January 4, 2011
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After huge criticism regarding their strategy fumble in Abu Dhabi which cost Fernando Alonso the 2010 world championship, Ferrari have announced several changes to the structure of the team.
The biggest switch made is that Chris Dyer, the head of race engineering, has been replaced with Pat Fry. Dyer has been described as the “master of all strategists”, having previously been the race engineer for both Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. He was also behind the famous 4-stop strategy that Schumacher utilised to win the French Grand Prix in 2004.
However, he appears to have been blamed for the disaster at Abu Dhabi, and his “role within the company will be redefinied within the next few days”. Fry, the man who replaces Dyer, moved to Ferrari from McLaren back in June 2009.
Also, Neil Martin, who has worked at McLaren, and more recently Red Bull, has been appointed as the head of the new operations research department. He will report directly to Aldo Costa, Ferrari’s technical director.
In related news, Stefano Domenicali has revealed that he almost quit the team after Abu Dhabi. In an interview with La Repubblica, he stated:
"After Abu Dhabi I raised the issue personally. I asked whether it was right
or not that I stayed.
But I reached the conclusion that resigning would be a mistake. I know the
team and I know that I am the right person to capitalise on all we have sown
in these months."
January 4, 2011
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Kimi Raikkonen's career is in doubt
Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 world champion, has closed talks about his plans for the 2011 season after the death of his father Matti.
The major Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reports that the 31 year old, who was considering to switch teams for the next world rally championship, is even expected to call time on his racing career.
Raikkonen was very close with his father, who was a road builder and supported Kimi’s careers from an early age, and died suddenly at the age of 56, two days before Christmas.
“Since the death of Matti Raikkonen, all the plans of Kimi Raikkonen are on ice,” confirmed the Finn’s rally co- driver Kaj Lindstrom.
"Let's hope he stays in rallying. The chances of success are much better in
the second year than the first, because you don't have to be learning all
sorts of things all of the time."
Raikkonen moved to the WRC after disappointing 2008 and 2009 campaigns with Ferrari, after winning the 2007 title. He raced with the Citroen Junior Team this year, and was rumoured to be moving to either Monster World Rally Team or Mini for 2011.
Earlier in the year, he was in negotiations with Renault regarding taking Vitaly Petrov’s seat for 2011, but his wage demands were reported to be far too high for the team’s liking.