All eyes on 2015 at Ferrari
It can be argued that in Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari have one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid. But this year neither has found their way into title contention.
Driving for Ferrari is one of the hardest jobs in Formula One. Italy expects nothing but success and after another disappointing World Cup, the acceptance of failure is becoming less and less.
The team that once dominated the sport hasn’t tasted a great deal of success in recent years. They haven’t won a driver’s championship since 2007 and a constructor’s title since 2008.
So far this season Fernando Alonso has been pretty consistent. Look at the driver’s finishing 4th to 6th in most races and you’ll find his name. He’s currently fourth in the standings a massive 78 points behind leader Nico Rosberg.
For Kimi Raikkonen it’s been an even more frustrating season with just 19 points earned and it appears he’s gradually winding down his career with retirement planned after his contract with Ferrari expires at the end of 2015. His best finish all season has been 7th and his British Grand Prix lasted just minutes before crashing out and limping away with bruises to his leg and ankle that kept him out of testing this week.
Ferrari may well be 3rd in the constructor’s championship but being 220 points behind Mercedes isn’t quite what their army of fans is used to and that’s something Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiaci is fully aware of.
Speaking after Raikkonnen crashed and Alonso managed to finish only sixth in the British Grand Prix, he said: “Definitely we are working to improve, because today we are sixth. That’s the other side of the coin, we are not happy to be sixth.”
It’s only July but Ferrari are already planning for next year with Mattiaci declaring “Starting from here, we need to prepare a different team for 2015… Do we need to improve? Continuous improvement? Yes. That is our position.”
Not the kind of comments any team wants to be making at this stage of the season but this is Ferrari. There have already been changes this season with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali departing the team in April. It seems Luca Marmorini whose new engine hasn’t brought the expected results this season may also have left the team. Rumours persist that their former Technical Director Ross Brawn may make some kind of return.
It’s not the prettiest of pictures at Ferrari at present is it? No title contention, an injured driver and reconstruction of the team planned.
A big problem this season has been their car’s aerodynamics though there have been some signs of an improvement in that area recently but they still continually trail behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Formula One needs Ferrari to be challenging for the title; it’s what history has given us over the years. Whereas this season already seems to be a write-off next season has to be different. Following how they aim to get back to their glory days is going to be a fascinating journey.