Domenicali: The more ‘horsepower’ the tifosi can give us, the better
5 September, 2012
Sep.5 (Ferrari) In horse riding, the expression says that the best way to recover from a fall is to get straight back in the saddle again. On Sunday in Belgium, Fernando Alonso did not so much fall off his Prancing Horse, rather he was pushed off it very forcefully in that first corner incident.
With the Italian Grand Prix action at Monza starting this Friday morning, the Ferrari man won’t have long to wait to be back in the saddle. The fact Fernando will indeed be fit enough to drive in the Scuderia’s home race is precisely why team principal Stefano Domenicali described the overriding emotion after Belgium as one of relief.
“Naturally, there was disappointment from a sporting point of view, because the final result could have been totally different,” said Domenicali. “I believe that, seeing how the race developed, we could have collected some very important points for the championship. The relief comes from the fact that there could have been a very serious injury for Fernando, but he is fine, no problem at all. He came back with us on the charter flight to Maranello and on Monday, he was fine, without pain and already totally focussed on the next race.”
With just a few days to go before the home race, Domenicali is aware that it’s time to move on from Spa and focus on this weekend. “We left Belgium with the awareness that the championship is still in our hands,” he continued. “It is in the hands of all the people at Maranello, who have to improve our car, because it is not yet at the level it should be. The competition is still very open and Fernando is still leading the championship and that is the basis on which we can look ahead.”
Fernando’s accident at La Source naturally stole all the headlines, but his team-mate’s strong drive to fifth place, keeping the Spaniard’s title rival, Mark Webber, behind him was a praiseworthy performance. “I’m very happy for Felipe,” confirmed Domenicali. “We needed that sort of race from him as a team and he himself needed it as a driver. After a very difficult qualifying the day before, in the race he showed a very strong pace. We need to see that again, not only in Monza this weekend, but also for the rest of the season.”
Anyone who has been to Monza for a Formula One Grand Prix will know that, whatever the Scuderia’s performance in the season up to that point, the support from the crowd goes beyond anything one can witness at any other event on the calendar.
“It is indeed a special race for us,” agreed Domenicali. “There is a special feeling for our home race, but the reality is that the number of points on offer are the same as at the other 19 rounds, all around the world. To sum it up, I would like to think we can leave Monza having scored very special points at what is a very special race for us. This will be a challenging weekend from the technical point of view. All the teams, including ourselves, will run cars in a one-off specification to meet the very low downforce requirements that are unique to this track and we know several of our rivals are very competitive at this type of circuit.”
However, even in such a technical sport as grand prix racing, the human element still has an important role to play. “We will have so many fans supporting us in the Autodromo and I’m sure that we will get a boost from the emotion they will transfer to the team and the drivers. The more ‘horsepower’ the fans can give us, the better. We will be doing all we can to repay them for that support. All the same, I am not going to make any predictions, except to say I hope we bring home a good points haul from Monza.”
A quick look at the numbers for this weekend shows that Scuderia Ferrari has won its home race 18 times out of 61 races, all of which all bar the 1980 one (which was run at Imola) being held at the ‘Temple of Speed’ that is Monza. The last of those victories came courtesy of Fernando Alonso who won here in 2010, having also stood on the top step of the podium in 2007. He previously visited the podium when he came second in ’05 and third last year. As for Felipe Massa, his best result is a third place in 2010.
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