Ferrari endure lacklustre start to season with a car desperately lacking pace

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014

Ferrari recognised they had work to do after Fernando Alonso finished Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 season-opener fifth and 35 seconds behind Nico Rosberg’s winning Mercedes in what can only be described as a lacklustre day for the Maranello outfit

“Today, we achieved our objective in terms of reliability, but the gap we need to make up, especially to Mercedes, was clear to see,” said Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.

“The information we have gathered this weekend clearly points to the direction we must take and what areas need the most work… Our engineers know what the priorities are and which areas need the most immediate attention.”

Anyone expecting to see immediate sparks between Alonso and new team mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn returning to the team with which he won the 2007 championship, would have been disappointed.

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014

Raikkonen, who started 11th after a crash in qualifying, finished eighth but both Ferrari drivers suffered reliability problems throughout the weekend.

“We cannot be happy with the positions that we finished in,” said Raikkonen, who won the race with Lotus last year. “But obviously at least we got something out. It has been a very difficult weekend.”

Raikkonen was hit in the first corner by Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham and then lost a place in the pitstops when he had to wait for Alonso ahead of him.

“The car felt pretty OK at some points but then at some points it was a bit tricky. The only positive thing is that we ran the whole race and scored some points,” he said.

Two-time world champion Alonso was also searching for positives before the next race in Malaysia in two weeks’ time.


“We all had problems probably but at the end of the day both Ferraris crossed the line which is a good effort from the team and a good achievement,” said the 32-year-old Spaniard, a distant runner-up in the championship last year behind Red Bull’s  Sebastian Vettel.

“On the other hand we finished 35 seconds behind leader Rosberg so this is probably too much and we need to do better in Malaysia.

“But we are Ferrari, we are a strong team. I think these guys know what they are doing. After the first race you probably have a little bit better picture of which areas you need to improve the car.

“We need to analyse, we need to take care of every detail for Malaysia and be a little bit stronger there.” (Reuters)

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  • karlich

    Well I hope they up their game real soon. If not to compete with Mercedes, at least be on level playing grounds with Red Bull so we’re treated to regular Vettel vs. Alonso vs. Raikkonen bouts!

  • Nowhereman

    They gained a lot of data from this race.
    More upgrades will hit at Malaysia for sure.
    Once they take a look at the data, they can start to release more power from the “powerplant”.
    It’s turning into an aero game already it looks like though.

  • Tamburello1994

    What gets me is you have factions of tfosi battling over ‘fire and ice’ and who’s the better, instead of asking why Ferrari looks mediocre once again. Mclaren has been to hell in a year and look to on the road back. Same with Red Bull, and you can even lump Mercedes in that category. Meanwhile, Maranello dithers once again looking weak, and outclassed clawing with the likes of Williams – another team that looks to have gotten the formula right. No way can anyone excuse or escape the fact Red Bull can make major strides in a few weeks but it takes years for Ferrari to deliver anything resembling a winning car. Kimi Raikkonen looked like a wet nosed rookie. Sad to see a former champion struggle with the brakes like that. This weekend would be a total disaster for the red team if it wasn’t for the obvious motivation of Fernando Alonso. It’s clear now that Ferrari was not sandbagging preseason testing – and only the attention paid to Red Bull / Renault gave them cover to go under the radar.

    But right now the meme in Ferrariland is: “Alonso did better than Kimi!! yay!!!”

  • fools

    Alonso was pretty strong actually…he lacked top speed for sure. Seems to handle this car better then past year Ferrari’s though. IMO he should of pitted before Jenson since he lacked top speed. Horrible grid start which stuck with him the whole race. Come on Alonso…

  • brianne

    i hope its true that they have issues with the battery yesterday hence the lack of speed. they are obviously down like 1sec per lap, otherwise its gonna be another 2nd place, or 3rd and yes even 4th place for them

  • Tamburello1994

    Galling to see a great marque like Ferrari battling with middling row Toro Roso, Williams, and Force India.

    Where would they be if S. Vettel, L.Hamilton, and D. Ricciardo all finished appropriately? (or not gotten the DQ)

  • brianne

    my guess is alonso and kimi would still be ahead of vettel.

  • Macstar

    this ferrari is slow! painful to watch.