F1 2015 team preview: Scuderia Ferrari

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Scuderia Ferrari

Drivers
No. 5 Sebastian Vettel
No. 7 Kimi Raikkonen

First Race: 1950 Monaco Grand Prix
Grands Prix: 890
Pole Positions: 
207
Fastest Laps: 
230
Race Wins: 
221
Constructors’ Championships: 
16
2014 Championship Result: 
4th (216 points)

The Ferrari that enters the 2015 F1 season is a very different team to the one that ended 2014. Gone is the old regime under Luca di Montezemolo; gone is Marco Mattiacci; gone is star driver Fernando Alonso. In their places, three men tasked with reviving the marque’s F1 fortunes: Sergio Marchionne, Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel. A new era needed to be ushered in at Maranello following its worst season in over 20 years.

Vettel’s arrival has already invigorated the team, with Kimi Raikkonen – a man many consider lucky to still be in F1 – noting that people are enjoying their work at Ferrari once again in 2015. Testing has been encouraging for the Italian team, with the SF15-T appearing to be a step up from its predecessor. A scrap with Williams and Red Bull for second place in the constructors’ championship appears to be on the cards this year, but the main goal will be to lay the groundwork for a revival of the Schumacher era in the early 2000s. After all, that’s exactly why Vettel has moved to Ferrari: to emulate his hero and establish himself as one of the all-time greats.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL No. 5

After storming to four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013, Sebastian Vettel had a shock to the system in 2014 when he lagged to fifth place in the championship, failing to win a single race. With teammate Daniel Ricciardo overshadowing him, he decided to exercise a clause in his contract to secure a move to Ferrari for 2015. His critics will argue that without the right car, he isn’t a top driver, and 2014 would appear to act as proof of that. However, he now has the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong and rebuild Ferrari around him.

KIMI RAIKKONEN No. 7

Raikkonen struggled with the front end of the Ferrari chassis a year ago but has counted himself happier with the new chassis throughout this year’s preseason testing. He doesn’t have much to lose going into this year since whatever he does in 2015 is almost certainly going to be an improvement upon a career-worst 2014, and if he beats new teammate Sebastian Vettel on a regular basis, it will have showcased his ability once over. He’s done well in odd-numbered years too for whatever reason; he nearly won the 2003 and 2005 titles, won the 2007 title, and took Ferrari and Lotus to their only wins of 2009 and 2013, respectively. Here’s an early candidate for comeback driver of the year, even at age 35.