Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ferrari, The Clowns

The recent start to the European leg of the F1 season has somewhat proved what I expected of the teams. Clearly all the teams are beginning to improve on their cars. But more then anything, it also proved that Team Brawn is also improving on their own cars as well. Button and Barrichello made sure of that. But what in the world is happening to Team Ferrari? 5 races and only 6 points? First of all let me make something perfectly clear. I am not a Mclaren fan or a Ferrari fan or a fan of any particular team for that matter. I am a F1 fan, period. Honestly I don't see the point of supporting a particular team or driver. (Though I do prefer certain drivers' attitude more then others). Should Raikkonen and Hamilton swap teams tomorrow, where should your loyalty lie. F1 is a sport you need to enjoy in its entirety with as much knowledge of every component of it as you can. OK, now back to Ferrari. We knew this was going to happen to them eventually. We saw it coming. When Ross Brawn left the Scuderia in 2007 and then went for a years sabbatical, we knew it was coming. Then when Jean Todt left around a year later, we knew it was coming. This 2 guys together with team president Luca di Montezemolo were basically the masterminds of Ferrari. Notice how Michael Schumacher left around the same time too. Ross Brawn was the Technical Director and Jean Todt was the Team Principal. Todt did stay around but in a very different position until he totally left the Scuderia Ferrari on the 17th of March 2009. He was replaced by Stefano Domenicali. Now Stefano Domenciali is the guy I really want to talk about. He is probably the reason Ferrari is in the situation they are in right now. And he is The Clown of all clowns. If you'd recall the Singapore race last year you'll know what I'm talking about. Team Ferrari screwed up big time in that race and what did Mr Domenciali say? He complained about everything. He said the track was like a brick road, too bumpy (he must be thinking about Alice in Wonderland and her Yellow Brick Road). He said the night race in those lights was not good. He yakked away about everything except his team. He then ended it all by saying the Singapore race was not worthy to be in a F1 calender. He called the entire thing a Circus. Very funny. Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, got pissed off. Remember, he is like the 'godfather' of F1. So he really gave it to Domenciali. Bernie said, if that Singapore race was a Circus, we must thank Ferrari for providing us with the clowns. Ha! Ha! Good one Bernie. If you were there or if you watched the race you'd know why he said that. First we had Felipe Massa and his sudden desire to take his refueling hose for a ride down the pit lane. And as he drove off with his new found friend , he knocked one of his mechanics down for good measure.

The hose on the right belongs to Felipe Massa. That's the one that went for the ride. I took this photo of it on the Thursday before the race. I didn't know then that it would get this famous.

I still remember seeing his poor mechanics running down the pit lane after his car. And the way the mechanics of the other teams clapped and cheered them on like they were running the Olympics. Then when they finally got it off the car, they walked back to their garage holding it like a fat silver anaconda. I don't wish to laugh at someone else's misfortune but that was hilarious. Then we had Raikonnen. He gave a whole new meaning to the phrase 'flying lap'. He had only 3 laps more to get himself a fourth place finish when he suddenly decided to take his car for a flight. He flew off a chicane and when he landed, he found himself facing a wall. Unbelievable. This year we have seen more of the same from Ferrari. Some of the mistakes they have made are just too amateurish for a professional team. In Malaysia, they gave Raikkonen wet tires when it hadn't even started to rain yet! And by the time it did, we all heard him on his radio telling his mechanics that the tires were gone.

Then, in the last race they actually thought that his timing in Q1 was enough for him to stay in the garage and not go out to improve on his time. Well he stayed in the garage alright, eating ice-cream. He started the race from 16th spot. In the last race,in Spain, they failed to refuel Massa's car with enough fuel for him to complete the race properly. He had to surrender 2 places to save fuel just to finish the race. He actually didn't even have enough to bring his car back to the pit after the race! What a shame. Team Scuderia Ferrari needs to get their house in order. And they need to do it by yesterday. This is the worst season they've had, so far, in a long time. Because if they continue to make such silly errors, then they deserve the title handed to them by Ecclestone, Ferrari the Clowns.

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