Ferrari today saw their cars underperform yet again as Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen finished 12th and 14th fastest respectively in second practice.
The lack of pace came despite the team having removed their KERS device, which was thought to be hindering the team’s reliability as well as being a weight. But Ferrari’s insistence that the system gave them a performance advantage now seems to be ringing true, given that they were closer to the front in both Australia and Malaysia, carrying the device.
Felipe Massa sounded uncharacteristically pessimistic following second practice.
“Here we are also running without KERS and as a result, we are losing even more performance, in addition to not having as much aerodynamic downforce as the best cars,” he said.
The Brazilian went on to retract his optimism for the championship of the last few days.
“Our fight for the championship is ever more compromised.
“We must try and push as hard as possible on the development of the car, but we know it will be very hard to catch up. The only recipe for getting out of this difficulty is to work.”
Team principal Stefano Domenicali highlighted the loss of performance from taking the KERS out.
“Clearly, without KERS, we lose a bit of performance and initial indications are that we are not seeing any improvement in the balance of a car that, let’s not forget, was designed to carry this system,” he said.
“We are in a difficult situation and we must try and stay calm and work hard on all fronts.”
And Kimi Raikkonen was typically blunt about the car’s prospects, although he said he didn’t miss the KERS.
“The balance of the car isn’t bad and one doesn’t feel the lack of KERS,” he said.
“The point is that we are too slow.”