Record-breaking multiple Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher has warned against dismissing Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2009 – even though the Scuderia
remains pointless three races into the new campaign.
Indeed, the lack of score marks the team's worst start to a season in the top flight since 1981, and it has never gone through the first four grands prix without notching up any points – what will be the case should neither Felipe Massa nor Kimi Raikkonen finish inside the top eight in the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir this weekend.
Stefano Domenicali hinted in the wake of yet another disastrous performance in last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai that should the situation not have improved considerably by Barcelona next month – by when the Maranello-based outfit should have its new 'double-decker' diffuser, reckoned to be worth in the region of half a second a lap in time benefit, and various aerodynamic modifications – then development of the F60 may be abandoned in order to turn all efforts towards its 2010 successor [see separate story – click here
With in-season testing now banned, however, and wind tunnel use and computer simulations drastically limited by the sport's new cost-cutting regulations, playing catch-up is harder than ever before. It will not, Schumacher acknowledged, be a simple feat.
“Before, we would do double [or] triple shifts [in the wind tunnel], but this year it's not possible,” the 40-year-old – still employed as an advisor by Ferrari, having claimed five of his seven drivers' crowns with the squad – conceded in an interview with German news agency DPA
. “We recognise the situation, but we are not giving up.
“Ferrari never did that in the past. You should never write off Ferrari. That's the good thing about Formula 1 – there is no time for frustration; you always look ahead.”
Aside from the scarlet brigade, Force India is the only other team to have failed to score thus far in 2009.