When told on Sunday to push up to his nearest rival, the radio answer from Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was immediate.
“Well, give me more power!” the Finn told his engineer.
Raikkonen has notably struggled since returning to the Italian team in 2014, but so too has Ferrari with its newly V6-powered F14-T.
“Kimi complained about the engine,” new team boss Marco Mattiacci conceded after the Austrian grand prix, “but it’s up to us to give him a car with which he can deliver his value.”
In red uniforms, tempers are fraying all over the Maranello based camp, whose cool Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher-led era now seems entirely of another time.
Now, rumours of discontent are rife.
Spain’s Marca reports that, after the Canadian grand prix, Mattiacci had an angry exchange with Pat Fry, whose technical role at Ferrari has been in doubt for several months since the arrival of James Allison, who leads the 2015 project.
Marca claims Briton Fry offered to resign after the Montreal row.
“It’s rubbish,” a spokesman insisted. “Do not listen to these rumours.”
Mattiacci, however, does not deny that a frank exchange after Canada took place, as Ferrari plots a desperate course to improve.
“I like meetings where people talk openly and honestly and no one is silent,” he told Spanish television in Austria.
“After Canada, we held meetings to discuss our weaknesses and in what direction we should go for the future.”
That is because, although Raikkonen wants more “power”, Mattiacci said Ferrari needs to work on every single area of the car for 2015, not just the underperforming engine.
“I would not isolate one area,” he said. “I do not think that all of our problems are related to the engine, although the one Mercedes has produced is excellent.”
Indeed, in Austria, Mercedes-powered cars totally dominated the top seven finishing positions — with the only exception being Fernando Alonso in fifth place. (GMM)