A case of so close and yet so far for them last year. But with that sense of loss for the championship and Michael will they be able to pull it back together with the new team.
Kimi comes in to this season with something to prove. The greatest drivers should be able to drive around a failing car. There were flashes of this last year but there were certainly points where it seamed the whole team including Kimi had decided not to bother. And that’s not the behaviour you expect from somebody who wants to be World Champion. He has the speed but will he be able to adapt to the Ferrari culture? Despite all of these questions we know that he’s still lightning fast when he has the car under him. McClaren has a lot to do to catch Ferrari. He must start the season as favourite. But if he doesn’t deliver with such favorable conditions big questions will start being asked.
If Kimi was a let down last year then Massa was a revelation. Because of a willingness to learn he was one of the only drivers last year who was actually getting faster on his own bat rather than simply waiting for his car to catch up. Certainly with his relationship with team principal Jean Todt being so strong he will now be the best supported second driver in F1. But can he catch Kimi? He came close to Michael a few times last year. But I think we were already seeing some waning of the great man’s powers. If he can catch Kimi in the same car then he’s truely arrived.
Well Ferrari have had the biggest shake up of all the teams. The core has been ripped out with Michael and Ross on their respective ways. And there are many rumours that this might be the last year for Jean Todt too, although there is a possibility of Ross coming back it will still be a very disrupted year for them.
If the team doesn’t work together then things might be tough. Especially with the amount of personal pressure on Kimi, although you have to imagine that he takes that kind of thing in his stride.
Ross Brawn is back on the pit wall by Australia.
Kimi wins his first world championship with Ferrari.