aving followed, virtually to the word, the advice we gave them three months ago in F1 Racing, Ferrari should win plenty of races in 2015. They are now structured correctly; Sebastian Vettel is remotivated; and the James Allison car (aero- and chassis-wise) will be quick. The big question, as with the Renault teams, is how much power will Ferrari have at their disposal?
Thus Seb joins them at just the right moment. The dirty work is over, thanks to intelligent decisionmaking by Ferrari’s latest team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene, and the only way is up. Nor will Seb need to devote too much time to traditional Ferrari politics. With Allison in charge, Ferrari’s new era should run as efciently as the Red Arrows – with English, no doubt, as the predominant lingo.
In leaving Red Bull, Seb implied he was dealing with the difculties of 2014 in the most efcient way – by expunging them. By mid-2014 he had no answer to the superior race pace of Daniel Ricciardo. He’d never been similarly troubled at any stage in his career and his reasoning was that the more he worried, the worse it was going to get. So he cut the Red Bull ties and immersed himself in the biggest team of them all: Ferrari.
I doubt that Seb will have anything like the same problems with Kimi Räikkönen. Kimi is still fast, still very much a touch-andfeel driver, but even on a good day he is now a couple of tenths away from his McLaren-best. So Seb will be under no real pressure to learn from the results of 2014, which could be a bad thing since last year highlighted style aws that until then had remained disguised.
With the RB10 still generating huge downforce at the front, but with the new regs dumbing the rear, Seb in 2014 was not as manipulative with the back end as Daniel, Lewis or Fernando. This was probably due to the quality of the Newey cars he’d raced since 2007, and the way he was perfectly able to extend the straights with them, in the knowledge that the back end would invariably take a one-movement rotation. Then there was the human factor: Seb entered 2014 with four world championships behind him. Some sort of slump was inevitable.
The Ferrari will be less pointy and Seb now knows what it’s like not to win a title: he’ll be a better driver for it. He proved in 2014 that he will race wheel-to-wheel with anyone on the grid – that he’s a racer up there with Fernando. For 2015 expect a win and a bundle of points – assuming, of course, that Ferrari, like Renault, can maximise horsepower with their bonus midseason upgrade tokens.