When told over the Ferrari team radio during the Austrian Grand Prix to catch up to his nearest on track rival, Kimi Raikkonen answered in typical forthright manner that has become his trademark.
Raikkonen’s race engineer came over the radio three quarters of the way into the race: “We are racing Button, we need two tenths per lap.”
The Finn snapped back in response: “Give me more power!”
Raikkonen has notably struggled since returning to the Italian team in 2014, but so too has Ferrari with its V6-turbo powered F14T.
The 2007 F1 World Champion said after the race, “This was another very difficult race for me, despite having gone in a different direction yesterday [with set up] to try and improve the performance. Unfortunately, it did not bring the improvements I’d hoped for and again here I found myself fighting the handling of the car.”
“Kimi complained about the engine,” new team boss Marco Mattiacci conceded after the Austrian Grand Prix, “but it’s up to us to give him a car with which he can deliver his value.”
Raikkonen added, “Compared to the start of the season, progress has been made, even if there’s still a lot to do as our speed still doesn’t allow us to fight for the top places.”
Meanwhile, tempers are fraying all over the Maranello based camp, whose cool Jean Todt / Brawn / Schumacher era is now a distant memory.
Reports of discontent within the outfit are rife, with Marca reporting that, after the Canadian Grand Prix, Mattiacci had an angry exchange with Pat Fry, whose technical role at Ferrari has been in doubt for several months since the arrival of James Allison, and who now leads the 2015 project.
Marca claims that Fry offered to resign after the Montreal row.
“It’s rubbish,” a spokesman insisted. “Do not listen to these reports.”
Mattiacci, however, does not deny that a frank exchange after Canada took place, as Ferrari plots a desperate course to improve.
“I like meetings where people talk openly and honestly and no one is silent,” he told Spanish television in Austria. “After Canada, we held meetings to discuss our weaknesses and in what direction we should go for the future.”
That is because, although Raikkonen wants more “power”, Mattiacci said Ferrari needs to work on every single area of the car for 2015, not just the underperforming engine.
“I would not isolate one area,” he said. “I do not think that all of our problems are related to the engine, although the one Mercedes has produced is excellent.”
Indeed, in Austria, Mercedes-powered cars totally dominated the top seven finishing positions – with the only exception being Fernando Alonso in fifth place. Raikkonen finished tenth, albeit nearly 30 seconds behind his teammate. (GP247-GMM)