Testing prior to the start of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship concluded on Sunday in Bahrain Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali believes that there is a pecking order ahead of the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday evening, Domenicali said, “From what we have seen so far, there are two teams out in front, Mercedes and Williams. After them, it could be us.”
“I also think that some teams that are struggling at the moment will be able to catch up, while teams that currently seem to have a slight advantage could see a plateau in their performance, allowing the others to close the gap.”
“The rule changes for this season have been so radical that I’d say to get a consensus you would need further tests before the championship gets underway. In our case, we are taking a lot of data back home, which we will now analyse in depth.”
“Some aspects deserve more attention to achieve the performance level we are looking for, while others maybe just need a bit of fine tuning.”
“Once back in Maranello, we will do all in our power to rectify the things that aren’t working properly yet, so that we can be as well prepared as possible in Melbourne.”
Domenicali predicts that this will be an unusual season, especially in the early stages. “I believe that we could see big changes from the first race to the second and from the second to the third, with everyone bringing in developments all the time. At first, reliability will be the key, because without it you don’t score points.”
For Ferrari, the remaining twelve days to go to the first race will be busy, as Domenicali explains, “From our side, we know there is still a mountain of things for our engineers to develop. What I’m interested in and what I have specifically requested is that we define a list of priorities and stick to it.”
“One aspect we will definitely be looking at is the relationship between the turbo engine and the electric energy recovery systems – and there’s much to do in this area. On the other hand, we return to Maranello knowing that the figures we saw from the car during the design phase have been correlated at the track and that’s already a good starting point.” (Ferrari-GP247)
Subbed by AJN.