Maranello, 23 April –Two days on from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari’s technical team is back in Maranello, just a bit later than Stefano Domenicali and Pat Fry. The busy work programme leaves no room for either celebration or moments of disappointment, given the relentless schedule of the Formula 1 World Championship. From 10 to 12 May, the action continues with the Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya circuit, which means there is no time for a break.
The day after the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Scuderia Ferrari engineers concluded the investigation into the failure of the DRS unit which badly affected Fernando Alonso’s race. Analysis revealed that the problem was caused by the breakage of a mechanical component within the system. It’s the first problem of its kind on this system seen in the three years during which it has been used.
The failure is not something that causes concern for the long term, however, paying great attention to reliability must always remain at the highest level. It has often been the case that it takes only a small problem to prevent the car’s full potential from being exploited. The disappointment at what happened is even greater when one looks at the usual analysis of performance over the race weekend, which shows that Alonso could definitely have been fighting with Sebastian Vettel for the win.
“It’s hard to recall a race where so many things went wrong,” commented Stefano Domenicali on his return to Maranello. “The DRS failure prevented Fernando, who yet again produced a great performance, from fighting Vettel for the win. Then for Felipe, there were the two tyre related problems that pushed him out of the points and prevented from getting the top five finish that was within his grasp. We had the potential to get these results, but we were unable to do so, partly because of external influences.”
Responsibility therefore lies with reliability, from the smallest to the biggest components, to ensure the level of perfection that has to be the standard for Ferrari. “We must work with renewed attention on this front,” continued Domenicali. “We must also continue to develop the car and increase our understanding of the tyres, which is more crucial than ever this year. In these first four races of the season, we have not managed, for various reasons, to bring home the points that were within our grasp. That’s why the gap to the top in both classifications seems quite large, but we must not be discouraged by this, quite the contrary, because we have seen so often, both in our favour and against, how things can change in a hurry. We believe in our ability to be in the fight for the titles right to the end and this time, we have been in that fight since the start, which has not been the case for a while. At the same time, we must be aware that in order to achieve our objectives, we have to be perfect in every area.”
In just over a month, Formula 1 has dealt with the first long run of flyaways, with four races that have begun to shape the look of the 2013 championship. Without some unlucky incidents, our points total would be bigger, but within the team, calm reigns, because we know that we can count on a driver-car-team package that’s capable of fighting for the titles right to the end.