Monday, October 15, 2007

Japanese GP - Not a good race for Ferrari

Todt: "Our choice would probably have been very different"
Ferrari - Ferrari's team principal Jean Todt and sporting director Stefano Domenicali were at pains to point out that there was little that they could do after an e-mail message went astray prior to the Chinese Grand Prix, necessitating both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa to make an early supplementary pit stop in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. The extra pit stop seriously comprised the team's chances, resulting in third (Kimi Raikkonen) and sixth (Felipe Massa) places.
The e-mail contained vital information asking all teams to use Bridgestone's extreme wet weather tyre, but Ferrari started both drivers on the normal wet weather tyre, and had to pit to change tyres.

Kimi blames FIA for wrong tyres gaffe
Sep.30 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen on Sunday blamed the FIA for not informing Ferrari of a last minute rule change.
The Maranello based team had to pull into the pits early in the Japanese grand prix after trying to start the race behind the safety car on intermediate tyres.

Third placed Raikkonen, now a distant 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the world championship with two races to go, later told reporters at Fuji Speedway that Charlie Whiting and FIA race control failed to tell Ferrari that it had to start on extreme wet tyres.

"They forgot to tell our team," the Finn claimed. "That forced us to pit behind the safety car."

Although no other team wrongly started the race on intermediates, Renault's Pat Symonds confirmed that Whiting only publicised the rule change just over an hour before the race.

"It's a little bit surprising, I guess," he told the British broadcaster ITV.

Raikkonen's teammate Felipe Massa finished sixth at Fuji, meaning that he can no longer become world champion.

Late email cost Ferrari dear - spokesman

After Kimi Raikkonen's comments following the race, Luca Colajanni confirmed that the Maranello based team was not aware until 1.37pm - seven minutes after the race began behind the safety car - that it had not been allowed to fit intermediate tyres.

"Now there's nothing we can do," he said, after the damaging pit stops had to be organised to change to extreme wet tyres.

Raikkonen's race engineer Chris Dyer reportedly used even harsher language in a post-race television interview.

Apparently, the Australian said FIA race control "f-cked our race" before he was stopped by a Ferrari PR representative.