A stable driver line up. The world championship team from last year. And with questions about Ross Brawn’s return now extinguished the team had a chance to get on with it over the break. They are probably favourites for the constructors championship.
Kimi Raikkonen has finally got that world championship that he so craved – even though he claimed it didn’t matter to him before. Despite his calm ice man image we’ve seen him falter from time to time and make mistakes when the race is really important to him – think Monaco last year. Perhaps the championship win will have calmed him down. You should never really trust anything from testing but this week Kimi was comfortable enough in the team to race at the same track as Michael. Kimi beat him by 0.1s which at least shows something. What it shows is a choice between: Kimi’s not dulled by winning, Schumi’s finally started slowing down or perhaps most importantantly Ferrari are willing to give the kudos to the new boy.
Massa had a good beginning to the season at Ferrari last year but couldn’t quite hold it together. Last season was an incredibly important season for Ferrari because they really did seem to give both drivers an equal chance. Will Marenello allow that to continue now Kimi has won the double? I doubt it. Massa may have blown his only chance. And even without the politics Kimi could be excused learning at the beginning of the season as he seemed to improve almost every time out. Massa seemed to stand still. Expect Kimi to be even further in front. Massa may now only be a wing man.
What could stand in their way? McLaren were actually faster than them in the most recent test – just. And perhaps the competition won’t be shredding itself in half this year. Ferrari walked into the constructors championship last year rather than winning it outright. McLaren haven’t forgotten how to make a fast car. And there are rumours of a traction control device on the Ferrari. If there is a “rule clarification” early in the season it could be very destabilising.
Will almost certainly end the season in first or second place.