Maranello, 13 May –Spring has finally sprung in Maranello! That’s not just a meteorological observation, even if the sun shone brightly during the traditional Ferrari flag raising ceremony over the Scuderia Ferrari entrance gates, which follows every race win. Above all though it’s an awareness that this year’s spring is shaping up to be the best of the last five years from a racing point of view.
The last time the Scuderia got two wins and two podium places in the first five races dates back to 2008: in fact back then there were actually four, two each for Raikkonen (Malaysia and Spain) and Massa (Bahrain and Turkey.) The 117 points scored so far this year is the highest total of the last five years, but more encouraging for the Ferraristi, from President Montezemolo to all the fans, is how competitive the car has proved to be since the first race, because even in Malaysia and Bahrain, where results did not match expectations, the potential was there to fight for the top places.
But no one at the Scuderia is taking anything for granted, as Team Principal Stefano Domenicali stressed when talking to Ferrari.com. “There’s no time now for celebrating, even if it was right to enjoy the lovely moments yesterday which give us all a boost, but if we want to fight for the goals we set ourselves at the start of the year, we must continue to keep our nose to the grindstone.”
“It is part of the Latin character to be easily affected by success and failure in a positive or negative way, but we need to keep calm and concentrate,” he continued. “The most important thing to come out of the Barcelona weekend is that the team worked cohesively, was motivated and confident in its own potential: the key to understanding how yesterday’s result came about is actually in the conviction everyone showed in their own abilities right from the start. I was very pleased to see that our strategy simulation was confirmed completely on track and that is something that adds substance to our future choices.”
Domenicali has been around too long to believe that one swallow makes a summer, or a spring for that matter and two wins don’t make a world championship. Everything can change very quickly in Formula 1 and so one cannot relax for a second. “From here until the end of June, we will tackle three very different circuits, where the hierarchy in pit lane could change according to what updates everyone brings to the track,” he said. “We have to make the right choices, without suffering what one could call performance anxiety, which can lead to overdoing things, thus moving away from the right path. We will have to find the right compromise between trying out new components and managing the tyres which, as we have seen, is critical. Finally, we will need to push very hard on the development front, bearing in mind that, over the coming months, various teams could decide to concentrate solely on the 2014 project and this year, as never before, that will be a very important factor.”