and try to arrive to their level.”

As for how his relationship worked with Kimi, Alonso explained that it was more or less the same as with any other team-mate. “Definitely Kimi and I work together a lot and all the meetings are quite long this year because we have a lot of things to sort out after the races,” he explained. “We’ve been constantly making our suggestions and comments from what we see on the track and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas for the car. It’s not a big change compared to the work I did with Felipe or other teammates.”

 

Hungarian GP – Raikkonen: “100% belief in the guys in the factory”

Posted: 24.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP UNGHERIA F1/2014

Mogyorod, 24 July – Kimi Raikkonen had his usual meeting with the media this afternoon, in the hot conditions that are likely to typify this Hungarian weekend. As to how the Scuderia Ferrari man expects to perform at the Hungaroring, it’s the usual Thursday guessing game. “Hopefully, we’ll get that good feeling and get the car where we want and just have a clean weekend without any issues in any practices and can try things where we want,” he began. “Even though it’s twisty and people say you can’t overtake here, we’ve seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying so we’ll see how it goes.”

On the much discussed topic that the Finn has found it hard to get a good feeling form his F14 T, the Ferrari man felt progress was being made. “There’s sometimes a good feeling and unfortunately it doesn’t last long, but last weekend was a better feeling again, we changed something in the car so hopefully that will put us in the right direction and we can get to where we should be.”

Kimi has spent a lot of time in Maranello and what he saw in the factory has put him in a positive frame of mind when it comes to next year. “I have 100% belief in the people in the factory and I know that we have the tools and the people to do the job we’re supposed to do. I’m sure we can be where we should be, hopefully already next year. With Marco (Mattiacci,) he didn’t have much knowledge of F1 when he came in but he has a smart head. I think he’s doing good work, making good decisions, but it takes time to get involved and get people’s trust but I think he’s the guy we need.”

 

Hungarian GP – Allison: “Much work on both projects”

Posted: 22.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP GERMANIA F1/2014

Maranello, 22 July – The Tour de France, currently in full swing, has a daily prize at the end of each stage known as the Combativity Award, given out to the most aggressive rider. If Formula 1 did the same, chances are Fernando Alonso would be winning that accolade, for his duels with Vettel in the British GP and with Ricciardo in last Sunday’s German GP.

“It was good to bring Fernando home a little bit ahead of where he started in Hockenheim,” reflects Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director James Allison. “Sunday’s race was exciting for us because there were lots of close-fought battles, plenty of overtaking and as far as we were concerned, lots of little dramas for us to manage, arriving at the finish line having monitored fuel consumption and the ERS system, all while keeping an eye on the ever present threat of rain during the race.

“However, it was disappointing that we didn’t manage to get Kimi into the points even if some of that was down to the damage sustained to his front wing earlier in the race.” In Germany, Kimi confirmed that changes to the F14 T meant that he was beginning to feel more comfortable with the handling of the car, so hopefully in Hungary, a race that sees the biggest turnout of the year from Finnish fans, he can get a result worthy of his talent.

Hot weather was the dominant factor in Germany, apart from race day and similar conditions can be expected at the Hungaroring. “It’s usually very hot which is a challenge for the drivers but also for the cars and their cooling systems,” confirms Allison. “The heat will most especially affect the Energy Recovery System, because it’s a short lap with no real straights and there will be a fair amount of energy passing to and from the battery. The track itself is usually very dusty and dirty for the start of free practice, but then evolves very quickly as the rubber goes down.”

The mathematical halfway mark of the season was passed a while ago, but the Hungarian weekend leads into the official mid-season two week break. “One week after the Hungarian Grand Prix, we are not allowed to do any work in the factory,” explains the Englishman. “So we will be trying to fit quite a lot into that week, to be ready to be up and running again immediately after we return, to be prepared for the next Grand Prix in Belgium”.

“This stage of the season always marks the transition point between the current racing car and the next season’s car, with resources in the factory transitioning from one to the other,” continues Allison. “So it’s a time of much work on both projects, with plenty of effort still going into improving lap time on the 2014 car, while pushing ahead with the 2015 project.”

 

Hungarian Polka

Posted: 21.07.2014
Source: Ferrari

GP GERMANIA F1/2014

Maranello, 21 July –Sunday sees the 29th edition of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The race has always been held at the Hungaroring, on the outskirts of Budapest and the track has gone through various modifications, but nothing significant. Scuderia Ferrari has won here five times, making an 18% hit rate.

Behind the Iron Curtain. The race first appeared on the calendar in 1986 and it caused considerable fuss as it was the first time Formula 1 had gone behind the Iron Curtain, at a time when the Cold War was still real and the sports world had only recently dealt with the political boycotting of the Olympics in Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984. However, it proved to be a good choice, as the race still draws one of the biggest crowds of the year, even if the circuit itself is narrow, short, slow, always dirty and provides very few overtaking opportunities. Nevertheless, some of the greatest exploits in Formula 1 have taken place here.

The achievement of 1989
. One of those exploits was down to Nigel Mansell and Ferrari. The Englishman had nothing to smile about after qualifying down in 12th place. However, he made a good start and immediately made up four places. Out in front, Riccardo Patrese led from Ayrton Senna. Mansell staged an incredible climb up the order, lapping a second faster than anyone else. Once Patrese went out, the battle for the win came down to Senna and Mansell, but it seemed impossible that the Ferrari man would manage to get past. But then came a remarkable piece of driving, as Mansell swept past Senna, when the Brazilian hesitated for a moment coming up to lap Stefan Johansson in the Onyx. Incredibly, Nigel won by 25 seconds from Ayrton.

The Schumacher era. The world had to wait until 1998 to see Ferrari on top again in Hungary and this time it was down to Michael Schumacher. The German produced another of his bravura performances. He had more pace than the McLarens ahead of him, so Ross Brawn decided to switch him from a two stop to a three stop strategy. In order for it to succeed, the German would have to run at qualifying pace and he managed it, thus beating both Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. 2001 was a particularly enjoyable time in Hungary for Schumacher and Ferrari, as Michael won from team-mate Rubens Barrichello to become World Champion with four races in hand. The following year the two men crossed the line in formation, with the win going to the Brazilian. 2004 was the last time a Ferrari won and Michael Schumacher mopped up the records, as he equaled Hakkinen’s record of 9 fastest race laps in a season and Ascari’s seven consecutive victories.

Fernando’s First. The Hungaroring was the venue for Fernando Alonso’s first ever Formula 1 win, which came in 2003, as the Spaniard brought Renault back to the winner’s circle for the first time in 20 years. It rounded off a perfect weekend, which began with Alonso taking pole and, at 22 years and 26 days, he became the youngest Grand Prix winner in history.

The big scare. The Hungaroring is also the venue of one the Scuderia’s most worrying moments. In 2009, during qualifying, Felipe Massa was hit by damper, which had come off Ruben’s Barrichello’s Brawn. The Brazilian was knocked unconscious and crashed into the barriers. He was taken to hospital and eventually made a complete recovery, returning, as normal, to the cockpit the following year.

 

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