Ferrari insists focus on F1 title not drivers amid Raikkonen talk

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says a world championship fightback, and not his 2014 Formula 1 driver line-up, is all he cares about right now

Ferrari insists focus on F1 title not drivers amid Raikkonen talk

Amid intense speculation about Kimi Raikkonen's future, Domenicali addressed his Maranello staff on Tuesday to make clear that who drives alongside Fernando Alonso next year is not important right now.

Instead, he urged each of his team members to do all they can to get Alonso and the team to the top of the championship standings.

Could Raikkonen rejoin Ferrari?

"We have spelt it out many times before: the driver topic is definitely not a priority," said Domenicali.

"What counts is to give them [Alonso and Felipe Massa] the best possible chance of finishing ahead of everyone and, in order to succeed, each and every one of us must do our job to the best of our ability on all levels.

"If they have a winning car in their hands, then I am convinced they will know how to win with it. If we all believe, then we can do it."

AUTOSPORT revealed earlier that Ferrari is not planning to give serious thought to its future driver situation until after the Italian Grand Prix next month - when the competitiveness of its car and Massa will be clearer.

Domenicali said that he shared Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's sentiment from the start of the summer break that motivation and belief must be kept intact if Ferrari is to stop Sebastian Vettel taking a fourth consecutive world championship title.

"There is much talk outside the company regarding the future, but we must concentrate only on the present, on the fight for the championship," he said.

"The words of our president before the summer break must serve as a stimulus, because they were meant as the words of a good family father, who, first and foremost really roots for our team. Keep those words in mind and let's all pull together, starting in Spa."

EVERYTHING STILL TO PLAY FOR

Although Alonso trails Sebastian Vettel by 39 points in the drivers' championship, Domenicali told his staff there was every reason to believe the title was still possible.

"There is still everything to play for and we have gone through this before, as recently as last year," he explained.

"Nine races means that a total of 225 driver points are available and rest assured that the goals we set ourselves at the start of the season are still perfectly attainable.

"It's true we've gone through a difficult period, especially in July and now is the time to react in the way that Ferrari people know well.

"Our task is very simple: namely to give Fernando and Felipe the quickest car possible. Now, their contribution will be even more essential than ever."

He added: "I don't want to see any of you not believing in our fightback. Each one of you must be the link in a chain of positivity that must drive the team along in what is a key moment in the season.

"We are Ferrari and history teaches us that we must never accept we are beaten."

shares
comments
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton's focus won't wilt
Previous article

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton's focus won't wilt

Next article

Marussia: switch to Ferrari F1 2014 engines a "huge step forward"

Marussia: switch to Ferrari F1 2014 engines a "huge step forward"
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022