Allison: Raikkonen closing the gap to Alonso
Ferrari technical director James Allison believes Kimi Raikkonen is closing the gap to Fernando Alonso, adding that it is not entirely fair to say the Finn is struggling more in comparison to his team-mate.
Raikkonen is currently 11th in the drivers’ standings, eight positions and 19 points behind the Spaniard. His best result so far is two seventh place finishes in Australia and Spain.
Allison said the issues that the 2007 world champion has experienced so far in 2014 are the same as those suffered by Alonso and feels the difference between the two Ferrari drivers is decreasing.
“I am not sure that it is entirely fair to say that he is struggling more than Fernando,” he told reporters in Monaco on Friday. “They both have similar feedback on the car. There are aspects of this year’s rules that makes the cars across the pitlane not an easy prospect for the driver.
“There is a lot more torque from the engine, there is a lot less aerodynamic grip, the tyres are themselves deliberately less aggressive than they were last year. All of that means the cars are quite a handful to drive – not so easy for anyone, be that at the front of the grid or the back of the grid.
“The sort of problems Kimi has with the car in traction, under braking, [and] downshifting are pretty much the same as Fernando, and I would imagine similar to those experienced at other teams.
“He is going a little bit slower than Fernando at the moment but that gap is closing as the year progresses.”
Allison believes Ferrari is heading in the right direction, but admits that the F14 T chassis needs work: “I don’t think that we could claim to have produced a chassis that is at the moment the equal of either the Mercedes or the Red Bull.
“We’re not lagging hugely behind but there is nevertheless work for us to do before we can hold our hand up and say that we were completely happy with the chassis performance.”
Although power-units are homologated, Allison added that Ferrari will introduce a step up with its engine through using more aggressive settings at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.