Ferrari Shows Improvement Too Late In Season
May 11, 2009
The Spanish Grand Prix saw the big design evolution of the Ferrari F1 car. The car is definitely much faster, but it is far too late in the points race to make a difference.
Ferrari is, of course, the iconic team of Formula One. The Manchester United or New York Yankees of F1, if you will. This has not been an iconic year for the team. A poorly designed car, abysmal reliability and spotty team decisions have led to a humiliating total of only three points for the year. This was all supposed to change with the Spanish Grand Prix. With massive new design upgrades, the Ferrari cars of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were supposed to challenge the front runners. Not quite.
The good news is the design changes to the Ferrari definitely improved the car. The car is much faster and appears to have leapt from the back of the field towards the front. That being said, it still appears to be a long way from taking on front runners Brawn GP on pace alone. The car appears to be neck and neck with Red Bull for the second fastest car on the track.
So, is Ferrari back in the championship hunt? No. The car may have improved, but the reliability issues and poor team decisions have not. Kimi Raikkonen bore the brunt of both these issues in Spain. First, he missed out on the last laps of qualifying and end up in 16th on the grid. Second, his car failed during the race after he had move dup into the ninth positions.
Felipe Massa also ran into an odd problem that seems to only have hit Ferrari. Not once, but twice his car was not filled adequately with fuel during pit stops. This resulted in a valiant drive for fourth place being thrown away when he had to slow dramatically in the last laps just to make it to the end of the race without running out of fuel. Still, the sixth place finish did account for his first points of the season.
Ferrari has improved dramatically. Still, it should give up on the season and plan for 2010. The drivers are 38 points behind leader Jenson Button in the Driver’s Championship and even farther behind in the Constructor’s Championship. It is time to be realistic and start working on a better car for 2009.
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