Two different scenarios in two factories: jubilation in Woking and dismay in Maranello; this is the upshot of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. It's easy enough to understand the atmosphere prevailing at Ferrari. The F2008 has largely been usefully faster than its chief rival, the McLaren MP4-23, for most of the season. Since the British GP, however, the McLaren seems to have turned the tables on the F2008. There can be a few reasons:
No matter how much pace a car has, setup is crucial to realising it. A badly setup winning car can still struggle to get anywhere close to its true potential; case in the point being Massa's Ferrari and Raikkonen's Ferrari in Monte Carlo. While Raikkonen was struggling with his rear slipping and sliding all over the place, Massa was on the pace right from the start.
Ferrari have won five of the ten Grands Prix and that's ample proof to the winning pace of the car. However, Raikkonen has not always been able to find the sweet spot with his car and that, he claims, is the reason for his less than competitive pace in Grand Prix weekends this season. Is the Ferrari a difficult car to set up or is Raikkonen not all too inclined to get his car working?
I've already discussed about the driver situation at Ferrari and if Ferrari are really now lagging behind McLaren in performance, how much can we attribute to Raikkonen finding solutions to his problems rather than developing the car? Finding solutions to existing problems with a car is going to eat into the development time that can potentially make the car go faster. Imagine this situation: Hamilton, in a McLaren that's a bit slower than the Ferrari, but in a position of having understood his car fully versus Raikkonen, a bit faster than Lewis in the McLaren, but having a few problems nailing the setup every weekend. Potential problem for Kimi and Ferrari. Again, we can only surmise all these. The Ferrari might still be the faster car: the British GP's inclement weather might have prevented them from fully extracting potential and the German GP might well be a one-off.
It must also be noted that Hamilton has the team all to himself, something neither Raikkonen nor Massa can claim to have. The Ferrari drivers taking points off themselves cannot help their Championship standings.
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