Stefano Domenicali

Domenicali in a videochat: “Our aim is to close the gaps”

Maranello, 25 June –Lots of questions and answers in a videochat for fans held this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali. From Indonesia to Brazil, from Slovakia and of course Italy, the Scuderia fans’ questions ranged across a variety of topics, from news to more personal matters.
“Our aim is to close the gaps to the lead in the next three races,” said the Team Principal, diving straight into the point of most immediate interest. “I think we will be competitive in Silverstone, as we have been in the recent past at this track, but there are so many factors to take into account. The tyres? It will depend a lot on the weather and the temperature. The team is calm and focused: we know we must get a good result but we are used to this type of pressure.”

Silverstone evokes great memories, even for a person who tends to hold off from evoking history, as is the case with the 48 year old from Imola. “For me, Alonso’s win at this track in 2011 was one of the greatest of my career. It was a special race, because we were going through a difficult season and to win exactly when we were celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of Ferrari’s first ever Formula 1 win was like a sign of destiny: I believe that particular Sunday has earned its place in the history of this sport. It is very sad that just a few days ago, Froilan Gonzalez, the man who gave Ferrari that first win in 1951, passed away and we will be remembering him during this weekend.”

The topic of the F138’s qualifying performance was also one of the most popular. “We are trying our best. Our engineers are working very hard on this front, because we know we cannot let our drivers always start far back on the grid, otherwise doing a lot of overtaking moves isn’t much use. The aim is to at least be consistently on the top two rows. Obviously, we would like to always start from pole, which would make everything much easier and that would be even more the case when you consider our car’s potential in the race itself.”
Looking to the future, Domenicali answered questions about the changes to the technical regulations for 2014 and the possibility of a return to in-season testing. “The sound of the new V6? It will be a different sort of music to the one we are used to hearing, but we’ll soon get used to it. It’s hard to say where we are compared to the others, because never before have we been working so much in the dark. We have set ourselves some performance targets, but we can’t know what the others are aiming for. It’s a huge challenge we are now tackling, not just with the engine specialists, but with the whole group of engineers and drivers. Furthermore, it will be very important to explain to the general public what will change in terms of the rules and how the car is run. As for testing, you know we are always in the front line when it comes to it being reintroduced: I think the compromise we have reached, of having four sessions at tracks where we have just raced, starting on the Tuesday afterwards, is the right one. Testing is important, not just for the development of the car, but also in commercial terms and for our fans.”
To an Economics and Business Masters student who asked what sort of chance he had of working in Formula 1 with his degree, Domenicali gave him a more than encouraging answer: Sure there are chances: I got the same degree as you and if I did it then so can you!”