Watch the full interview with Ferrari team principle Marco Mattiacci by Martin Brundle:
Martin Brundle: Kimi Raikkonen, last time he was at Ferrari, he was basically paid to go rallying. Then he came back and did a great job at Lotus. He’s had a difficult season back here at Ferrari, how do you view his performances?
Marco Mattiacci: “I see this like when you hire a great striker in football and for the first six, seven matches they are not striking and you are waiting and then suddenly they will do an amazing season. I think Kimi, we have seen in Hungary, we have seen even in the last 48 hours (during practice and qualifying at Spa, where he went on to finish fourth, his best result of the season so far) we have seen he is an extremely talented driver.
“I don’t think we did an excellent job in putting him in condition to express the best of him. For sure, he has been suffering a little bit the car that we have for his driving style that he has, but I think it’s a combination of factors that didn’t bring him in the top five, six drivers. But I strongly believe in Kimi.”
MB: Will you have the same driver line-up next year?
MB: And maybe 2016 too?
MM: “Listen, I need to think about what is going to be the race tomorrow [in Belgium]. As I said, we have two great drivers. My focus at the moment is to lay down a great strategy to make sure that all the team share the same vision and the will to succeed in an environment that puts them in a condition to be back to the top and getting everybody motivated in a moment that definitely is not the easiest one for Ferrari.”
[ Source: skysports.com ]
Mika Häkkinen has backed Kimi Räikkönen to recover from his troubled first half of the 2014 season.
Since returning to Ferrari, Räikkönen has been overshadowed by team-mate Fernando Alonso; while Alonso holds fourth after the first 11 races with two podiums to his name, Räikkönen sits 12th with a best finish of sixth.
But Häkkinen says he has seen enough progress from Räikkönen, who has struggled to find a comfortable balance with the F14 T chassis, to suggest that his fellow Finn will soon get on terms with Alonso.
“It’s just a matter of time. Kimi is just as quick as Alonso when he manages to get his car set up properly,” said Häkkinen, a two-time World Champion, during his post-Hungarian Grand Prix column for Hermes.
Räikkönen’s aforementioned sixth place came directly before the summer break in Budapest, but he could have achieved more had it not been for a backfiring tyre gamble that saw him eliminated from the opening phase.
Häkkinen admitted to shock over the outcome, questioning Ferrari’s decision-making on the pit wall.
“That was an obvious mistake, one that shouldn’t be made by a team at the level of Ferrari,” he explained.
“Maybe their thoughts were already on the four week break. I struggle to believe that such a serious error was made under [Engineering Director] Pat Fry. I know Fry very well; he was an engineer at McLaren when I was there. The alarm bells should have gone off for a person like him. One should never take anything for granted.”
[ Source: gpupdate.net ]
Marco Mattiacci has hit back at suggestions Ferrari could or should plan its revival for the 2015 season without Kimi Raikkonen.
Lamenting the Maranello team’s slip behind Williams for third in the constructors’ chase, Fernando Alonso said at Hockenheim that Ferrari has “only been able to count on one car again and we have to improve on that”.
It might be concluded that Spaniard Alonso wants a more competitive teammate for 2015, but new Ferrari boss Mattiacci has moved swiftly to end those sorts of rumours.
When told by the Spanish sports daily Marca that the mid-season scorecard between Alonso and Raikkonen reads “10:0″, Mattiacci insisted: “This is not football.
“In F1 we don’t speak in those terms.
“Yes, I want better results, but Kimi is the driver that Ferrari needs for next year.”
And La Gazzetta dello Sport also quotes the Italian as saying: “We believe in him, he is a world champion, he is part of our present and our future.”
But that doesn’t mean Ferrari is not planning big changes for 2015, including significant improvements to the turbo V6 and the first car designed fully under the technical directorship of James Allison.
“He (Allison) is working very hard on the car for next year,” a team source told the Spanish sports daily AS.
“It will be his first car for us and we have very high hopes.”
[ Source: onestopstrategy.com ]
New team boss Marco Mattiacci insists he is not afraid of making changes to put Ferrari back on the path to victory.
His predecessor Stefano Domenicali has already gone, and the latest paddock rumour is that engine chief Luca Marmorini could be the next to pay the price for the fabled Italian marque’s poor start to the new V6 era.
“I will not name names,” Mattiacci was quoted by Autosprint at Silverstone, as he refused to rule out personnel changes.
He insisted, however, that the struggling Kimi Raikkonen is safe.
“Kimi is a great champion,” said Mattiacci, who already has the Finn under contract for 2015.
“It makes no sense to talk about a problem of the individual, it is a problem of the team as a whole. He will return to being a great,” he added.
In other areas, however, Mattiacci said Ferrari needs to “change the mentality” and “take more risks”.
Leading that charge, he said, will be technical boss James Allison, who made his name by producing innovative Lotus cars on a much smaller budget.
“He’s my right arm,” smiled Mattiacci. Siding so strongly with Allison appears to have marginalised Ferrari’s other technical chief, Pat Fry.
But he said Ferrari’s current problems date back to choices made in “past years” — including the once troubled wind tunnel, and not focusing strongly enough on computer simulation.
The biggest issue is the turbo V6.
“If Williams is so strong today,” said Mattiacci, “the predominant factor is the engine. And I do not think Red Bull is in a crisis.
“Give me time to work,” he insisted.