All teams in the grid fight nine others for the Championship, but Ferrari fights ten, including itself. While six teams are trying hard to come to terms with the controversial Diffuser and the unimaginable pace of the Brawn Racing team, Ferrari is having one more problem, its own team.
After two races this 2009 season, there are only two teams that are yet to open accounts, Force India and FERRARI. I wonder, when was the last time Ferrari failed to score a single point of the possible 40 in two races? Stone Age?
Ferrari came in as the favorites for 2009; they dominated the winter practice sessions, but were quite obviously oblivious to the developments going down under. With less than few weeks for the 2009 season to begin, the Born-again (or should I say Brawn-again) team made an entry, and it was a mighty one. Well rest is history.
Ferraris were suddenly struggling for Pace, the KERS they added to their cars was a huge pound of dead weight except for 6.6 seconds every lap when they blast off! KERS seem to help in defending positions, but the weight seemed to add to the time. This was Ferrari’s first problem. So, they joined the Anti-Diffuser lobby.
Reliability seemed to be another issue, Massa who was looking for points at Albert Park, failed to finish because of reliability issues.
Race Strategy, something that the Scuderia team had always been proud of, let them down. Massa’s Engineer decided that Massa’s Q3 lap time (fourth at that time) was good enough to take him through to Q2 and asked him to Jump off, that too when they had five minutes left and definitely not the quickest car on the Grid. At the end of Q3, Massa was 16th and failed to move to Q2. This is absolutely outlandish. Looks like occasional hallucinations of the good old 2008 is hovering on them.
There are many things that went wrong for them this year, but definitely on the top of the list, Kimi Räikkonen.
In the Australian GP, the Finn did an awful spin to spoil what would have otherwise been a P2 finish. But his team's decision in Sepang was the best. Its like saying, “Cost of 3 liter V8 engine, Millions, money you pay to the guy driving it, few more millions, driving with Full wet weather tires when the track was still hot and dry, Priceless. There are some things money can't buy (thankfully!)…For everything else…you know what!”.
I am reminded of the 2001 Malaysian GP, a similar rain condition, Ferrari brilliantly timed their tyre changes and teased the opposition; the only difference is, that was a winning combination: Brawn-Todt-Schumacher. The Post Brawn-Todt era is very apparent and it seems to be haunting the team. If they cannot do a quick turnaround, I suggest they start working on the next year’s car, right away!