Maranello, 15 April –This Monday morning had something different about it as the Ferrari workforce turned up at the factory. Their arrival coincided with the first signs of springlike sunshine and the Italian flag was flapping in the wind alongside the one of the Cavallino on a yellow background, just like the one Fernando Alonso waved after taking victory in the Chinese Grand Prix. The flags are part of a longstanding Ferrari tradition to mark every win for the Scuderia in the Formula 1 World Championship. President Luca di Montezemolo was the first to congratulate everyone from the Gestione Sportiva, sending a message to all the men and women who work in Maranello: “Congratulations to all of you for this great win achieved with a competitive car. I am pleased for all of you, as this is just reward for all your work. We know we have to improve, we know the championship will be long and difficult, but we want to be contenders. Let’s continue like this, putting even more effort and determination into it and more success will follow. My thanks to all of you.”
After the inevitable celebrations, the Shanghai triumph was put to one side pretty quickly, given that in just a few days it will be time to get back on track at the Al Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. All the mechanics worked late into the night to pack all the case and the two F138s, which are now on their way to the Middle East. Despite the strong showing in China, no one in the team is taking their eye off the ball and in fact, the win simply serves as further motivation for everyone to keep giving their all. After the first three races of the season, it’s clear that this championship features a very high level of competition. Casting an eye over the classifications shows that no less than four teams are in the fight for the wins at the moment, which is a longer shortlist than in 2012. Winning in China confirms that Scuderia Ferrari is part of this group, clearly capable of fighting on all fronts. However, there is still a need to keep focussed and pushing on in the same way, maintaing a high work rate at the track and in Maranello.
With so many competitors capable of aiming for the 2013 world titles, the race results are even harder to predict. As usual, going into every race, teams will have to take into account how best to adapt their cars to each track, the temperature variable and tyre management. Looking at those first three rounds, it seems that playing the consistency card will also be an important key to this season. On this front, Alonso and Massa have demonstrated that the F138 was well suited to the three tracks already visited on the championship trail. In qualifying in Melbourne, Sepang and Shanghai, all held in very different weather, the two Ferraris were the only cars to always make it to the top 5. As for the races, some unpredictable incidents played a part, but as Alonso pointed out after winning on Sunday, of the two races he finished, he has come home with a win and a second place.