Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will be keeping a watchful eye on their silver rivals this weekend in Magny Cours, despite Ferrari’s auspicious track record at the French track.
The Italian outfit have won the French Grand Prix seven out of the last ten times while McLaren have won only once, in 2000. And last year the Scuderia cantered to the chequered flag effortlessly with Raikkonen stealing victory from under the nose of team-mate Massa after some mind-numbing laps during the pit stop windows
After showing strong potential and underlying pace in Monaco and Canada traditional McLaren tracks Ferrari arrive in France as hot favourites. However, both Raikkonen and Massa admit that their Woking adversaries could pose a serious threat to their supremacy, even with Lewis Hamilton’s ten place grid penalty for running the red light in Canada.
“Hamilton will start further back, due to the penalty. But you should never underestimate McLaren,” warned Raikkonen. “We have to give our best to keep them behind. We’ll bring some new technology and here the Team is giving its best, but that is what also our competitors do.”
Felipe Massa, who currently heads Ferrari’s assault on the championship leaders, also warned of a change in the balance of power at the high-speed tracks of Magny Cours and Silverstone.
“In recent years, people would say that Canada and Monaco suited McLaren better than Ferrari, while it was the other way round in France and Britain, but I don’t think that is really the case this year, as apart from any other factors, we have to consider the BMW team in this equation,” said Massa.
“This year in Monaco, Ferrari had the whole front row of the grid, even though I think we had more fuel than McLaren,” mulled the Brazilian, “and in Canada our race pace was very good too,” he added.