Ferrari: We’re working day and night to give our drivers a much better car

Ferando Alonso with Felipe Massa

Ferando Alonso with Felipe Massa

Apr.24 (PVM) After last year’s major reshuffle of the technical side of the Ferrari F1 team, president Luca di Montezemolo demanded that the team produce a world beater “out of the box” to tackle the 2012 season, and as a consequence the new technical team at Maranello produced the Ferrari F2012 which has turned out to be a ‘tractor’ of a Formula 1 car. This analogy might not sit well with the glamour team as arch (road car) rivals Lamborghini have roots in the tractor business, but few would deny that the ‘012 car has failed to impress when compared with previous efforts from Maranello

Ferrari mechanics in the Bahrain pit garage

Ferrari mechanics in the Bahrain pit garage

Nevertheless with this marginally effective piece of kit at his disposal Fernando Alonso has muscled his way around the first four races, taking one unexpected win (Sepang) and, as the championship heads to Europe is fourth in the points standings – a mere ten points adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel – damage control very much achieved.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali reflected, “A first cycle of four races came to an end and so we can make a very early first assessment. Clearly we cannot be happy with the way our season began but, after the winter tests, we knew the first four races would be very tough. We managed to limit the damage, especially in the Drivers’ championship, in which Fernando Alonso is fifth, just ten points off the leader. However, it is equally clear that now we must step up a gear, right from the next race. Our engineers are well aware of this and are working day and night to give our drivers a much more competitive car than we have seen on track in these first four races.”

The team boss admits that based on their February testing form, where they stand right now is a bonus, “Honestly, if when setting out for Melbourne, it had been suggested we would be in this position with one of our drivers, I would have struggled to believe it.”

Felipe Massa has struggled

Felipe Massa has struggled

Felipe Massa has been massively overshadowed by Alonso, in the first four races, and in fact, generally since the Spaniard arrived at the Scuderia, at the start of 2010. Ferrari’s patience (and loyalty) to the Brazilian has been commendable while being seen by some as counter productive to the team.

Domenicali, who remains committed to Massa, explained, “Felipe has also reacted in a positive fashion to the initial difficulties and I am sure the fact [that] he has finally managed to end his scoreless run in terms of points will give him confidence for the forthcoming races.”

The word is that, since March, the team has building an ‘F2012B’ version of their current car, which in truth is a totally new car starting from scratch – hence the lack of updates for recent races – and that the next couple of weeks – testing at Mugello and round five in Barcelona – will be crucial to the team’s title ambitions. If this hugely ‘updated’ F2012 is another failure, there will be some serious questions asked from high up and Alonso, who has admirably towed the party line to date, will be forgiven a tantrum or two – the reds have yet to give him an optimum weapon to do his job.

Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari celebrate on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 25 March 2012.

Steafno Domenicali and fernando Alonso on the podium after Ferrari scored an unlikely victory in Malaysia

On their website, Ferrari acknowledge, “The coming days will be very important, during which the primary objective will be to push as hard as possible on the development of the car: next week we have three days of testing at Mugello, but it’s not definite that all the updates planned for Barcelona will be seen then. We must try and make the most of every minute available to us to increase the performance of the F2012.”

Meanwhile (as we reported recently) there is a revolution going on behind closed doors at Maranello as Domenicali confirmed, “We are intensifying the process of changing our working procedures in all areas and, at the same time, we are strengthening our efforts in areas where we are weakest, such as aerodynamics. It’s a long term project and one that President Montezemolo is studying first hand and it is vital to the future of the Scuderia. F1 has changed so much these past few years and we have not always been up to speed with these changes. In this area too we need to step up a gear.”

“The theme for the start of this championship is that everyone was very closely matched: the statistics show that it’s been nine years since there have been four different winners in the first four races, but more than that, you have to go back 29 years to find the last time four different cars won,” mused Domenicali.

Ferrari fans have high expectations of their team

Ferrari fans have high expectations of their team

“Tyres seem to be the most important factor: understanding their behaviour in order to settle on a strategy for the race and also for qualifying, as we saw last weekend in Bahrain, pinpointing the right moment for the pit stops, knowing how best to set a time on a single flying lap, based on the track evolution are all crucial elements in the fight for the top places. I expect that in Barcelona there will be many teams all bringing significant updates on track and we will have to do a better job than the others,” added the Ferrari team boss.

