Domenicali: Ferrari aim to win both F1 titles
12 January, 2011
Jan.12 (Ferrari) There was a vast number of questions during a three-hour, marathon media session, what with a press conference and TV and radio interviews that constituted the main part of Stefano Domenicali’s day at Madonna di Campiglio.
There was no way the 2010 season could be ignored, especially the way it all ended in Abu Dhabi. As usual, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Team Principal had a very reasoned approach to those events. “Everyone reckons that it was all down to Abu Dhabi and the mistake made there, but the truth is that the championship was lost in the early part of the season, when we failed to pick up the points that were within our grasp.”
“At the final race we missed a decisive penalty shot, but as is the case in football, the best thing to do is to take another one immediately, to consign the mistake to history, even if it does not wipe out all the good work we did earlier,” said the Italian team boss.
He continued, “I clearly remember that, at the start of the summer, no one would have bet a single Euro on our chances of challenging to the end, but then we all know how it turned out. Now, throughout the team, there is a great will to do well and to put behind us this bad end to a season which was nevertheless a positive one, especially the second half, when we put on a great show of concentration and determination in what was definitely not an easy situation.”
“From a personal point of view, I can confirm that I did consider that it would be the right thing to do as team boss, and therefore the person ultimately responsible for every decision, to hand in my resignation, but I also told myself that it would be the wrong decision,” said Domenicali.
“Sure, in the days immediately after, I felt downhearted but then that changed with the support I got, first and foremost from President Montezemolo, but also the thousands of messages of support that came from all over, from partners to fans which only served to sustain my will to react. Apart from that, there’s no point crying over spilt milk, as all it does is goes our opponents an advantage.”
Domenicali, who this year began his 20th year at the Maranello company said, “The target for 2011 is as easy to say as it is hard to achieve – it requires taking one step forward in the drivers championship and two in the one for the teams. These have to be our targets because we are Ferrari.”
He explained, “To manage it we want to have a car that is super-competitive and reliable from the very start. We know that we will have to be perfect, including in how we react to all the events that can crop up in a race weekend – because when the opponents are so strong and numerous this is what you need if you aspire to win.”
The new car will be presented on January 28 at Maranello and then, weather conditions permitting, it will immediately be used for some promotional shots at the Fiorano circuit. The car will have a livery based on the new logo that will adorn all the sporting activities carried out by Ferrari this year.
Then it will begin the 15 days of pre-season testing allowed by the regulations on February 1 at the Cheste circuit in Valencia. The first driver at the wheel will be Fernando Alonso, who will hand over to team-mate Felipe Massa on the third day.
“The car that you will see at the Maranello launch will be very different from the one that makes its debut on 13 March in Bahrain,” added Domenicali. “We will continue to develop the car up to the last available day, as we believe the other teams will.”
The Valencia test will also mark Pat Fry’s debut in his new role of head of race track engineering – one that he holds in addition to his existing title of deputy technical director.
Domenicali explained, “For a while we were thinking of improving the team in certain areas so this decision was not taken on impulse after what happened in Abu Dhabi – if anything it was just brought forward. Pat will have the responsibility of running all the track activities both technical and relating to the drivers.”
He added, “To do that in the most effective way, together with the race engineers, he will also have the support of the tools that will be available and improved by a new technical body that we have created: the Operations Research department, which will be headed by new arrival Neil Martin. This department will also have the job of improving the integration between simulator, wind tunnel and technical office. There will be no other changes.”