Last year’s Ferrari, the F14T, was
consistent in one respect: an
inadequacy in all the key areas.
poor front-end feel, and – perhaps
most damning for the Scuderia
– the least powerful engine of F1’s
new, turbo-hybrid V6 era (with
brutally unsophisticated delivery
of that power, to boot).
This year’s SF15-T had to be an
improvement, didn’t it? And early
testing confirms that’s the case
(see SPIN, page 10). But will it be
enough to give Sebastian Vettel
and Kimi Raikkonen a shot at
ending the team’s near-two-season race win drought?
The SF15-T shows an attention
to aerodynamic detail lacking in its
predecessor, but still looks bulky
compared to the likes of Mercedes’
W06. Engine power delivery is
noticeably improved, according to
Raikkonen, but the limited changes
allowed under the token system
(Ferrari hasn’t splurged and gone
for the split turbine/compressor
pioneered by Mercedes, for
example) and the fact that the
benchmark Benz units have had
their own improvements, too, mean
it’s difficult to see Ferrari clawing
back all the deficit in one season.
Better. BUt IS It eNOUGH?
38 SPrING 2015
where we belong as soon as possible.”
Vettel concedes 2014 wasn’t great for
him, but doesn’t have much time for amateur
psychologists who’ve tried to pinpoint why.
“Generally, if there’s nothing to celebrate
you can’t be the happiest person,” he says.
“Last year was a difficult year, lots of work,
so maybe there wasn’t as much time to
joke and laugh around as usual. But starting
off this year is a different story, a new
challenge, a new team – everything is new.
“I feel, as I said earlier, very motivated.
I’m not sitting here and saying that last
year I was down, and therefore wasn’t
performing; I was giving everything I had.
Turns out it wasn’t enough, but that’s why
you keep coming back, and you try again.”
Now 27, Vettel is no longer the new kid
on the block. At Red Bull he was part of the
furniture, and moving to the cauldron of
Ferrari is a risk. But it could be the making of
him, a chance to show the world that he can
not only survive, but thrive away from the
world that mentor Helmut Marko, RBR team
boss Christian Horner and resident design
genius Adrian Newey crafted around him.
“If there’s nothing to
celebrate you can’t be the
happiest person. Last year
was a difficult one”
For the SF15-T, the design team under
technical director James Allison
(ABOVE) has addressed specific
deficiencies by iterations on a theme,
rather than a wholesale redesign.
It perhaps helps the transition that
Vettel is closer to his new teammate, Kimi
Raikkonen, than any other driver on the grid.
“We have a good relationship,” says
Raikkonen. “I think we can push the team
forward, but obviously try to beat each other
out on track. The atmosphere in the team is
already very good, and hopefully we’ll get
some good results this year that will help the
situation. So far, so good, but it’s early days.”
Arrivabene meanwhile is adamant that he
has inherited a potent line-up: “They have to
work together as teammates, and work with
the team, too,” he says. “I want everybody
pushing and working together in the same
direction. I’m expecting the drivers to do the
same. Then I think we see what is possible.”
(MAIN) The hard work starts
here... Just as Michael
tenure with a team that’s
gone seven seasons since its
last Formula 1 World
FORMULA 1 2015
Before his 2014
took a quartet of F1
titles and 34 wins in
a four-year stretch
from 2010-’ 13.