Ferrari’s James Allison: Only a matter of time until Kimi hits his stride

1 Comment

As Formula One teams plan updates and enhancements to their chassis beginning with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari’s chassis technical director James Allison is confident Kimi Raikkonen will be able to maximize his talent and ability level in the team’s Ferrari F14 T chassis soon.

“Kimi is working extremely well with this team, collaborating extremely well with his engineers, with the other car, and helping us drive this car forwards; helping to show us where it is weak and helping us to make it stronger,” Allison said, via the official Formula One website.

“He has class written all over him, and we know that within a very short space of time we will also be seeing the results on the track.”

Through four Grands Prix, Fernando Alonso has thus far taken the early team advantage on his teammate, and did well to score the team’s first podium finish of the year three weeks ago in China.

Raikkonen’s slow start, meanwhile, has gotten a fair bit of attention, but he insisted his motivation isn’t lacking.

The team has also gone through its high-profile management shakeup with the departure of Stefano Domenicali after Bahrain, with Ferrari North America’s Marco Mattiacci coming in to replace him as team principal.

Allison confirmed it’s been the car, not the drivers, that have left Ferrari on the back foot thus far.

“We are very fortunate to have two good drivers with impeccable pedigree. Until we deliver both our drivers a car they can really put to work on a track, we are just fortunate to have these guys helping us drive the program forward,” Allison admitted.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.