Name: Andrea Stella
Designation:Race Engineer for Kimi Raikkonen
Born: Orvieto, Italy
Birth date: 22nd February 1971
Star Sign: Pisces
Marital Status: Married
Profile: Andrea studied Aeronautical Engineering at University before later going on to work for Ferrari. Andrea is probably best known to the tifosi (the Ferrari fans) from his time working as 7 times World Champion Michael Scumacher’s Performance and Vehicle Engineer.
This role involved intensively studying all the telemetry data for the car and using it to feedback information to the driver about how to get the best possible performance out on track. This analysis of data takes place not just after each test and practice session but also throughout the entire time the driver is in the car, whether that be in testing, in qualifying or even during the race. It involves quite long hours and alot of work!
With the retirement of Michael Schumacher at the end of 2006, Andrea continued on his role of Performance Engineer with Kimi Raikkonen, overseeing all the data for Kimi’s car helping to guide him and his race engineer Chris Dyer to victory and the World Championship in 2007.
Right from the start of their professional relationship, Andrea is credited as being perhaps one of a very few people within Ferrari who was immediately able to understand the quietly spoken Kimi over the radio, but the relationship with Kimi goes deeper with that, with Andrea himself commenting that even when they are working they are able to share some fun and jokes together.
Nowadays having a strong relationship with your engineers is seen as being very important in F1, so it comes as no surprise that with the promotion of Chris Dyer to Chief Race Engineer, that the hard working and dedicated Andrea was promoted to act as Kimi’s Race Engineer.
Andrea points out that this role involves less analytical work than his previous position but more hands on management, where he is responsible for the management of all the mechanics that work on Kimi’s side of the Garage, managing and organising Kimi’s testing schedule, choosing priorities and studying the regulations. The aim of the Race Engineer’s job is too make all these things happen as seamlessly and effortlessly as possible for his driver.
Andrea informs us that there is a noticable difference between the approaches of Michael Schumacher and his current driver Kimi. Kimi’s approach to racing is apparantly more intuitive and based on perception, whereas Michael’s approach was based more on deductive logic, sometimes therefore Kimi’s approach to racing can be a little bit less effective and a little bit more difficult to get right.
Does he feel the pressure on him after 2008 in which Kimi had a somewhat turbulent season? Andrea says he cannot but help feel it in the environment in which he is in, but being a quiet and calm individual he states the most important way to approach things is to concentrate on the work and put Kimi in the best possible conditions to go racing.
Andrea is married to Michela, and has two sons Edoardo and Federico.