Formula 1: Ferrari – A Third Place Is Not Enough – There Is Much To Do
Maranello – The day after the Turkish Grand Prix, in which Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro secured its first podium finish of the season, thanks to Fernando Alonso, has been a very busy one on the work front. It could not be any other way, because while Fernando’s third place can inspire a degree of confidence in the chances of getting back on form this season, on the other hand, everyone is well aware that the Scuderia certainly can’t settle for jumping onto the lowest step of the podium.
Once again, the 150º Italia proved to be much more competitive on Sunday than on Saturday. In particular, the car proved to be the equal of the very best on the soft tyres, as had already been seen in China with Felipe, but compared with the Shanghai race, clearly some progress could be spotted when, in the final part of the race, the switch was made to the “Prime.”
However, the passing move Webber pulled on Fernando towards the end was, to a large extent, down to the fact the Australian was able to make the most of running a newer set of tyres than the Spaniard. This fact shows once again that qualifying plays a determining role in the outcome of the race, even if in a different way to what happened in the past. It’s not so much grid position that holds the key – even if starting from pole and especially being first across the line at the end of the opening lap is crucial – but it is becoming ever more important to manage correctly the use of the six sets of tyres – three Prime and three Option – that are available for qualifying and the race. Having four more new tyres compared with one’s rivals makes a big difference, especially at tracks like Istanbul. In Barcelona, as was seen during winter testing, it will be the same story again.
Today, President Luca di Montezemolo was in Maranello to hear for himself the details of what the engineers are planning in terms of car development for the upcoming races. The next few weeks are very important ones for the Scuderia: Montezemolo himself, along with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, is working closely on the task of renewing working practices in the various technical sections. The early season slap in the face was painful, but the reaction seems to have been more than up to it. The first fruits of those efforts were seen in Turkey, now other more substantial ones can be expected in the coming weeks.