Ferrari ‘friendlier’ than McLaren – expert

Fri, 31 August 2007, 02:18

With five races left to run in 2007, three formula one experts have commented on the four-way fight for title supremacy.

Hans-Joachim Stuck, a German driver of 74 grands prix in the 70s, said the contrasting garage atmospheres at McLaren and Ferrari this season could have an impact on the late October championship verdict.

“Ferrari is simply a driver-friendlier place,” the 57-year-old told Sport Bild.

The Italian team lies behind its Woking based rival, however, in both drivers’ and constructors’ chases.

But he said of McLaren: “It is surely not a coincidence that Alonso does not feel well there. Senna had problems with the team boss Ron Dennis, as did Montoya and now Fernando.

“That cannot be simply a coincidence.”

But BMW-Sauber technical director Willy Rampf played down the apparent cool atmosphere at McLaren.

“I don’t know the details of what’s going on at McLaren,” he said, “but they’re an extremely serious, professional bunch.

“Something like that certainly won’t be enough to distract them.

“I think it’s possibly more a case of froth and nonsense. There’s always going to be rivalry between the drivers –- and that’s a healthy thing.”

Rampf said frosty colleagues Alonso and championship leader Lewis Hamilton may actually drive the team forwards.

“There’s nothing worse than when the two drivers are in a comfort zone, with one slow and the other fast -– and both are content with the situation.

“You get the drivers you ask for,” he concluded.

Former French F1 driver Patrick Tambay, meanwhile, urged Ferrari to forget any distractions and work to close the points gaps.

“Your goal is clear,” he told L’Equipe in a direct message to Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. “Attack, attack, attack.”

Tambay also suggested that he would wager a few euros on the Prancing Horse, despite its seemingly overwhelming deficit to McLaren at present — and the British team’s dominance of the Monza test.

“The next courses generally should suit Ferrari the best,” he noted.

“What is really clear is that if someone wants this title, than they can not take the liberty of any more errors.”

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