Domenicali: We can’t be happy how testing went considering our goals

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday 14 October 2011.

Stefano Domenicali is not happy.

Mar.6 (PVM) Ferrari have admitted that they are not happy with where they stand after twelve days of Formula 1 pre-season testing, with team principal Stefano Domenicali and Fernando Alonso coming out at Maranello to rally the troops as the team step up another gear to sort out the ‘complex’ F2012 ahead of the forthcoming Australian GP.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 with rear wing covered. Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 4 March 2012.

One wonders what Ferrari had to hide in Barcelona?

Speaking to team staff on Monday, Domenicali declared, “It’s obvious that we can’t be happy with how the test went considering our goals, but let’s not forget that the Championship has [yet] to start.”

“This is just the starting point and we have a very long season ahead of us. We know that there are some areas where we have to work a lot, regarding reliability and performance, but I’m expecting some great responses from you all and the wish to show who we are,” said the team boss.

At the same meeting, Fernando Alonso echoed Domenicali’s words, ““Above all I want to thank you all for the work you’ve done. These were some very intense months and weeks and I know that you’re giving it your all, that you’re working 24/7 on the track and here at the Works to provide me and Felipe [Massa] with a strong car.”

Adding, “The new single-seater has some characteristics, which are difficult to understand and maybe we’re not where we want to be yet. But we’ve all lived through many F1 seasons and we all know very well that until we’re in Australia we don’t really know where we stand regarding the others.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 3 March 2012.

Fernando Alonso watches the action on his day off in Barcelona

Reports that Ferrari are in trouble with the F2012, ahead of the season opener in Australia, have been gathering steam especially in Italy where the media have high expectations of their ‘national’ F1 team.

The Spaniard alluded to this unique pressure on the Scuderia, saying, “There’s lots of talk and many ideas, but nobody knows the truth. For example yesterday Red Bull, considered by many to be the front-runner, had only a few laps and the last time on the sheet: if something similar had happened to us, [all] hell would have broken loose, but here nobody really noticed it.”

“More than ever we have to give it our all to improve, from the one who’s responsible for the rear-view mirror to the one who’s responsible for the piston. We’re united and we’re giving it our all, because we all want the same,” said the double world champion.

“I just want to remind you of an episode two years ago: at the last test in Barcelona we were fifth behind Red Bull, McLaren, Sauber and Force India and two weeks later we gained a one-two win in Bahrain. What counts is not to be first in the first race, but in November, at the end of the Championship,” concluded Alonso.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 4 March 2012.

Fernando Alonso on track with Sebastian Vettel on the final day of testing in Barcelona

On Sunday, when asked in Barcelona if Ferrari expected to be on the podium in Melbourne, the team’s technical director Pat Fry replied, “In the hunt for the podium in Melbourne? At the moment I’d say no.”

The Englishman, who was recruited from McLaren in 2010, explained, ““We are disappointed with the performance level seen at these tests and I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. Clearly the decision relating to the exhausts that we took last week meant we took a few steps backwards in terms of development.”

“How much? Difficult to say right now. In testing, you can only make assumptions regarding what fuel loads the other cars are running and it will only be in Melbourne that we will get a clear answer as to whether we have to be very disappointed or just a little, how far we really are off the front runners and consequently how much ground we have to make up to get there,” said Fry.

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  • Aboudy

    I wonder if Ferrari is hiding some pace and BS’ing their rivals. I stopped being a fan after schumi left but I still think the old lady has something left in her. March 18th is not too far

  • Butterfly

    I read somewhere an analysis of the F2012 after testing and it said the car has high drag, low downforce, it barely could reach 280 kph in Barcelona down the straight. It also said the bodywork is not the best way to do aero in F1 at the moment – both the shape of the sidepods and that nasty acer-duct.

    That duck in particular loses them a couple of tenths a lap.

    Either this is the biggest PR stunt in the history of F1 or the biggest flop for Ferrari.

    We’ll know next week.

  • Butterfly

    But seriously, how could the design team make such a trainwreck? They’re professionals, aren’t they? So what made them think the F2012’s layout was a good idea?

  • visz963

    Easy. They dont have pilot who has the quality to support the development. The enginers are left alone.

  • Edsal

    This year has to be the end for Stefano Domenicali. Ferrari has become a mediocre team during his tenure. It’s going to become like it was before Schumi arrived.

  • Twiinz

    There’s that one trick pony wining about Alonso again. :)
    Visz you sound like a broken record.
    @Aboudy: I think they are trying to keep expectations low so they don’t get all the bad press if the car is not a winner out of the box.
    I have been a Ferrari fan for 30+ years. They will have their ups and downs like any other team, but because they are Ferrari, it’s a big deal. Besides, if it wasn’t for the trifecta of Todt, Brawn, and Schumi, nobody would expect them to be any better than all the other guys. But they have set the bar for so long that now it is expected. They will win again, maybe soon, maybe not. Time will tell. The true Tifosi will stay around regardless.

  • Psych4191

    This is definitely not a driver issue, no reason in bringing that up. The Technical team is sub-par at best right now. It’s surprising, really, that they still aren’t up to speed after 12 days of testing. I actually hope Ferrari pulls itself together.
    We have so many cars this season that can put up a podium performance. Mercedes, Lotus, Force India, Red Bull, McLaren all look strong and have a chance to have special weekends. Ferrari needs to step up. this season is going to be amazing regardless of Ferrari, but I’m sure they don’t want to be left in the dust.

    If, however, that does happen, I’d expect Fry and Domenicali to get the boot. A complete overhaul would fix Ferrari rather quickly.

  • Butterfly

    I read they’re working on a new chassis for Melbourne with modified front suspension and sidepods.

    Let’s hope they found out what’s wrong with the F2012.

  • Butterfly

    @Twiinz:

    Maybe visz963 has perpetual PMS. :-)

  • fawxx

    @butterfly

    can you share the links for the articles where you saw the reports about ferrari having high drag and the new chassis in aussie?

    thanks!

  • fawxx

    okay. thanks.

    with ferrari frantically trying to push out a B-spec car only proves that they are truly fcuked.

  • Butterfly

    @fawxx:

    They would have been, but they can now fix the car thanks to the new chassis.

    Good move by the FIA.

  • fawxx

    thank goodness for the change in regulations. imagine this happen last year.

    i still think they should not have sacked aldo costa. one of the reasons why the other teams are improving is because they have a stable team, whereas ferrari are trigger happy.

  • Stewy33

    It seems the only thing Ferrari is hiding is thier necks from Monty’s AXE!!!