Domenicali: I think the car has improved but not enough

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 30 March 2014.

Fernando Alonso insists that his Ferrari team “will improve” despite being outpaced by rivals Mercedes and Red Bull in the first two races of this year, while team boss Stefano Domenicali believes that although there are improvements they are not enough.

Alonso finished fourth for the second time this season on Sunday.

“It is not the perfect start to the championship but the team is doing a massive effort to catch up,” he said. “We will improve, that’s for sure. We are analysing the areas we need to improve. They seem very clear to us.”

Domenicali said after the race at Sepang, “I don’t think the gap with Red Bull was so big. We were suffering with the Hard tyres, the drivers were struggling with traction and did not feel the car as they wanted.”


“With Mercedes I see a big gap but with the others we are close. It is not easy to solve but I am asking my engineers to put in place a plan to close it. I think the car has improved but not enough,” added Domenicali.

It is now 30 grands prix since Ferrari were on pole – their most recent was Germany 2012

The Ferrari has good performance in high-speed corners but its engine is uncompetitive compared to the Mercedes, which can produce much more power per unit of fuel, the key measurement of performance under F1’s new efficiency-focused rules.

The Ferrari car is also lagging behind the Red Bull in areas such as traction.

Despite the problems, Alonso’s consistency and Ferrari’s reliability mean the 32-year-old double world champion is third in the championship, only one point behind Malaysian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 30 March 2014.

“Looking at the performance we have in these two races we have one point less than Hamilton and nine points more than Vettel is the less negative thing from these two races,” said Alonso, who finished second in the championship behind Vettel in three of the last four years, twice taking the battle to the last race of the season.

“We have a strong car with no mechanical problems so we could finish both races and score some strong points. We know we miss a little bit of performance at the moment compared to the top guys. I was not quick enough to follow Mercedes and Red Bull. We need to improve.”

He insisted that Ferrari were not as far behind Mercedes in Malaysia as they had been in Australia because the flowing nature of the circuit  better suited their car. (Reuters)

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  • Massimo Merebini

    Is it only I who insists Domenicalli is shown the door ?

  • Tamburello1994

    The top picture says it all: Red Bull proves it doesn’t take forever and a day to produce a top three race car.

  • Tamburello1994


  • Raja Bomoh Nujum VIP


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  • brianne

    they are missing the point for the last 5 years or so… Yes they are making improvements but so are the rivals. they just react to what their rivals are doing. really bad for a team that has one of the highest budget to build a racing car.

  • Macstar

    He must go!

  • Spartacus

    When has the improvements ever been enough?

    It’s actually such a shame that this has been happening to Ferrari, the most famous automotive brand in the world. It has been 7 years since their last Championship, hasn’t it? I am already starting to believe they are not as good a carmaker that they make themselves look like..

  • karlich

    well they could always ditch building cars and start a corporate branding consultancy 😉

  • Resultant Asteroid

    As a Project Manager told me many years ago “No corporation, army, factory, or a country fails because of the employees/ppl … the only reason for failure is bad management, even if u have the worst employees in the world” … and he went on to describe the worst scenarios possible, and impossible (like management waking up to find out that their entire crew of employees died in an accident or earthquake … and how they will react and deal with the situation and their clients – whom they have to be honest with ofcourse – as well) …
    At first, I thought “this is too harsh, too generic … he’s burdening himself and his peers with more than their share” … but ever since that moment years ago, everyday, I see proof that he was right, and I was wrong.
    That’s why since 2009, my opinion is: at Ferrari, Domenicalli is the problem.

  • Ruben blanco

    They’re definitely off the path long time ago.
    For instance They’ve always given the preference to a high nose to allow the air flow as much as possible down the nose. They’ve been always claiming that solution like the best and now they ignore all that and developed the lower nose on the grid, and one of the ugliest as well, with many other teams being aggressive in their solution leaving Ferrari again the classic car.
    Why? I think that’s the question.

  • Dr. Azlan

    Ferrari is so meek nowadays. Used to be talking about winning races now they’re happy if they become third or fifth. Next they’ll be so delighted for having infront of Marussia or Caterham.

  • gideon e.p

    Me also very tired & bored with Ferrari performance under Stefano in the last 6 years. As one of team with biggest budget, Ferrari should brave to do team major revamp. Luca himself had to intervene to rebuild the winning team (like Schumi’s era), starting with unite Kimi-Alonso. Replace Stefano with someone at Todd/Brawn calibre. Get someone at Rory Byrne calibre to lead aerodynamic engineers. Build a winning car and bring both WDC+WCC back to Maranello.