The Scuderia Ferrari team arrive at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix hoping for a positive weekend, even if they are expecting to struggle with the power unit deficit they have compared with Mercedes. Both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are expecting tough weekends.
Alonso had his best result of the season in Hungary with second place, having led for a good spell of the race. He feels the team have been aggressive in the past with its development of its car, and knows this season is no different as they aim to compete more strongly with the cars in front of them. He hopes the team will be able to maintain third ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ championship, while himself is looking to fight with the Red Bull’s for third in the Drivers’ championship.
“I think we have already been quite aggressive in recent years, with such examples as running pull-rod suspension on the front of the cars since 2012 and a new concept for the exhausts at the rear,” said Alonso. “Now, we just need to keep improving the car and our facilities in the factory in order to be a stronger team, with new ideas.
“All the changes made recently are aimed at making us more competitive and stronger. So if the team decides to replace someone, it’s because it feels a new person can do better. The power unit development was frozen but from next year, we need to unlock some more of the potential from the power unit, because we are not at the performance level of some of our opponents. Hopefully, the new people can find the extra horsepower!
“I think the fight with Williams will go right to the end. These two races in Spa and Monza should favour them more, so we must try and score good points. As for the Drivers’ championship, I would like to finish third, fighting [Daniel] Ricciardo, but that’s quite an ambitious target.”
Team-mate Raikkonen’s season has not gone to plan, with the sixth place in Hungary last time out being the best result of the season so far for the Finnish driver. He admits he is not expecting a strong weekend in Belgium due to the straight-line speed disadvantage of the Ferrari will affect his chances.
“If you think of F1, you’d think we would have everything possible in the car to make them go faster, as it was in the past,” said Raikkonen. “Obviously, now the rules have changed aimed at making the cars slower, while improving the show. I think the cars looked nicer in the past and were much more challenging to drive and it was more fun in some ways. On the other side, maybe we have more overtaking now, but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and race with the cars from the past.
“Here and Monza are probably not the easiest places for us as we are missing some straight-line speed, which is very important at this circuit and the next one. I think that the final part of the season can only be better for us, especially as I’ve had a much better feeling from the car at the last two races.”