Melbourne, 12 March – The season is about to get going. On Friday Scuderia Ferrari will take part in free practice for the first race of the championship. Of special interest in 2014 is the new power train, which will be characterised by a 1.6 litre turbo engine assisted by two energy recovery systems, one that takes it from the braking and one that exploits the hot gases coming from the turbo. Ferrari’s sponsor Shell has created a new documentary about the Ferrari power train (numbered 059/3) which had its premiere at an event attended by the Scuderia’s two drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
After tackling a novel race aboard bicycles linked to dynamos that sped two Ferrari models along an electric track, the pair were quizzed by journalists on the coming race weekend. Kimi Raikkonen emphasised one of the aspects of the Australian race: “This event is an excellent test bench for the new Formula 1 format because Albert Park is a very demanding circuit when it comes to fuel consumption. Due to the characteristics of the circuit, we have always used a lot of fuel here so to manage to be sparing with it will be a demanding challenge.”
For Kimi it’s the start of his second career at Ferrari: “Some faces have changed but even if the atmosphere seems a bit different to me it’s still the same great team and I believe it has worked very well on this year’s car.” About the race he added: “We’ve only had a few days of testing available. In an ideal world we would have arrived with many days on the track behind us, with more experience of the characteristics of the car and race strategies. That’s not how it is but it’s the same for everyone so all we can do is go on the track and try to get the best result possible. As for the others? I don’t fear them and even if anyone’s quicker than us we are only at the first race. More than the result we know that we have a lot to come on the F14 T so we are not worried. The car seems to have a good potential but we will have work to do to get the most out of it.”
Fernando Alonso is not speculating about the result for a mix of reasons: “It’s difficult to say what position we can end up with. What we do know is that with such complex cars there are many elements of strategy to get right. If we manage it in the best way I believe a good result, points or even a podium will arrive almost inevitably. Having said that, strategic errors could be very costly this season. So we must stay 100 per cent concentrated from Friday morning to Sunday evening.”
Some aspects to this season will change a lot, others won’t. Fernando sums it up like this: “What has changed is the sensation that you have at the wheel of the car. There’s an engine that supplies the power in a different way, which is impressive and has obliged us to adapt our driving style. Race strategy will change, with many more parameters to keep under control, and there are more instruments that we can use on the car. But once the race starts without doubt there will still be adrenaline, passing, tactics and tyre management, all more or less the same as before.”