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Activity Behind the Calm

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014

The first part of the season, with races a long way from Europe, was not easy for Scuderia Ferrari. The week following the Bahrain Grand Prix brought various changes, including Marco Mattiacci being appointed to run the Gestione Sportiva following Stefano Domenicali’s resignation. There was also the first podium of the year in China, which provided a further boost for the whole team, while it keeps pushing on with the development of the car, aiming to improve its performance. Today, more than ever before, with under three weeks to go to the Spanish Grand Prix work is in full swing behind the quiet exterior of the Maranello factory. President Luca di Montezemolo has been very clear in his words to Mattiacci and his staff, recognising the need to “step up a gear in the work of the Gestione Sportiva.”...

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No Let-Up After China

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014

The third place in China that popped out of an Easter egg, after a laborious start to the season, has provided an additional boost to the crew of Scuderia Ferrari, as they tackle the heavy workload that awaits them at home in the three weeks prior to the next round of the championship in Spain. The updates brought to the Chinese Grand Prix saw the F14 T claw back some of the gap to the leaders and to improve when compared to the Mercedes team’s closest pursuers. In working on getting the most out of the car, nothing was ignored. And now that work goes on without any let-up from the engineering team, on key areas such as driveability, power delivery and the car’s aerodynamic configuration, all aimed at closing the performance gap still further. The history of Formula...

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Bahrain GP: Alonso on Mercedes’ Heels

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were third and sixth respectively in first free practice in Bahrain. Fernando did 17 laps at the wheel of his F14 T with a best of 1.37.953, four tenths off the pace of fastest man, Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.37.502 with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg second. Raikkonen’s best lap was a 1.38.783, although he only managed 12 laps. Finn hit a kerb very hard and had to pit so the floor of the car could be checked. Air temperature was 25 with the track at 45, but that’s likely to change significantly in the second session, which will run in the dusk, seeing the floodlights brought into play for the first time here. The session starts at the same time as tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race, so it will be a useful exercise....

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Bahrain GP: Pushing to Close the Gap

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014

The Championship moves on immediately to Bahrain, scene of the majority of winter testing, for Round 3 at the Sakhir Circuit on Sunday. In Sepang, Fernando Alonso secured a valuable fourth place, while Kimi Raikkonen at least benefited from the experience of another race distance, although the first lap collision meant points were never on the cards. Before leaving Malaysia, both Scuderia Ferrari drivers gave us their thoughts on the challenges they will face this weekend. Fernando Alonso: Since the last test in Bahrain, we have made a big step forward in terms of the interaction between the electrical motor and the combustion engine. Everyone now has a better understanding of the rules, also for us drivers in terms of the driving style and how to manage this new Formula 1, so we come to this race with a...

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Malaysian GP: A Race with Two Outcomes

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014

Stefano Domenicali: “We cannot be happy with today’s result, because even if, on the one hand we managed to claim a fourth place that sees Fernando stay third in the Drivers’ classification, on the other hand, Kimi failed to score points when they were well within his grasp, but for the accident with Magnussen on the opening lap. Even if there have been improvements on the performance front, the gap to Mercedes is still significant and that should motivate the whole team, at the track, but especially back in Maranello, to improve the car in every area. We know what areas we need to work on and we must try and do that as quickly as possible. The championship has only just begun and we know just how quickly things can change in Formula 1.” Fernando Alonso: “The points...

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Malaysian GP: Suspension of Belief

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014

Fernando Alonso: “I am really pleased with this fourth place, because to get into Q3 with the problem I had with the steering is really a good result. In a season when it takes a lot of time to make any sort of change to the cars, the guys managed to change the suspension in just a few minutes, which is a real record. They also got me back out on track at the right moment, which meant I could get into Q3. The incident with Kvyat was unfortunate for both of us and was inevitable, because by the time I saw the Toro Rosso it was too late. As usual in the rain, visibility is significantly reduced and it becomes a lottery. The team was super again in Q3 when it was a case of working out when...

