Just when you think that it couldn’t get any worse. The sound of Formula 1 is gone. The Ferrari car is a dog. The Mercedes cars have effectively already won the championships. And when you finally had some hope that Ferrari had learned their lesson with Kimi this time around; that they would have been driver champions in 2008, had they just listened to his requests. But no. Santander and their upcoming IPO in Brazil was too important, so therefore they bet all their chips on the little Brazilian instead of their reigning champion. And it would seem karma made sure that this heinous strategy didn’t bear fruit.
2009. A year of some similarity to the current. The Ferrari was a dog. One team was dominating up ahead, winning 6 of the first 7 races. This was the year Ferrari decided to get rid of Kimi to bring the spaniard in. Coincidentally of the same nationality as Ferraris main sponsor, Santander. Never mind that Kimi brought in more points than anyone else in the second half of the season. The Ferrari engineers struggled to understand how Kimi could produce the laptimes and the results with the equipment he had. The answer is simple. Unlike most of 2008 and the first part of 2009, until Massas accident – they started listening to his demands. This gave Kimi a car he could work with. A car that suited him and his style. And the results spoke volumes.
So what do we have now? The 5th year with Alonso as the chosen son of Maranello. No titles. Just intrateam battles and namecalling of the team by Alonso. Twitter controversy and following power struggle and public scolding of Alonso by Montezemelo. And more. Some good results and close calls but that is all. Emilio Botin has Alonsos back though.
Ferrari bring back Raikkonen. A genius move in itself. The strongest team lineup in F1. To make sure they bring home at least one title. Equal status and a good car should have every chance to produce that. But other than producing a mediocre car at best, they decide to blow up the entire fucking thing in Barcelona. They ruin and lay to waste the little trust they had gained from Kimi in one fell swoop. And that happened when they decided to call in Alonso first to try and undercut Kimi in front. Even though Kimi had track position. Oops, that didnt work. Now what? Ok, bring in Alonso early again and tell Kimi to change his strategy from a 3 stopper to a 2 stopper. Knowing full well that Kimis final stint had to be done on tires that had been qualified on. The big point here is: There was no need for a different strategy!
This is one pissed off Kimi after the race:
Kimi did not sign a contract that states he is a support driver. Nor would he ever have. All he demands and ever have demanded is fair treatment and equal status. Unlike Alonso who has even stooped to threats of blackmail when he doesn’t receive preferential treatment. (McLaren and Ron Dennis) So the events of the Spanish GP is blatantly a breach of contract. Which is poorly being hid as “a different strategy choice”.
Martin Brundle also comments that the strategy was designed to get Alonso ahead of Kimi:
Brundle argues that it is an attempt to keep Alonso happy and therefore with Ferrari. My question is: Why? He is good but is he worth it? They should get Vettel or even Bottas instead.
But there is clearly an Alonso faction inside the Ferrari/Santander camp. Kimi still has good friends in the SF so there is a Kimi faction as well. But it is not as big and powerful as the first one. Which was clear on Sunday.
Did you know that Ferrari ramped up the power in Alonsos ERS in qualifying? See picture below. This was discovered by the FIA before the race and they were told to turn it down. So they tried real hard in getting Alonso to qualify ahead of Kimi – and failed. Do you think Kimi would have been called in first if Alonso was ahead? Of course not. This simply reeks and I can only be sorry for Kimi who must feel utterly betrayed after all the promises made to him before his re-signing.
Ted Kravitz discovered the same thing about the power on Alonsos car. From 5:50
These things are why Kimi stayed in the Ferrari motorhome for HOURS after the race. Demanding an explanation for this nonsense. Some info on that here: http://alturl.com/dqikj
A friend also told me that French TV broadcast this Kimi team radio excerpt after the race: “I didn’t come here to be the second choice. You should explain me this shit!”
The laughable thing here is that Ferrari went to all these lengths – and for what?? A measly 6th place! Bravo. Yaayy – Alonso finished ahead of his teammate in Spain. Fantastic! Outstanding! Wow. He was almost lapped by the winner of course. But nevermind that! Hooray for Alonso. Emilio Botin, the Spanish CEO of Santander was present. So it was VERY important that Alonso did, you understand. Ok, we had to kill off the last shred of trust that our last champion had in us. But who cares. 6th place, people! Woo!
It doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. It makes you throw up a little. Zero lessons have been learned from 2008. 0 titles gained. The Scuderia have sold their soul at the crossroads. And they have thrown their champion on the bonfire as a sacrifice. Was it worth it? Of course not. No matter what Ferrari do this year, they will never catch the Mercedes cars. So its a bonfire for the vanities. Ferrari is vain. No doubt about it. But right now they are nothing but a painted whore. Their car is out of breath. Trailing after the leaders with their tongue hanging out. And Alonso is cleverly wagging the dog. The dog being the team in this case.
I leave you with a few words on the whole affair from my friend, wrcva. He also did outstanding research on the entire Kimi, Ferrari, Santander thing. And is the main author of said piece on this blog: https://f1bias.com/2012/04/05/truth-about-kimi-ferrari-santander-2008/
So he is someone worth listening to.
What did you folks expect? Ferrari to let Kimi finish ahead of ALO in front of his countrymen in a race attended personally by Botin who happens to be the most important sponsor in F1? At a time when F1 powers are debating if they should get rid of tire blankets to save on electricity bills. Kimi signed up for this on a volunteer basis knowing full well he was walking into lion’s den, challenging ALO on his own turf. Kimi cannot just drive marginally better. He has to drive devastatingly better and do that in cars that sometimes can be personally inspected or be driven by ALO himself.
The good news for Kimi is that he showed what he can do to ALO in front of his home crowd on a track Finns would probably be hesitant to wave a Finnish flag. I’ll bet you ALO will not sleep well tonight because Kimi was way too close for his comfort today in an absolutely fu*cked up car that supposedly should suit him better. The bad news for Kimi is that now the politics will intensify. So, he has to watch his inter-team interests like a hawk, question and get informed about everything else happening at the pit-wall at all times. Even when who is in front don’t have any bearing on the WCC either.
Therefore, quit wasting your time arguing or analyzing this using race strategies that a normal and competitive team may execute. This was one race that politics were as important as racing. If not more, simply because it was in Spain – the home base of both Santander, ALO, and Botin who practically runs the country (Spain) in any case. If the same situation happened on another track, would Ferrari let the race run it’s normal and competitive racing strategy course without favoring ALO? That, I do not know…
As usual, the biggest losers are all of us (F1, Ferrari, ALO, Kimi fans) because of the betrayal by Ferrari for producing and fielding this lapped piece of junk – and that, I totally put on LdM. Forget F1, he now is hurting the Ferrari brand.
Thanks to wrcva for nailing it in a few paragraphs. We have not heard the last of it. If the saga and the farce goes on race after race, I see no reason to keep writing here as I dont fancy rigged games. I will watch Monaco. If not for anything else, then for curiosity and updates. Steve Robertson will have a busy time until then. He has already had talks with Matiacci. Anyway. Im tired of writing about another sad chapter in Ferraris history.
And with that, I am out.
The best of your brilliant reviews yet. And the saddest story…
You are right, unfortunately.
Kimi’s position within Ferrari this weekend has rung bells that echo from earlier dust-ups between the Finn and Maranello. Here’s an example. Be sure to click on the website toward the bottom of this “report.”
At least they are paying him??? I think that would be the only positive thing of his return to red…
There is one good thing. Even “La gazzetta dello Sport” have noticed that the Ferrari strategy ruined RAI race. That will be heard in Italy and in Maranello.
Really? That is something at least. Thanks for the info.
With the best strategy possible, where would Kimi have finished? IMO, he was maybe equal in pace to FA on the softs and slower on the hards. Hence he was slower overall. That means he needed to know exactly what FA was going to do strategy wise throughout the race in order to cover/beat him, but it’s not like FA’s side of the garage has to share that info to make it easier for Kimi to beat Fernando.
In any event, isn’t Kimi’s side of the garage and/or head engineer to blame for strategy decisions? Seems to me that Fernando didn’t want to spend the entire race sitting on Kimi’s bumper. Kimi was probably given first choice of when to take his 1st stop. Then FA was probably told what lap Kimi was coming in on. Alonso probably decided to come in a lap earlier attempting an undercut despite Stella likely warning him that out-lap trafic would prevent him from jumping Kimi, but I’m sure Fernando didn’t think he had much to lose giving it a try. It failed, which then prompted Fernando/Stella to come up with a plan-b strategy.
