F1 »

Ferrari making `mistake McLaren made last year`.

Ferrari is flirting with missing out on the highly-coveted 2008 Formula 1 laurels by not instructing Kimi Raikkonen to support the title challenge of team-mate Felipe Massa, one of the sport's eminent former world champions has argued.

The Scuderia has repeatedly insisted that reigning title-winner Raikkonen remains free to defend his crown until he is no longer in contention – an approach completely at odds with that of when Michael Schumacher raced for the team, when the German seven-time world champion was invariably afforded undisputed number one status at Maranello.

With Raikkonen to all intents and purposes out of play, however – and admitting himself that he needs a 'miracle' in order to retain his hard-won trophy [see separate story – click here] – Emerson Fittipaldi has warned Ferrari that it is running the risk of gift-wrapping the glory to McLaren-Mercedes, who he says threw away the world drivers' championship by dint of employing a similar 'equal opportunities' strategy last year.

“Ferrari are making a mistake by splitting the points between Felipe and Kimi,” 61-year-old Fittipaldi told British newspaper The Sun. “Sometimes Kimi takes points off Felipe and sometimes [it's] the other way round. It's the mistake McLaren made last year with Lewis [Hamilton] and Fernando Alonso.”

“Only when I no longer have a mathematical chance will I be totally at the service of the team,” Raikkonen is quoted as having said by Motorsport Aktuell, notwithstanding the gaping 21-point deficit separating him from Hamilton and 20 from Massa, with only 40 remaining up for grabs between now and season's end.

Both Hamilton and Alonso ultimately fell short of the crown by a sole point apiece at the end of the 2007 campaign, and while Fittipaldi tips the former to gain his revenge by lifting the laurels twelve months on, he maintains that it is the Spaniard who is still the best driver in the top flight.

“Fernando is the most complete driver,” the 1972 and 1974 world champion contended, “because he is experienced, knows how to set up a car and is doing incredible things with a difficult Renault. He showed in the first race in Australia, and then again at Spa, that he is still capable of driving a grand prix car faster than anyone.

“Lewis is always very fast and aggressive on the track and always drives at 100 per cent, but at times you have to drive at 101 per cent without making a mistake – and that's the difference between winning and losing a world championship.

“It's a very small difference, but [one] with a very big result. With more experience Lewis will be able to drive at the same speed but not make mistakes.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
Ferrari SF70H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Brian Hill - Unregistered

September 24, 2008 6:57 PM

Hopefully those arrogant *******'s at Ferrari will contribute to there own downfall, no sympathy for the Tifosi and prancing mule. Good luck Lewis stuff it to them

Ryan Godbold

September 24, 2008 4:54 PM

May i remind you people who will say "Mclaren would get penalised for this", just remember in the back of your minds when Kovalainen allowed Hamilton past him at Silverstone this year, so it's not just Ferrari or the FIA allowing them to get away with it.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.