The team loves statistics and duly pointed out: “Statistics from the last three years show that the ten point deficit is the smallest Alonso has had to the leader of the Drivers’ table at this point in the season: it was eleven in 2010 (60 for Button, 49 for Fernando) and no less than 52 last year (93 Vettel, 41 the Spaniard.)”

Subbed by AJN.
  • fools

    Lets see what there up too. Hope those major updates workout well

  • visz963

    Never saw a team who could catch up from the midfield during the season. Unlikely Ferrari can do this.

    Moreover, the philosophy of development is also incorrect, if they dont even know what they are doing. They should by a good technical leadership team, and fire all the unnecessary people (including the overpaid Alonso).

  • Dragan

    Domenicalli speaks like a politician. Much talk saying nothing, just as his work is look like.
    The story of how the tires and understanding of the same important, is completely superfluous since it is always the case. He also mentions the revolutionary changes in the process of working with a team headed for four years, and I wonder what he waited until now. If McLaren is recognized changes in F1, why did the same and Ferrari. I think it is unnecessary to enumerate all Domenicali blunders, and I sincerely believe that he is the weakest link in a Ferrari this time, along with Pat Fry who also had both time and money available to make a car not a tractor, and I am also sruggling to believe that thay are capable to do some good job.

  • Alex


    I’m not sure if it was on this site or other.

    Anyway, Domenicalli wanted to leave Ferrari in 2010, but his request was denied by Montezello (or how u spell it).

    Domenicalli oversees all the logistics and business side of Ferrari team and don’t have much say in how car is build.

  • Dragan

    @ Alex

    “Domenicalli oversees all the logistics and business side of Ferrari team and don’t have much say in how car is build”

    That’s why I mention Pat Fry, and I am not sure that Domenicali is not responsible for obtaining the necessary personnel and monitoring of the processes themselves.

    Any way I sincerely hope that things Ferrari finally get better.

  • fools

    Alonso has nothing to do with a slow car vitz. He already proved that to your ignorant self.

  • Alonsofan

    Drivers like alonso,hamilton,kimi dont need the best car on the grid to win,they need a car that is just competitive

  • Obviously

    viszzszz or whatever.. Is still an idiot. Sometimes he will drop halfway respectable knowledge, then kills it with his hater mentality.. Lame…

    I believe it is a more Monty problem than anything.

  • Firoze

    Reply to ignorant visz963.

    Alonso is worth every penny. He wring the neck of the car brings in the points. Never say die. Wait and see Ferrari will be up there fighting. It is the damn miserable pirelli tyres affecting all the cars. Each team trying to build the car to suit the tyres and not pure full throttle racing.

    By the way I am not a Ferrari fan

  • Nowhereman

    Alonso is the only bright thing for Ferrari this season.
    IF and I say IF the B spec car gets things to its liking, Alonso will walk away with the 2nd half of the season and lots of people will be eating crow and some will be beating their chests.

  • visz963

    You are all fools, Alonso has very much to do with the slow car. Schumacher was able to transform a slow ferrari into a winning machine with his technical knowledge and test driver capabilities, just read some interviews with Jean Todt or Ross Brawn, or Niki Lauda.

    Alonso does not have this capability, never heard of it. Just look at where Ferrari has developed with him.

    At the same time Mercedes is constantly improving. This is exactly why they have hired Schumi, not for his racing.

    See and learn.

  • fawxx

    i kinda agree with visz with the part with schumi and the mercs part. one of the main reason why merc got shumi was his ability of development and his feedback.

    as for alonso, idk if he has this same ability, so i shall not comment.

  • Butterfly


    Right. So the fact that the F10s were flying at Monza in 2010 thanks to his input means he knows nothing about development.

    Next time you want to open that POS mouth of yours you better get your facts right.

    Have a nice day.

  • Joolz

    In response to visz963 and to Butterfly: the input of Alonso is what turned the 2008 McLaren into a championship contender. That is why Ron Dennis hired Alonso (and got rid of him when he wasn’t needed any more). Why do you think Hamilton’s engineers just copied Alonso’s set-up during practice and qualifying? All they had to do for 2009 was to just build on the knowledge left by Alonso.

    visz963 should note that Schumacher helped develop the late 90s Ferrari, not design it in the first place. It took him three years to make his mark. The criticism that people are making to Ferrari is that so far they weren’t able to focus on a long-term program á la Shumacher-Todt-Brawn. They have limited themselves to restart every year with a car copying the quickest at the time. And every year they caught up, proving Alonso does help develop the car once its designed.

