Saturday, March 16, 2013

Engine Blood Team Profile: Ferrari

ESTABLISHED: The dawn of time, seemingly.

HISTORY: The Prancing Horse stands astride Formula One like a colossus.  None have ever had the longevity and success of the historic marque, whose dominance of the early 2000s with Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Ross Brawn stands as the most crushing display of superiority in the sport's history.  Have still been at the sharp end since, but a record like that is hard to match.

3. Fernando ALONSO (SPA)
4. Felipe MASSA (BRA)

No change for Ferrari here, and no need for it really.  Alonso has settled in at the team in a way that even Schumacher never managed with his five (five!) world titles in five years.  An extremely popular figure amongst the tifosi, he's considered an old-style blood and guts Ferrari driver who'll do anything to win, which makes him a polarising figure as his attitude can leave much to be desired.  He needs to deliver them a title soon though, as it seemed a formality a couple of years ago.

Massa is also massively popular with the fanbase.  Having so nearly taken the title in 2008, when hamstrung by the team's failure to swing their full support behind him until it was too late, then nearly dying whilst wringing the neck of the awful 2009 car, he deserves the seat but has been admittedly hit-and-miss since that aforementioned brush with death.

2012 PERFORMANCE: 2nd place, 400 points

Fernando ALONSO (SPA): 2nd place, 278 points.  Best finish: 1st, Malaysia, Europe and Germany
Felipe MASSA (BRA): 7th place, 122 points.  Best finish: 2nd, Japan

Alright, so Alonso probably should have won the championship, but for a couple of retirements mid-season (including being Grosjeanned at least once).  He was barely off the podium all year and the Ferrari wasn't exactly a picnic to drive, so he once again proved why most think of him as the best all-round driver in F1.  His politicking after his loss and refusal to go quietly also proved why some just don't like him.

Poor Felipe had an awful start to the year but really picked it up at the end; one only needs to watch his excellent supporting role in Brazil as he tried to help Alonso to the title to show he was back on his game.  Must be hard for him though, with so much speculation about who might replace him; we wouldn't want to do our jobs with younger people standing over us, showing what they might bring to the role...

2013 PROSPECTS: They'll be up there, all right, and the car launch has been infinitely better than last year, so anything below second would be a bad year.

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