James Allison, Ferrari technical director, is confident that the team’s 2015 challenger will suit Kimi Räikkönen better than last year’s.
The Finn struggled last year with a lack of confidence under braking and on corner entry, which left him unable to challenge team-mate Fernando Alonso; the pair was separated by a mammoth 105 points in last year’s Drivers’ Championship standings.
But a year later and with James Allison joining Räikkönen’s former team, Lotus, Ferrari now has a better understanding of what the 2007 World Champion needs to be successful and have made the necessary tweaks to the designs of its 2015 F1 car, the SF-15T.
“We will only know for sure once we are running on the track, but I hope that the SF-15T will be much more comfortable for him with both a stronger front end in mid corner and more support from the rear under breaking,” said Allison, who also believes Räikkönen could also benefit from the stronger Pirelli rear tyres.
“It will be the rear casing that is the most significant,” he explained. “It allows the car better support under combined loading conditions and gives the driver more confidence trough the corner as a result.”
Although optimistic, that the new Ferrari has addressed many of the weaknesses of last year’s car, Allison admits that it will not be straightforward to deliver the wins that the team is targeting.
“No one ever said Formula 1 was supposed to be easy,” he added. “It will be a very stiff challenge to win races in 2015, but we have made good steps forward over the whole car and we hope that this work will translate into a notable step forward in our fortunes.”