Tag Archives: Ferrari

Ferrari can still reach target of three wins, says Arrivabene

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene insists that the update package that the team introduced in Spain was successful – but he admits that there is much work to be done to close the gap to Mercedes that opened up again this weekend.

Sebastian Vettel ran the new package in the race, whereas Kimi Raikkonen went back to more proven elements. Vettel dropped back on the hard tyre in the final stint to finish 45s behind winner Nico Rosberg.

The comparison between the two cars is clearly there,” said Arrivabene. “Sebastian was going very well, we need to improve of course the new solution. Here in Barcelona it is not an easy track, but it was not easy for all the others too. The gap with Mercedes is there; now we need to analyse all the data we collect to understand what is clear.

We are not blind, it is the fact that in the last sector we were losing half a second. I am not escaping the reality, it is there – we need to understand and we need to find out how to improve the new package. The new package is better than the old one.”

Regarding the gap to Mercedes he added: “We need to understand if it is related to this track, which for us is difficult, or it is related to us. This is good to know in the next few days where we are, Tuesday or Wednesday, to finalise the comparison.

If something was wrong, I am not criticising anybody, I am taking my responsibility because I am here at the head of the team, if something is wrong and we have gone back, we have to have humility, we have to say we made a mistake. At the moment the numbers that we have in comparison are telling us that the solution is good, but the reality is it is not good enough, so we have to work.”

Arrivabene is adamant that the team can achieve his stated target of winning three races in 2015.

I still believe that this is achievable but there is nothing is life that you can achieve without working hard and this is what we have to do. I don’t really care about being on the podium. If you look at the situation that we had last year, now every race weekend we are on the podium, but what I care about is the gap. If we want to win two or three races we have to be able to be there, at the moment we are not.”

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James Allison: “We do look as if our pace is reasonably good…”

Ferrari technical director James Allison says it’s too early to judge Ferrari’s true form in Malaysia following a promising first day for the team in Sepang.

Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest in FP2 and some 0.373s off Lewis Hamilton, although admittedly the Briton did not have an easy day. The red car looked particularly good on the medium option tyre, although Sebastian Vettel didn’t get a clean run on it and was thus down in seventh.

“I don’t know, we’ll find out on Sunday!,” Allison said when asked about prospects for the race. “But we do look as if our tyre deg is quite good, and we do look as if our pace is reasonably good. But everyone uses the Fridays differently, so you never know what the others were doing. But we feel it’s been a good day.”

Regarding Raikkonen’s pace he said: “The car’s going well, he’s going well, and so is Sebastian, to be honest. If you look at where Sebastian was in FP2, his best time was set on the prime tyre, and Kimi’s on the option, albeit a scrubbed option. So I think both of them are going well and I expect Kimi will have a good race on Sunday, as should Sebastian, based on the pace we saw today.

Asked by this writer about closing the gap to Mercedes he said: “It would be nice if they could feel us breathing down their collars, or even in the course of time get ourselves in front of them. I think the delta we saw in Melbourne probably was a little unkind to us. I think we probably should have been a little bit ahead of the Williams in qualifying, and then driven up the road 15 or 20 seconds more than we did. It would be nice to have a clean qualifying here and see what we can do.”

Meanwhile Allison made some interesting observations about the improvements seen in this year’s Ferrari package.

“In pure lap times the gains are almost equal, chassis and power unit wise. I guess on the chassis as normal the lion’s share of the gains are aerodynamic, because that’s the thing that has the most authority to put lap time on the car. So on the chassis side its 80/20 aero versus some quite useful gains that have been made in the cooling efficiency of the car, which then translate into aero by allowing you to run the car tighter at the back.”

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Maurizio Arrivabene: “Kimi, you are like a hammer…”

New Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene continues to make a good impression, and after the race he gave an intriguing insight into his man management skills.

He made it clear that on a day when Sebastian Vettel scored a top three finish he as concerned with reassuring Kimi Raikkonen as he was with celebrating with the German.

“Seb of course was happy because his dream comes true, to get a podium with Ferrari is something really special for an F1 driver,” said Arrivabene. “Concerning Kimi, I was going straight away to talk to him. You know, what you need to do with a driver, you need to understand, and you need to keep him up. Otherwise if you want to celebrate with one and ignore the other, it doesn’t work.

“The two guys are working very well together, and my job is to keep the right balance, and to make Kimi confident. I was repeating to him many, many times, look Kimi, you are like a hammer, you are pushing like hell and your timing was super good. This is what I am convinced about, that we two drivers for the constructors’, not one, and Kimi I think he can do his job properly.”

He also explained what he was doing when he went to see the mechanics on the troublesome left rear corner of Kimi’s car, a moment captured by the TV cameras.

“I went down into the box first of all to calm down them because I don’t want them to panic. Second I was asking to the mechanic what’s happened? He explained it to me and I said to him, Listen, calm down, be focussed, don’t worry. Things like this happen.”

He added: “As I said before our goal was we were looking forward to Williams and Red Bull at the beginning, now we need to start to be a bit more convinced about ourselves and reduce the gap to the Mercedes guys.

