Ferrari clearly happy to compromise Kimi Raikkonen - F1's Symonds

Formula 1's chief technical officer Pat Symonds says Ferrari proved its only focus is Sebastian Vettel winning the drivers' championship with Kimi Raikkonen's compromised China strategy

Ferrari clearly happy to compromise Kimi Raikkonen - F1's Symonds

Raikkonen stayed out seven laps longer than Vettel before his first stop and consequently dropped back from an initial fourth place to sixth.

Later incidents meant Raikkonen eventually ended up finishing third while Vettel was only eighth, but former Benetton/Renault technical chief Symonds said such tactics can only hinder a constructors' title bid.

"I think they need to decide how they're going to go racing," Symonds said of Ferrari.

"The way they used Raikkonen in China was unfortunate - leaving him out for so long and trying to slow down other cars. And to be honest, it didn't really work.

"By the time his rivals reached him, his tyres were shot and they could easily overtake, so it wasn't a great strategic decision.

"I don't think that's the way to get a constructors' championship.

"They obviously feel that the drivers' championship is more important, and they've made their decision as to where that will go."

Symonds believes Ferrari is in better shape in 2018 than it has been since the hybrid era began.

"In pre-season I think we hoped that Ferrari would be close to Mercedes but we felt that Mercedes had something in hand," he added.

"Well, the first few races haven't really shown that. Ferrari have had consistent performance.

"They have a reasonable qualifying performance and a very good race pace.

"They are looking stronger than they've looked for many years and I think they've got every chance of a really good season."

He also thinks the stronger competition has highlighted a long-time Mercedes tyre-management weakness previously hidden by its engine cushion.

"One thing that they've never quite got on top of is tyre management," Symonds said.

"We saw it a lot in the pre-hybrid era when they didn't have the engine advantage they enjoy now. Then, if they didn't get their tyre quite right, they didn't have great races.

"I think things were masked from 2014 to 2016, simply because they had this big power advantage.

"Then last year we started to hear the car being called a 'diva'. What's that about?

"In my mind, the difference in performance you get from one weekend to the next is not really explainable in aerodynamics or vehicle dynamics or anything like that.

"With an aero/chassis package, getting your set-up just right might mean you're hoping to pick up a tenth or so from Friday to Saturday qualifying.

"But when you get a big shift, when suddenly you're not competitive, it has to be down to tyres.

"And if it's down to tyres it's down to not using them well and not getting the temperatures correct."

He feels Mercedes' 'imperfections' in strategy have become obvious in 2018 too.

"Strategically, they've also had troubles," said Symonds.

"There may have been imperfect calls before, but with such a performance advantage you don't really see them."

shares
comments
Why Bottas and Raikkonen should be seriously worried

Previous article

Why Bottas and Raikkonen should be seriously worried

Next article

McLaren reserve Norris: Giving team driver headache 'would be nice'

McLaren reserve Norris: Giving team driver headache 'would be nice'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Author Adam Cooper
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021