Maranello, 11 June –Scuderia Ferrari headed home to Maranello yesterday after the demanding trip to the Canadian Grand Prix ended with a second place for Fernando Alonso and an eighth for Felipe Massa. There are now three weeks to go before the next round on 30 June at Silverstone and they will be important ones in terms of preparing for the races coming up in the summer months. The Scuderia engineers face a very busy time, starting with an analysis of a hefty amount of data aimed at taking a clear look at the performance difference evident between qualifying and the race.
The task at hand is to improve the performance of the F138 over a single timed lap, which is what is required to be at the top of the time sheet in qualifying. The checks the engineers will undertake over the coming weeks will take into account the various ambient conditions and the nature of the surfaces of the various tracks. Indeed, on this front it will be necessary to find out why the F138 did not seem well suited to less abrasive track surfaces as found on street and semi-permanent circuits, or to cold and damp conditions as was the case in qualifying in Montreal. Canada produced untypical conditions that were also hard to predict, but in a championship that takes place over a full nine months, every possible situation has to be analysed.
“Both Fernando and Felipe staged a really great fight back,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “But when making a final assessment of this weekend, Saturday’s qualifying weighed heavily on the outcome, even if in the race, we showed our potential once again. If we had started from the very front of the grid, we would have had everything in place to aim for the win. The circumstances in which qualifying was run did not suit the characteristics of our car and we paid a very high price for that.
“At the same time, we must also continue to push on the development of our car,” continued Domenicali. “Because our rivals have made clear steps forward. Apart from Red Bull, in Montreal, Mercedes was also very competitive, not just in qualifying over a single lap, but also over the whole race distance. We must give our drivers the wherewithal to fight for the front two rows of the grid, because that is the key to be able to capitalise on our car’s race pace. Now we have a slightly longer than usual gap before the next race in Silverstone. We will try and use that time as well as possible to work on the car and continue studying tyre behaviour, because on Sunday we saw cars which were able to do two thirds of the race with just one set and therefore, understanding how the tyres will work at every circuit will require very close attention.
“We have completed the first seven races of the 2013 season and we are in the fight for both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles,” concluded Domenicali. “Now we move into a phase were it will be vital to make up the ground we have lost, trying to put together a string of useful results. The opposition is numerous and very strong, but they too know our strengths. It will be a closely matched contest from race to race, on a variety of different circuit types with races held in different conditions. It’s an exciting prospect and I don’t think it will reach its conclusion until the very last race of the season.”