As he looks ahead to 2008, Luca Baldisserri has underlined Kimi Raikkonen's world championship drivers' title will not give him any advantage over team-mate Felipe Massa at Ferrari, insisting the squad has always had a policy of treating both drivers equally.
technical director – who has worked at Maranello since 1989 – anticipated a busy winter ahead as the team gets set to launch its latest challenger in the early stages of the New Year. He also stressed the new machine would be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, despite the sweeping changes in Formula 1 next year.
“You never stop,” he told Italian newspaper La Stampa
. “We have to do the base work for next season and continue testing everything. We have allowed time to resolve the reliability problems – our weak point this year – and in the test at Jerez on 14 January we want to have two new cars.
“The gearbox now has to last four grands prix, and then there is the suspension geometry to compensate for the absence of traction control. [The new car] will be an evolution of the F2007 though, not a revolution.”
Baldisserri enthused about the elevation of Stefano Domenicali into Jean Todt's shoes as team principal, whilst stressing there would be no favouritism on the drivers' side, despite Raikkonen's success this year. The Italian even had some words of praise for McLaren star rookie Lewis Hamilton, the biggest thorn in Ferrari's side throughout the 2007 campaign.
“The relationships have been completely reset,” he affirmed. “Kimi and Felipe will begin again from zero; the hierarchy between them will be decided out on the track, like when (Michael) Schumacher was here. (Rubens) Barrichello, for example, finished the 2003 season very strongly and so began 2004 full of hope, but then Michael won the first five races.
“[Hamilton] is very good. In China he lost because of a mistake on the part of his team who left him out on the track with destroyed rubber, and in Brazil he committed his only real error. Ultimately the rivalry with Alonso unsettled him a bit too much, and that ended up working in our favour.”