Ferrari: We have not given up on this year

Fernando Alonso leads Kimi Raikkonen

Fernando Alonso leads Kimi Raikkonen

The ninth round of the Formula 1 World Championship reaches Silverstone this weekend, with the British Grand Prix marking the end of the first half of the season and Ferrari have no intentions of giving up on their 2014 title quest.

It’s a first half in which one team has been almost totally dominant and already, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers and team personnel have been asked if they are giving up on the 2014 season to concentrate on next year’s project.

To take a footballing analogy while the World Cup is on, this is like asking a team if it is not going to try for the rest of the year, because it cannot win the League.

There are a number of reasons why, as the championship reaches the track where the Prancing Horse recorded its first victory back in 1951, the team is working flat out to improve the performance level of the F14 T to be more competitive in the second half of the year.

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 British Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2007 British Grand Prix

Putting aside the sentimental arguments about doing well at one of the two oldest races on the calendar, there are more prosaic points, starting with exactly that, winning as many points as possible for the Constructors’ championship in which the current standings are quite close among those chasing the leaders.

Clearly, the Scuderia have not given up on this year. For this reason, technical development of the F14T continues apace. Cars built to the current technical regulations are still very much in their infancy, which means the learning curve for all the teams is very steep.

Therefore, while the eleven remaining races represent eleven more chances to get good results and points, they also represent 33 more days of learning valuable lessons on track from Friday through Sunday, that can be applied in the future.

Backing off now on the development front would be counter-productive, not forgetting the team’s obligation to provide its two drivers with the best cars possible.

This weekend is one Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are looking forward to, both men having won here in the past.

Fernando Alonso won the 2011 British Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso won the 2011 British Grand Prix

“I like coming to this track, even if I preferred the old layout,” reckons the Finn. “I especially enjoy what used to be the first corner, Copse.”

Indeed, the flat-out Copse and the massive changes of direction, particularly at the “Super-G slalom” that is the Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel complex are part of what make this high speed venue so special.

“I think Silverstone is a very challenging circuit, very demanding with its high speed corners and the whole track is tough on the car and for the driver too,” says Alonso.

“There’s a great sense of tradition here, so all the drivers want to do well at this event in front of the English fans. Not only are they very passionate about the sport, they also know their Formula 1.”

Aerodynamics will once again be the key factor in determining performance after a trio of races where it was less important, so it will be interesting to see how the hierarchy plays out behind the current top team. (GP247-Ferrari)