“It’s just a question to continue like this with the right methodology, working and respecting the programme without panicking, keeping up the spirit of the team. You know for example today we were working without the engineer in charge of strategy. Yesterday we had a problem in qualifying, because it’s like when you are sailing very, very fast in a fog!

“All the engineers they were reading th data, but not having the guy who’s an expert we were struggling a bit, and in fact we fucked up, as simple as it is! It could happen. Today we were quite convinced that we were quite strong.”

As for his own reaction to the race, he said: “About the team I was happy. As a tifoso I was happy too, but as a team principal I’m half happy, because I mean one car was stopped on the track and the other car was on the podium, so for me we have done half of the job.”

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Maurizio Arrivabene: “I will run barefoot in the hills of Maranello…”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insisted today that the Italian outfit is keeping its expectations in check despite the strong form shown by the SF15-T thus far in testing.

The car has consistently been at or close to the top of the times in the six days held thus far, and Kimi Raikkonen has stressed that it is a big improvement over its predecessor.

“My job is to rebuild the team, to create a calm environment and to ensure that the great determination I have seen in every member of the team is rewarded with results,” said Arrivabene.

“I have never believed in such a thing as a winter championship. We have our feet on the ground and as I said already in December, winning two races could be considered a success, three would be perfect and if we win four, I will run barefoot on the hills of Maranello. We have two fantastic drivers and they are also great friends and that can only benefit the whole team.”

Arrivabene said it was all about teamwork: “I wish to underline yet again that the most important thing is for us all to pull together, with common goals and with the determination I saw in the eyes of those who were even at work on 24 and 31 December, in the mechanical or composites departments, to the backdrop of the sound of the engines rather than ‘Jingle Bells.’

“I have seen that there are exceptional people in Maranello and each one of them is making a contribution. However, it’s clear the car does not belong to any one person, it belongs to Ferrari and its people.”

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Ferrari boss Arrivabene on the new SF15-T: “It’s really sexy…”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has reiterated that he has targeted at least two GP wins for the team this season.

Arrivabene, who made a similar statement last month, shied away from a more ambitious target.

“I’m just realistic,” he said. “Nobody has the magic to change things when things are unchangeable. We applied certain modifications that in our opinion are quite interesting. With that I don’t want to say that we are going to win the World Championship, but for sure we are committed at least to win two races.”

Regarding the SF15-T he said: “Enzo Ferrari said a long time ago the best car is a winning car. Last year we had an ugly car and it was a non-winning car on top of this. I like the car of this year in terms of aesthetics. I don’t know about the performance, but it’s really sexy.”

He says the personnel changes do not mean a change of philosophy at the Italian team.

“It doesn’t impact the philosophy of Ferrari. The philosophy of Ferrari was dictated by the founder, Enzo Ferrari. The work we have to do is to enhance the team spirit, and the passion, that was a little bit lost in the past few years, and to look forward, to work together very hard, with one objective – to win as much as possible.”

On the subject of the drivers, he added: “They have to work together as team mates, they have to work with the team. Things I want to avoid, talking about the overall team and not only about the driver, is that everybody is pushing and working together in the same direction. I’m expecting the drivers to do the same.”

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Ferrari shows the new SF15-T

Ferrari 2015Ferrari has unveiled the SF15-T, the car with which Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen hope to reverse the team’s fortunes after a difficult 2014 season.

It’s also the first car that James Allison can claim full responsibility for, after he joined while last year’s car was well under development.

More later…

Ferrari 2015 Overhead

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Ferrari boss wants F1 cars to sound like “heavy metal band”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has backed Niki Lauda’s call for a more exciting F1 regulations to be introduced in 2017.

Arrivabene, whose background is in marketing, stressed that it is important for the sport to entertain the public.

“I’ve read what our friend Niki has to say. He’s top of the class, whereas I’m sitting about four desks further back,” he told the Ferrari website. “I share Niki’s view that Formula 1 needs to be more spectacular and I believe that the risk he evokes of the sport losing fans is something that has unfortunately already happened.

“By 2017, I too would like to see cars that win over the fans, with cars that they can get closer to and that are aesthetically more appealing, maybe even producing a noise that gets your hair standing on end, like that produced by a heavy metal band. That was what it was like back in the day when Niki was racing and I was an enthusiastic fan, clutching my general admission ticket.”

Arrivabene says that major changes are required: “I don’t think a simple evolution is enough in this case. Instead, a real revolution is called for, with significant and radical changes. By that I mean more power, higher speeds, not necessarily involving the use of more fuel, but definitely applying a cost reduction to those components that are of little interest to the general public.

“Being closer to the people actually involves taking F1 to the people, possibly holding the Thursday driver press conferences and team presentations of a Grand Prix weekend, outside the circuit in a public area. That way, the cities that host the races could provide the arena for a presentation of the drivers and cars, in a properly managed event.

“I have long felt that the real competition to F1 today, in the sense of it being a show, comes from a variety of forms of entertainment, not least from the internet, including racing video games. It is up to us to provide something better and to download a new format for Formula 1 as soon as possible. How likely are we to do it? I know it wouldn’t be the usual way of going about things, but a global survey on the internet and via the TV companies would give us a real idea of what people want. In fact, even in this area of sport as entertainment, we should follow the trend of demand driving what’s on offer.”

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