    The idea behind this year’s project is to start a long-term program where the car is based on a concept by Pat Fry and a development by Alonso and the rest of the team. It took Schumi 3 years, and this is only Alonso’s first within a similar long-term planning. We will only be able to compare Alonso to Schumacher in a couple years time. Provided Alonso gets a team mate that can also take points away from McLaren and RedBull (which Schumi had with Barrichello but Alonso lacks in Massa), his chances are quite good.

  • visz963

    Thanks for all your comments, except:

    @Bitterfly: no one cares about you and your cognitive dissonance syndrom caused by your disappointed love for Alonso. Just keep talking to yourself, and do not address me at all. All I do when I see your comments is laugh.

  • Butterfly



    So, really, what’s wrong with your head? Not enough O2 on birth, got hit on the head while skating, abusive father, rape victim?

    There aren’t that many “experiences” that can mess up a person like you are.

  • Hawk

    Joolz, i do not think long term planning and strategy works in F1 these days. at the dynamism of the regs so is the technology to succumb. everything is at most short to midterm, the most apt engineer viz Newey will reign. mostly started in 2009 championship. for instance you cannot start building your car around the 2014 V6.
    my 2 cents is that Alonso is doing his work. drivers only contribute to a cars development by how accurately they can pinpoint the problem and what is neede to be done. how? the engineers. and surely that can only happen in-season, testing.. MSC had the advantage of in-season testing! where all car setups could be exhausted. the merc is good partly due to the DDRS. is that down to Schumi?

  • Stewy33

    Ferrari can continue to fix thier car, but I heard a rumor that Robert Kubica has moved to Italy and has been seen going in and out of the gates in Maranello at Ferrari…

    Kubica Ferrari F1 2013?

  • fawxx

    i dont think kubica is that fit to drive a f1 car yet…

  • Nowhereman

    My guess is Kubica will never drive F1 “competitively” again.
    These Damn Euros and their rally racing…..
    You want to race off road? come to America and do some desert racing.
    Once you make it in F1, then focus on F1 and thank your good luck.

  • me262


    different times different people at Ferrari. Ferrari had a drought of 20 years with no titles, they were a laughing stock: unreliable, slow and the most disorganised team in the most latin way. I remember in the 80’s i think it was Michele Alboreto who came in to pit and Ferrari mechanics dropped half the Ferrari before lifting it again to fit the new wheel

    Schumachers era at Ferrari was highly succesful and yelded plenty of championships. But dont forget, it took the great Michael Schumacher 5 years to win it … i repeat 5 years. Alonso has got talent…2 wdc’s says he does so

    Your just a mad troll…if you knew a thing about Formula 1 you would know that half the ticket to a wdc’s is not just be a good driver but have the right team around you…and as JM Fangio best proved, to be in the right team at the right time. Stirling Moss (if youve ever heard of him) is rated the best driver to never have won the championship. I say he was better than a lot of drivers who did win the wdc…it was just timing & strong competition…what Schumacher didnt have for most his career

  • visz963

    I can only repeat what e.g. Lauda said. Ferrari wouldnt have been competitive without the testing work of Schumi – this is a capability that many others simply do not have. Those who had it were e.g. Alex Wurz, David Coulthard – but they were not good racers.

    If you knew anything about those times you would not be writing silliness. But you dont.

  • me262


    If you had any clue of the current regulations you would be aware that testing has been BANNED in its majority

    do you half remember what was going on when Schumacher was @ Ferrari ? If the new Ferrari had any niggles from debut, Ferrari Schumacher, Braun & company WOULD BE LAPPING FIORANO FOR DAYS/ WEEKS/ MONTHS UNTIL THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED. DIFFERENT TIMES DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND ALSO….DIFFERENT REGS. WHY DO YOU THINK SCHUMI COMPLAINS ABOUT NO TESTING? NO SILLY WRITING HERE RETARD.

    Move on bud, Formula 1 is not your thing

  • fawxx

    they should so bring back testing. this crap these days aint gonna cut it.