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Malaysian GP: A Hard Fought 12 Points

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014

Fernando Alonso started from fourth on the grid and 56 laps later, he was fourth at the flag. It was a tough afternoon for him and even tougher for his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who spiralled to the back of the pack after having to pit with a puncture, eventually fighting his way back to finish twelfth. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg secured a one-two finish for Mercedes, the company’s first since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull. Hamilton’s Mercedes led from pole, Rosberg squeezed very close to the pit wall and got ahead of Vettel to run second, while Ricciardo also passed his Red Bull team-mate, so that the order was Hamilton, already pulling out from Rosberg, then Ricciardo, Vettel with Fernando having dropped one place to fifth and about to...

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Malaysian GP: Results (Spoiler Alert)

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014

Not the luckiest of races for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso brought home the points for fourth place, thanks to a gritty second half performance that saw him close on those ahead, taking fourth place off Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India just 4 laps from the flag. Kimi Raikkonen was very unlucky, as he was clipped at turn 1 in the opening laps by Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren, suffering a right rear puncture. The Finn had to do a whole lap at snail’s pace to get back to the pits, before rejoining in penultimate place. He fought hard, dueling with Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean for a points finish, but it was not to be as he finished twelfth. It was a one-two finish for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton taking his 23rd win from Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third for...

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Malaysian GP: Familiar Friday Factors

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014

While there is the usual excitement and sense of anticipation regarding Sunday’s Malaysia Grand Prix, it seemed very much like business as usual in the Sepang paddock. Engineers and mechanics were going about their tasks almost as if these new Formula 1 cars had been around for a long while and were not just at their second race. However, like a swan gliding across a lake, beneath the surface there’s frantic activity. While the two F14 T may look substantially the same as they did in Melbourne last weekend, appearances can be deceptive: since the opening round of the season, every bit of data from the Albert Park weekend has been analysed, so the Scuderia Ferrari engineers in Maranello could look at ways of fine tuning all the systems on the car, with the aim of extracting some more...

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Malaysian GP: Maintaining Reliability, Efficiency

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014

The prophets of doom were proved wrong in Melbourne, where we witnessed a reasonably interesting motor race with more finishers than predicted. Now, it’s time for a very different scenario as Formula 1 heads for the heat, humidity and fast straights and corners of Sepang. In short, while Scuderia Ferrari, like the other ten teams, will have moved forward on the development front since Round 1, the Malaysian Grand Prix will up the ante in terms of the degree of difficulty everyone must face. Source: Ferrari...

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Malaysian GP: Heat, Rain, and Good Memories

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014

This weekend’s race at Sepang will be the sixteenth Malaysian Grand Prix. All of them have been held at the 5.543 kilometre track, which is one of the most interesting on the calendar, notable for its suffocating heat, sudden downpours and high speed corners. Ferrari has won six times here, equivalent to a 40% success rate. The first race dates back to 1999 and marked Michael Schumacher’s return to the cockpit after his accident in Silverstone. At the time, Eddie Irvine was still in the running for the title and Michael, always a team player, did his best to help him. Having taken pole, Michael let his team-mate by and then became an insurmountable wall for Mika Hakkinen in the McLaren, thus taking second place for himself and keeping Irvine’s championship chances alive to the very last race. Schumacher...

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Wise Words from Raikkonen

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014

The two words that spring to mind after the Australian Grand Prix are patience and work. Scuderia Ferrari’s main aim is clearly to make the F14 T more competitive. The feeling is that many teams used this first GP of the season to get a better understanding of the complicated new cars and that raises the hope that, as the races go by, the spectacle will also improve. Kimi Raikkonen, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid also believes that patience is the key. “I think that at the start of a season like this one, with new tyres but more than that, completely new cars, the main aim has to be getting to the chequered flag. We did just that and I was finally able to run a full race distance in this car.” “I’ve been...

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