Sadly the outcome of the strategy change didn’t allow Fernando to stay in front of Vettel or even beat Bottas – maybe all those laps he spent stuck behind Kimi prevented that, or maybe his choice to pit a 3rd time just 12 laps from the end was the wrong call. I’m not exactly sure where Vettel/Bottas were at that time, but I know FA was 17-sec in front of Kimi who was on 6 lap fresher hard tyres running at Fernando’s pace.
So Fernando only ended up beating his teammate, but kudos to him for changing his strategy, trying to make something happen. Thats what F1 is about – i.e. Kimi and his engineer thought outside the box in Bahrain and, if not for the late safety car, Kimi would have beat Fernando there.
Point being, if Kimi failed to beat his teammate due to bad strategy, blame Kimi and his side of the garage for not coming up with (or changing to) a better one. No need to attack Fernando for simply doing his job.
“Probably. Probably. Probably.” You seem to lack basic understanding in how things work strategywise within a team. Why did you think Kimi was so pissed? Why do you think he said “it seems we get second choice all the time”. You could not be more wrong in your assessment. Nevermind that you are oblivious to everything going on off the track as well. Please don’t say anything if all you can muster up is some juvenile interpretation of the events.
You are completly lost in your opinion, Lorne. Check the facts and then write.
An excellent take on the bullshit politics that yet again creeped into the racing at Ferrari.. Well said. Let’s hope Kimi has enough persistence to get the results he wants and deserves and shove them up LdM’s ….
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Reblogged this on profanef1 and commented:
Bow down before Soren. Well, read the post first, then bow down.
Nice piece and good read like the old article by wrcva.
But I need to admit that we at SuomiF1.com did a mistake: Pirelli informed later that Kimi really didn’t have any new hard tyres left, so that’s the reason for used hards for the last stint.
Thanks for getting back to me, Tommi. Will edit right away. Cheers.
Keep up the great work at your site. Wish you guys had an english version as well 😉
Botin runs the country? I am spanish and I can sure the he doesn’t…. The rest 100% true.
Alonso is a chocolate gladiator. He cannot take it when a team mate beats him. The pity of it is that Ferrari lack whatever it takes to either bring him down to size or show him the door.
Soren, I don’t doubt that you know more than I do about the facts/details of this situation, so instead of calling me names, why not answer some of the questions I asked and help me get a better understanding of things?
OK, lets say Ferrari screwed Kimi over by allowing FA the attempted undercut on the first stop. And I agree, that would be a fully understandable reason for Kimi to be pissed off. BUT we know FA failed to get ahead of Kimi—-SO, if we are talking (strictly) about Fernando’s race from that point on, did he do anything wrong? Was his position not earned? OR do you know for a fact that (to help FA) Ferrari changed Kimi’s strategy during the race from the strategy Kimi had planned to run pre-race? OR do you know for a fact that Kimi and/or his race engineer wanted to change Kimi’s strategy during the race but Ferrari wouldn’t allow it?
Btw, as a Fernando fan (I’ve always liked Kimi too) the last thing I want to see is FA getting unfair advantages. Hence, if that’s what the 1st stop attempted undercut was, I’m really happy it failed. Your answers to my questions in the above paragraph will help me understand if Kimi was screwed over in other ways that I’m not aware of. If he was, please provide actual facts that prove it.
Where did I call you names? Read my comment again and try to comprehend it this time.
Kimi reacted strongly to the strategy call himself. That tells you everything really. So yes, he got an unfair advantage. If you don’t wanna acknowledge that, fine. But dont spew your nonsense here, please.
It’s funny and sad at the same time… Near the end of last season Kimi’s return to Italy was the next best thing after the invention of electricity. Lotus was Evil, Italy the shiny beacon in Kimi’s misery. Did any of you really believe that Kimi would ever get a favour over Alonso? Fernando will run the Maranello show until the day he leaves, they sooner retire Kimi’s car then let him finish in front.
At least at Lotus he called the shots…. The better option for Kimi was to quit and enjoy the money.
Yes, perhaps Kimi should have done that. But he loves racing. So who can blame him. And I just want to say I had my doubts about Kimis return. Serious doubts. But you always hope. However, they have unfortunately come true in full. It is sad indeed. Ferrari is dead in the water the way they are running the team now. They will not win a championship for many many years in this manner.