A team with the prestige and history of Ferrari always have high hopes of success when heading into any season. Unfortunately for the passionate Tifosi, 2013 was yet another trophy-less season – the last championship success came courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Appropriately dubbed, “The Bull Fighter” Fernando Alonso once again finished second to Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers Championship, yet the Spaniard was once again Mr.Dependable, picking up two victories and a further seven podium finishes. Meanwhile, teammate Felipe Massa suffered another disappointing season claiming just one season. However, Maranello will be a hive of excitement as their Finnish son returns to partner the chosen one. It could be explosive!
Fernando “The Bull Fighter”
While Vettel’s nine consecutive victories in the second half of the season left all of his rivals in a state of shock, Fernando maintained his ‘best of the rest’ accolade, with his own spell of form which ultimately sealed P2 in the championship and guided Ferrari to beating Lotus in the constructors. In the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grand Prix’s, Alonso claimed P2 by a comfortable margin. They were impressive performances, deserving of the victory itself. While post-Singapore Ferrari suffered a downturn in car performance as their final upgrade package made the car suffer from uncontrollable understeer, Alonso only slipped out of the points just once, when finishing P11 in the Indian Grand Prix. Other than his retirement in Malaysia, this was his only race where he failed to score any points. Quite remarkable consistency when you consider the state of the final package…
Massa Unable To Match Alonso
Unfortunately, it is what we have come to expect in recent years. Felipe Massa was once again outclassed by his teammate in 2013, despite this campaign proving to be one of his best since 2008. The Brazilian can best be described as entirely inconsistent – Notable successes such as his P4 in the opening round or his excellent P3 in Barcelona were not incorporated in a sequence of results which were required to convince his employers of his value.
His patchy season saw him amass just 112 points compared to Alonso’s 242 – in what we can assume is equal machinery, such a stark contrast would always place question marks regarding Massa’s future. However, it was not all bad for Felipe as he provided evidence for his impressive one lap credentials with positive Saturday’s. His best qualifying performance came in Malaysia, where he claimed a well-earned P2 on the grid. While he managed P5 in the race, the weekend was also proof of Felipe’s difficulties regarding race performance, and it was typical of his season. It seemed as though he struggled to strike the correct balance between tyre preservation and maintaining lap time. If this is the issue, Felipe will hope that either Williams’ tyre management strategies suit his style, or alternatively, that he learns from his mistakes this season.
Strong In The Face Of Adversity
So, 2013 has been an up and down affair for the Scuderia and P3 will never be enough for the Tifosi, who always demand a lot from their team. Until they make a return to the top of the pile, nothing will ever be enough. However, a triumphant return seems even further away after yet another season of development failure and correlation calamities. Will James Allison solve the issues, or do the problems lie deeper?