Spanish Grand Prix – Ferrari decides to sabotage their last champion again
Just when you think that it couldn’t get any worse… The sound of Formula 1 is gone. The Ferrari car is a dog. The Mercedes cars have effectively already won the championships. And when you finally had some hope that Ferrari had learned their lesson with Kimi this time around, that they would have been drivers champions in 2008 had they just listened to his requests. But no, Santander and their upcoming IPO in Brazil was too important, so therefore they bet all their chips on the little Brazilian instead of their reigning champion. And it would seem karma made sure that this heinous strategy didn’t bear fruit.
2009. A year of some similarity to the current one. The Ferrari was a dog. One team was dominating up front, winning 6 of the first 7 races. That was the year Ferrari decided to get rid of Kimi to bring the in the Spaniard, coincidentally of the same nationality as Ferrari’s main sponsor, Santander.
Never mind that Kimi brought in more points than anyone else in the second half of the season. The Ferrari engineers struggled to understand how Kimi could produce the laptimes and the results with the equipment he had. The answer is simple. Unlike most of 2008 and the first part of 2009, until Massa’s accident – they started listening to his demands. This gave Kimi a car he could work with. A car that suited him and his style. And the results spoke volumes.
So what do we have now? The fifth year of Fernando Alonso as the chosen son of Maranello. No titles. Just intra-team battles and name calling of the team from Alonso. A Twitter controversy followed by a power struggle and a public scolding of Alonso by Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemelo. And more. Some good results and close calls but that is all. Emilio Botin has Alonso’s back though.
Then at the end of the 2013 season Ferrari bring back Raikkonen. A genius move in itself; the strongest team lineup in F1 designed to ensure that they bring home at least one title. Equal status and good cars should provide the drivers every chance to do just that. But in addition to producing a mediocre car at best, they decide to blow up the entire f*&#^g thing in Barcelona. They ruin and lay to waste the little trust they had gained from Kimi in one fell swoop.
And that happened when they decided to call in Alonso first to try and undercut Kimi in front; even though Kimi had track position. Oops, that didnt work!
Now what? Okay, bring in Alonso early again, and tell Kimi to change his strategy from a 3-stopper to a 2-stopper, knowing full well that Kimi’s final stint had to be done on tyres that he’d qualified on. The point here being there was no need for a different strategy!
Kimi did not sign a contract that states he is a support driver. Nor would he ever have. All he demands and ever has demanded is fair treatment and equal status. Unlike Alonso, who has even stooped to threats of blackmail when he doesn’t receive preferential treatment (McLaren and Ron Dennis). So the events at the Spanish GP were a blatant breach of contract that is being poorly hid as “a different strategy choice”.
There is clearly an Alonso faction inside the Ferrari/Santander camp. Kimi still has good friends in the SF so there is a Kimi faction as well. But it is not as big and powerful as the first one and it was clearly evident on Sunday.
Did you know that Ferrari ramped up the power in Alonso’s ERS in qualifying? (See picture below). This was discovered by the FIA before the race and they were told to turn it down. So they tried real hard to get Alonso to qualify ahead of Kimi – and failed. Do you think Kimi would have been called in first if Alonso was ahead? Of course not. This simply reeks of sabotage and I can only feel sorry for Kimi who must feel utterly betrayed after all the promises made to him before his re-signing.
Which is why he stayed in the Ferrari motorhome for HOURS after the race, demanding an explanation for this nonsense. The laughable thing here is that Ferrari went to such lengths to do this for Alonso, all for a measly 6th place. Bravo!